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    SubjectRe: Wiretapping Linux?


    Steven Rostedt wrote:
    > On Tue, 16 May 2006, Marc Perkel wrote:
    >
    >
    >> As most of you know the United States is tapping you telephone calls and
    >> tracking every call you make. The next logical step is to start tapping
    >> your computer implanting spyware into operating systems. Since Windows
    >> and OS-X are proprietary this can be done more easilly with the
    >> cooperation of Microsoft and Apple.
    >>
    >> So what about Linux? With thousands of people working on the Kernel if
    >> someone from the NSA wanted to slip a back door into the Kernel, could
    >> the do that?
    >>
    >
    > Well, yes and no.
    >
    > It's highly unlikely that it would get into the kernel. Definitely not
    > kernel.org, since all patches are public.
    >
    > But it's not the kernel that you have to always worry about. But it's
    > what you install. Especially as root.
    >
    > There's so much free stuff out there, that people download and install
    > blindly, that I'm sure if someone wanted to really badly, they could get
    > it on some boxes. If they were slime and added something to a binary,
    > and supplied the source without the backdoor, that might last a while.
    > Unless you compile everything yourself, it's not easy to make sure that
    > all binaries came from the source you have.
    >
    > But there are a lot of hackers out there (the good kind, not the crackers
    > that the press call "hackers"). And they are aways looking at things
    > and breaking them to see how they work.
    >
    > So, really, I doubt anyone could really get a lot on lots of people's
    > Linux boxes. But, if we ever had an evil Debian maintainer, that allowed
    > it, then it might happen. But that would usually be discovered rather
    > quickly.
    >
    > -- Steve
    >
    >

    Thanks for your reply Steve. I've thought it would be discovered but
    thought I'd ask the question anyway just to make sure. But - do you
    think if OS-X or Windows had a government hack that it would be
    discovered. I know it would be discovered as easilly, but I wonder if
    that would get noticed?

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