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TmX



Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 821
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
TmX
A week ago, RMS gave a speech at my campus, and as usual the topic was about free/open source software.

He said that using closed source OS (e.g Windows) could expose you to the risk of being spied on.

Is there any way to verify whether this claim true or not?
Maybe debug the Windows DLLs?

Smile
Post 06 Nov 2009, 05:20
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17248
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
TmX wrote:
A week ago, RMS gave a speech at my campus, and as usual the topic was about free/open source software.

He said that using closed source OS (e.g Windows) could expose you to the risk of being spied on.
Did the speaker specifically say Windows? Or was the speaker referring to any general software, like apps and malware?
TmX wrote:
Is there any way to verify whether this claim true or not?
Ask MS. Or ask a friend who works there. My guess is there are far too many people involved to be able to keep such things secret.
TmX wrote:
Maybe debug the Windows DLLs?
Many people have already done that. So far I am not aware that anyone has found anything. But, of course, it is impossible to prove something doesn't exist, so it might be true. However, standard procedure applies here, the people making the claims should prove their position, not expect everyone else to disprove. Until such proof arrives I put it down to merely yet another unproven claim.
Post 06 Nov 2009, 05:37
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TmX



Joined: 02 Mar 2006
Posts: 821
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
TmX
revolution wrote:
Did the speaker specifically say Windows? Or was the speaker referring to any general software, like apps and malware?


Any general software, and specifcally OSes like Windows and Macs.
Post 06 Nov 2009, 05:47
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17248
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
Well we already know that lots of malware is specifically designed to spy on us. Nothing surprising there. But OSes are a different matter. And actually it depends upon what is meant by "spying"? Even simple things like checking for updates could be considered spying. Just connecting and asking for the latest version of something can show that you are at least running the software, is that considered spying?
Post 06 Nov 2009, 06:01
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LocoDelAssembly
Your code has a bug


Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 4633
Location: Argentina
LocoDelAssembly
Well, one of the times RMS was here in Argentina he said that when you play music, Windows tells to Microsoft. Since Windows Media Player has an (optional) feature to retrieve info about the music you're playing he probably took that fact (or that will he say to Microsoft's lawyers if being sued) to prove evilness without going into much detail.

PS: If someone will comment about any Windows/MacOS spying please try to provide a reference backing it instead of your own speculations about NSA Smile (I'm not forbidding speculations though, but, why wasting time?)
Post 06 Nov 2009, 06:33
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sleepsleep



Joined: 05 Oct 2006
Posts: 8867
Location: ˛                             ⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣⁣Posts: 334455
sleepsleep
how bout those who visit www.microsoft.com :p
Post 06 Nov 2009, 11:23
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Borsuc



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 2466
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Borsuc
My modem has LEDs that flash when traffic goes through. Surprise, when I don't run anything, it doesn't flash. Wink
Post 06 Nov 2009, 16:43
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
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revolution
For the truly paranoid, just write your own OS and apps.
Post 06 Nov 2009, 18:33
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Fanael



Joined: 03 Jul 2009
Posts: 168
Fanael
revolution wrote:
For the truly paranoid, just write your own OS and apps.
But what if compiler will put some spying code into them?
Post 06 Nov 2009, 18:45
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ass0



Joined: 31 Dec 2008
Posts: 521
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ass0
Then disassemble your own stuff after compile.
Post 06 Nov 2009, 19:02
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Borsuc



Joined: 29 Dec 2005
Posts: 2466
Location: Bucharest, Romania
Borsuc
ass0 wrote:
Then disassemble your own stuff after compile.
That won't work, as debugger and disassembler are also infected and "hide" the malicious part...

Only way to be sure is to extract the data physically from the hard drive and use a hardware machine (not infected) to read it as hex... then figure out the opcodes and stuff.

Let's do it and free ourselves!

