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Windows 8 - Deeper Impressions


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#5476
Flasche

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I have a friend who used to scoff at me when I'd tell him that Gmail was a threat to his privacy. Funny, he's not doing that any more.

 

A number of email services claiming to offer secure and private communications have come out recently. As to whether they're actually fronts for government spy agencies ;), we can't be sure, but the StartPage/Ixquick people, whom I do trust, will soon be rolling out their StartMail service.

 

Thanks for the articles about Google and the drones. There's a lot of, uh, interesting possibilities for this technology. How long do you think it'll be before the entire planet's surface is monitored in real time by a network of these thingies?

 

--JorgeA

 

 

Its getting to the point where I feels like just wiping every things off my drive (vista not Me), and starting new with NT 4 or 2000. (not xp for it has activation) Then forever search the web anonymously with a proxy under the name of what ever the random name generator gives me http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/ , then use a disposable email from a site like this http://www.fakemailgenerator.com/ .




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#5477
JorgeA

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And, to complement the drones up in the sky:

 

Eye Spy with My Google Glass

 

Google Inc.’s internet-connected eyewear... could also become a tactical and intelligence information sharing tool for first responders such as police or firefighters under a new plan by BAE Systems Inc., the U.S.-arm of Europe’s largest defense company.

 

BAE has developed an app called GXP Xplorer Snap that allows operatives and first-responders to take pictures using Google Glass and, through voice commands, transmit the photos along with detailed positional, time and other key tagging information, Rex Ballard, the company’s general manager for Geospatial Exploitation Products said in an interview.

 

Before you start thinking that this could come in handy as a check on our overlords, rest assured that it won't be available for use by the peasantry:

 

But curb your James Bond enthusiasm, the app is not for your ordinary Google Glass customer. Snap provides an encrypted interface to BAE’s GXP Xplorer data management system used by customers that include the U.S. military services, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, its Australian counterpart and the U.K. defense ministry.

 

The database management system is designed to provide analysts at those organizations an easy way to retrieve and compare data. Google Glass would be another in a wide array of intelligence sources. Only users of GXP Xplorer will be able to interface with database.

 

At least we do have some capability to fight back by filming police beatings and stormtroopers barging into people's homes, and taping threats made to us by officials. No doubt, though, these will be viewed as loopholes in the law that'll need to be closed.

 

--JorgeA

 



#5478
JorgeA

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Its getting to the point where I feels like just wiping every things off my drive (vista not Me), and starting new with NT 4 or 2000. (not xp for it has activation) Then forever search the web anonymously with a proxy under the name of what ever the random name generator gives me http://www.fakenamegenerator.com/ , then use a disposable email from a site like this http://www.fakemailgenerator.com/ .

 

 

Wow, that's pretty cool!

 

If you don't mind potentially switching to Linux, you might want to think about one of the penguin flavors that have recently come out with a focus on privacy, such as Tails and Netrunner SE ("stealth edition").

 

--JorgeA



#5479
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Wow, that's pretty cool!

 

If you don't mind potentially switching to Linux, you might want to think about one of the penguin flavors that have recently come out with a focus on privacy, such as Tails and Netrunner SE ("stealth edition").

 

--JorgeA

 

 

I boot tails on one of my usb sticks. It's a nice littler bugger.



#5480
JorgeA

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In Xbox news:

 

PS4 sales pass 7 million units, while Xbox One licks its wounds and plans a comeback

 

The uncomfortable truth is probably that the PS4 is simply the better console, and is now well on its way to winning this round of the Console War. If this is the case — and the sales figure silence definitely implies it — then we can probably expect a very dramatic announcement from Microsoft in the next month or two. If Microsoft wants to turn this around, then a big price cut (probably by shipping the console without Kinect) is the only real solution. The company needs to move quickly, too: If the PS4′s lead continues to grow, third-party developers will begin to target their games specifically at the PS4, resulting in a rather rapid game over for the Xbox One.

 

That would make it yet another failed piece of Microsoft hardware. Hmm, maybe they'd then give up on this notion of becoming a "devices and services" company, and go back and focus on their strengths.

