Air Force Aims for Control of ‘Any and All’ Computers

I just read this over at Slashdot, and was funny, as I was thinking just yesterday that the future of computing won’t be a free utopia but a fully controlled environment.

There is no doubt in my mind that NSA/CIA/FBI already have “super” credentials (supplied by Microsoft) that can login to any Windows machine in the world. While this might sound like a conspiracy theory to you, it sounds like normal business to me. If I was working for them, that’s the first thing I would push towards. Apple is as vulnerable as Microsoft in my opinion.

Regarding Linux, they can always offer “patches” or whole frameworks that look strong at first sight (e.g. SELinux), even uploaded by a Joe Hacker, only that the guy might be working for them instead. Look at the recent Debian blunder. For many years now, no one knew that the SSH keys were weak. I don’t give enough credit to the OSS community to fix bugs or even ruthlessly test random patches that make it in. It’s so easy to slip in rootkits on OSS that’s not even funny.

And besides, there is always the chicken and the egg problem. Instead of trying to put rootkits on pieces of software, you do it once, in the compiler. Good luck trying to keep clean the compiler itself, because you always need a compiler to compile your compiler (and very old compilers don’t have all the features you need to compile a newer compiler).

In other words, these agencies use computers to do their job, the same way some do to hack them. So if you ever see a global rootkit unveiled, don’t get surprised. I expect nothing less from them. I would do the same thing if I was in their position.

Post 9/11, there is no such thing as “privacy”. Forget it. Or fight for it.

Comments are closed as this blog post is now archived.

Lines, paragraphs break automatically. HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

The URI to TrackBack this blog entry is this. And here is the RSS 2.0 for comments on this post.