Laughing

_________________
Previously known as The_Grey_Beast
Post 06 Nov 2009, 19:10
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kohlrak



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
Posts: 1421
Location: Uncle Sam's Pad
kohlrak
Back to the original idea... I think things like the mysterious "google installing things without telling you" kind of thing is what they're talking about. With proprietary software, they assume that you want THEM to make decisions for you. Such decisions could include whether to send or not to send what they feel as anonymous. It's the same old thing where they tell you where they're going to install it, and there's a few bad eggs that won't listen even when you tell it to install to a different folder. The idea is that closed software companies make software closed because it's "too difficult for the user" in which case making decisions is also "too difficult." So, the tend to overstep what you feel is right or wrong. That's the kind of thing that got the whole open source thing started. IIRC, stallman felt he needed the right to change something if he didn't like the way it was running, because HE wanted to tell his computer what it was going to do, not some random company who doesn't care about him or his interests telling is computer what it's going to do.
Post 06 Nov 2009, 19:59
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Dex4u



Joined: 08 Feb 2005
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Dex4u
revolution wrote:
For the truly paranoid, just write your own OS and apps.


I think hardware is just as likely to spying on you think how easy it would be in hardware to have your router spy on you or a backdoor.

The coutry that made them, would have a back door into most PC's and the rest of the world would think, they had a team of top hackers Shocked
Post 06 Nov 2009, 23:01
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rCX



Joined: 29 Jul 2007
Posts: 166
Location: Maryland, USA
rCX
Dex4u wrote:
revolution wrote:
For the truly paranoid, just write your own OS and apps.


I think hardware is just as likely to spying on you think how easy it would be in hardware to have your router spy on you or a backdoor.

The coutry that made them, would have a back door into most PC's and the rest of the world would think, they had a team of top hackers Shocked


Using open hardware or making a computer from scratch might solve this. (But it wouldn't prevent your ISP from spying on you)
Post 06 Nov 2009, 23:39
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kohlrak



Joined: 21 Jul 2006
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Location: Uncle Sam's Pad
kohlrak
rCX wrote:
Dex4u wrote:
revolution wrote:
For the truly paranoid, just write your own OS and apps.


I think hardware is just as likely to spying on you think how easy it would be in hardware to have your router spy on you or a backdoor.

The coutry that made them, would have a back door into most PC's and the rest of the world would think, they had a team of top hackers Shocked


Using open hardware or making a computer from scratch might solve this. (But it wouldn't prevent your ISP from spying on you)


Well, after you exit the hardware level, there's no way they can spy on you before encryption and proxies. I'm sure my ISP (apparently known a bit for spying) knows that i connect to the ssh port of my friend's computer, but i bet they don't (until now) know that i have an XMPP and IRC connection to his servers tunneled through ssh. They just see it's ssh.
Post 07 Nov 2009, 03:00
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guignol



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 701
guignol
revolution wrote:
However, standard procedure applies here, the people making the claims should prove their position, not expect everyone else to disprove. Until such proof arrives I put it down to merely yet another unproven claim.
The World is not a global Court. Wink

P.S. But if you are such a fan of such thingies, make sure that all your claims, if any, be provided with obvious and undeniable proof (at least from now on).


Last edited by guignol on 07 Nov 2009, 11:31; edited 1 time in total
Post 07 Nov 2009, 11:23
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guignol



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 701
guignol
revolution wrote:
Even simple things like checking for updates could be considered spying. Just connecting and asking for the latest version of something can show that you are at least running the software, is that considered spying?
Certainly, if one is not aware of it.
Post 07 Nov 2009, 11:27
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revolution
When all else fails, read the source


Joined: 24 Aug 2004
Posts: 17248
Location: In your JS exploiting you and your system
revolution
I claim there are pink unicorns living on the Moon. Razz

Can you prove me wrong? If not, then it must be true! Right? Twisted Evil
Post 07 Nov 2009, 11:29
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guignol



Joined: 06 Dec 2008
Posts: 701
guignol
No.
If you creed some set of rules you must follow it, not anyone else (unless he creeds samely).

So (having seen my addition to the first post reply) give us an undeniable proof of unicorns.
We are all ears.
Post 07 Nov 2009, 11:35
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ManOfSteel



Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Posts: 1154
ManOfSteel
revolution wrote:
I claim there are pink unicorns living on the Moon. Razz

Can you prove me wrong? If not, then it must be true! Right? Twisted Evil

Revolution, what are you trying to prove here? There *are* pink unicorns on the Moon. I was hunting them last month with a bunch of friends. Even though gravity and the awfully sticky regolith were troublesome, we really enjoyed the meal.
Post 07 Nov 2009, 13:43
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