 

 

The writer complained that Microsoft was keeping mum on Xbone sales in the face of Sony's reports. Later that day, MSFT released its own numbers:

 

Microsoft Has Sold More Than 5 Million Xbox Ones

 

Most of the article is behind a paywall, but you get to see just enough:

 

Microsoft Corp. on Thursday said it has sold more than five million Xbox One consoles to retail shops since the product was launched in November.

 

The company hadn't provided sales figures since early January, when said it sold 3.9 million units through the end of 2013.

 

--JorgeA

 



#5481
JorgeA

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And after they give up on the "devices" part of that combo, they can then move on to drop the (cloud) "services" portion too:

 

Microsoft is the least trusted data storage provider -- what can be done?

 

According to a survey carried out by a Swiss storage data provider, Microsoft is the least trusted player in the field. Almost a third (32 percent) of technology professionals questioned said that Microsoft was the brand they trusted the least when it came to data storage. It is suggested that trust is at a low ebb following the fallout from the NSA surveillance revelation which left many people wondering just who had access to their data. The survey found that other big names were also distrusted -- 22 percent of people did not trust Apple, and 7 percent did not trust Dropbox.

 

--JorgeA

 



#5482
JorgeA

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We've mentioned the operating system Tails a couple of times here. Here's a not-too-technical writeup on it:

 

Out in the Open: Inside the Operating System Edward Snowden Used to Evade the NSA

 

When NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden first emailed Glenn Greenwald, he insisted on using email encryption software called PGP for all communications. But this month, we learned that Snowden used another technology to keep his communications out of the NSA’s prying eyes. It’s called Tails. And naturally, nobody knows exactly who created it.

 

Lending credence to claims that the NSA has obtained backdoors into other OS's is the following report:

 

They’re protecting their identities, in part, to help protect the code from government interference. “The NSA has been pressuring free software projects and developers in various ways,” the group says, referring to a a conference last year at which Linux creator Linus Torvalds implied that the NSA had asked him to place a backdoor in the operating system.

 

And, for those who may be so cynical that they end up failing to make use of the available means of protection ;), there's this:

 

But since we don’t know who wrote Tails, how do we now it isn’t some government plot designed to snare activists or criminals? A couple of ways, actually. One of the Snowden leaks show the NSA complaining about Tails in a Power Point Slide; if it’s bad for the NSA, it’s safe to say it’s good for privacy. And all of the Tails code is open source, so it can be inspected by anyone worried about foul play. “Some of us simply believe that our work, what we do, and how we do it, should be enough to trust Tails, without the need of us using our legal names,” the group says.

 

Of course, nothing's perfect in this world:

 

Although Tails includes productivity applications like OpenOffice, GIMP and Audacity, it doesn’t make a great everyday operating system. That’s because over the course of day-to-day use, you’re likely to use service or another that could be linked with your identity, blowing your cover entirely. Instead, Tails should only be used for the specific activities that need to be kept anonymous, and nothing else.

 

--JorgeA

 

 

 



#5483
JorgeA

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And if you think we are paranoid in this thread, check out what some of the commenters are saying in response to this blog post by Bruce Schneier. :wacko:  :crazy:  :w00t:

 

As one commenter says, if you'e going to go this far, you'll be limiting the PC's functionality so much that you may as well go back to using a typewriter.

 

--JorgeA



#5484
monroe

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You are correct ... they are paranoid with a capital "P". Lots of reading ... watching your electric consumption, putting CDs / DVDs in a microwave to destroy them ... I personally burn and melt every one of mine when I no longer need them or update a DVD image backup ... nothing "top secret" on them, just my XP setup but I just like knowing they are "gone" forever.

 

Just pulling out some of the discussion comments:

 

It's easy to disable a builtin camera (especially if you're not using it at all): cover the camera with a piece of duct tape. It's slightly harder to destroy a builtin mic, but most of them don't require too much effort with a paperclip or tack to destroy the diaphragm.

 

---

 

I believe that a microwave oven will make optical media quite unreadable before disposal. Try 10 seconds. I'm not sure if the microwave is safe for food use after you destroy a boatload of DVD's, though.

 

---

 

A hammer would also work well to destroy CDs and DVDs. If one were truly paranoid, they would distribute pieces of the broken media into multiple bags and dispose of said bags in widely separated parts of town. ;)

 

---

 

I have one PC at home running Windows XP that connects to the internet maybe 2-3 times per year. It's over eight years old and other than one harddrive failure is about as trouble-free as anything running Microsoft can be. Friends don't understand why I never use it for web surfing but from a security and up-time standpoint the benefits far outweigh the problems with an air gap.

 

---

 

A conventional (gas or electric) oven is also a good way to securely "dispose" of optical and magnetic media. 450F for 15-30 minutes usually does it. I use a foil-lined cookie tray to preserve the tray... And do this when nobody is home for a few hours afterward so the "fumes" have time to disperse.

 

For flash memory, a hammer works pretty well.

 

---

 

I think the ultra-paranoid way would also avoid - connecting the system to the wall socket to prevent any manipulation of the power supply or any traces by consumption of electricity

 

- use shielding wallpaper in an empty basement room with no windows

 

- live in a house older than 1950 (only to be sure that no electronic bugs were built-in with the cement)

 

There are a lot of comments ... haven't read them all ... several mention Qubes. Only for 64 bit computers ... if I understand it.

 

http://www.qubes-os.org/trac

 

Qubes is an open-source operating system designed to provide strong security for desktop computing. Qubes is based on Xen, the X Window System, and Linux, and can run most Linux applications and utilize most of the Linux drivers.

 

System Requirements:

 

    * 64-bit Intel or AMD processor (x86_64 aka x64 aka AMD64)

    * 4 GB RAM

    * 32 GB disk space

...


Edited by monroe, Yesterday, 07:04 AM.


#5485
jaclaz

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A hammer would also work well to destroy CDs and DVDs. If one were truly paranoid, they would distribute pieces of the broken media into multiple bags and dispose of said bags in widely separated parts of town.  ;)

 

The commonly accepted technique for hammered HD's is to send them via mail to China  :w00t: ;):

http://www.forensicf...ewtopic/t=9682/

 

jaclaz


Edited by jaclaz, Yesterday, 06:58 AM.


#5486
monroe

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Point well taken ... I am still not 100% sure that broken CDs / DVDs can not be read. I like burning and melting them to nothing ... outside of course or in a fireplace. That suggestion of putting them in an oven ... the chemical smell in the house would be terrible and there would have to be some residue, I would think.

...



#5487
jaclaz

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Point well taken ... I am still not 100% sure that broken CDs / DVDs can not be read. I like burning and melting them to nothing ... outside of course or in a fireplace. That suggestion of putting them in an oven ... the chemical smell in the house would be terrible and there would have to be some residue, I would think.

...

Well, this is - personally - one of the things that makes me sleep rather well :), see:

http://www.forensicf...ewtopic/t=9811/

http://www.forensicf...wtopic/t=10154/

 

Though of course NO certainties :ph34r::

http://www.forensicf...564426/#6564426

particularly if you have lousy B&W 11 Kb bmp's of Alfred Einstein written all over the CD, n times :w00t::

http://www.thic.org/...ments rev a.pdf

 

jaclaz



#5488
JorgeA

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Wzor is back with some good news and some bad news: 

 

The Start Menu will reportedly return to Windows this fall

 

Rumor sheds light on Windows 8.2, Windows 9, and Chrome OS-style Windows Cloud

 

 

First, the good news:

  

Ever since the Start menu was shown off, everyone has been wondering when we will see it return to the OS and, according to Wzor, the answer will be this fall.

 

Right now, it is unclear if the update to bring the Start menu back will be called Windows 8.2, or will simply be 'Windows 8.1 Update 2'. Either way, this is the first bit of semi-credible information about when we can expect the Start menu to return to the OS.

 .

 

According to new details from Wzor, Microsoft will roll out another update to Windows 8.1 (Update 2) sometime in September of this year, during the Autumn season. Microsoft may refer to this update as Windows 8.1 Update 2 or may even call it Windows 8.2, as there appears to be some sort of heated internal discussion on what to call it. Microsoft is expected to roll out the Start Menu, showcased during Build 2014, in this update.

 

 

And now for the (potentially) bad news:

 

Microsoft is apparently working on a prototype operating system called Windows Cloud. This is rumored to be an operating system that requires an internet connection for full functionality. While in offline mode, the operating system would be similar to Microsoft’s budget operating system, Windows Starter, offering basic functionality. This obviously smells like something you would see in Chrome OS on a Chromebook. Could Microsoft be experimenting with something similar?

 

Again, we must stress that this is a huge rumor. Microsoft hasn't offered any details on the upcoming Windows 8.1 Update 2, nor has there been any information on Windows 9 or Windows 10. Leaked information is scarce and things are a lot tighter ever since the leaker of Windows 8 was arrested.

[emphasis in original]

 

D*mned if they're going to turn my PC into a mere terminal. They can bring back the Start Button, Start Menu, and Aero Glass -- if I'm required to keep my PC tethered to the Internet for it to work, these features don't mean a thing. :realmad:

 

--JorgeA

 



#5489
JorgeA

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Point well taken ... I am still not 100% sure that broken CDs / DVDs can not be read. I like burning and melting them to nothing ... outside of course or in a fireplace. That suggestion of putting them in an oven ... the chemical smell in the house would be terrible and there would have to be some residue, I would think.

...

Well, this is - personally - one of the things that makes me sleep rather well :), see:

http://www.forensicf...ewtopic/t=9811/

http://www.forensicf...wtopic/t=10154/

 

Though of course NO certainties :ph34r::

http://www.forensicf...564426/#6564426

particularly if you have lousy B&W 11 Kb bmp's of Alfred Einstein written all over the CD, n times :w00t::

http://www.thic.org/...ments rev a.pdf

 

jaclaz

 

 

Interesting discussions there. A forensics forum? I see that you really get around! :)

 

Maybe scratching multiple deep, irregularly shaped grooves into the CD's surface before cutting it up would make the task of reconstructing the data that much harder. (Sorry if this was already mentioned in the linked threads and I missed it.)

 

--JorgeA



#5490
jaclaz

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Maybe scratching multiple deep, irregularly shaped grooves into the CD's surface before cutting it up would make the task of reconstructing the data that much harder. (Sorry if this was already mentioned in the linked threads and I missed it.)

 

--JorgeA

 

Well, the essence of the reference is this:

http://www.forensicf...564426/#6564426

a single, neat or rough, cut through a CD/DVD, passing through the center hole and thus dividing the CD in two pieces is enough, even if you have both pieces, to avoid the reading of any data from it 

 

or:

http://www.forensicf...564423/#6564423

Take one and snap in half with your hands ( wear gloves! ). You will see that the substrate ( that's the silver material ) will pulverize along the fracture lines into a lot of little pieces. I don't know how you could re-assemble a useable readable CD from these tiny fragments.

 

no need to scratch anything (unless you scratch the appropriate area(s) scratching may lead ot only partially unrecoverable data), cutting  (or breaking) the CD/DVD in two pieces (no more than two is needed) is simple, fast and effective.

And don't forget the disclaimer here ;):

http://www.forensicf...564418/#6564418

BTW I am no expert, I just stayed at a Holiday Inn.

 

 

Or, get a CD shredder, examples:

http://www.aleratec.com/shredders.html

http://www.shredding...D/DVD-shredders

( a number of "beefy" generic paper shredders may also do).

 

jaclaz


Edited by jaclaz, Yesterday, 10:01 AM.


#5491
bpalone

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As one commenter says, if you'e going to go this far, you'll be limiting the PC's functionality so much that you may as well go back to using a typewriter.

 

Using a typewriter isn't all that secure either.  Back in the old days, the spook agencies would plant a bug to measure the EMF in the room and could decode what was typed.  They may of even been able to do it by focusing some form of antenna on the target from a nearby building.  Now if you were using a mechanical typewriter, they used accustical (sp?) methods and achieved the same results.

 

Plus you had to be sure to destroy the back (pad) piece of paper, as they could also gather the impressions from it. Also, don't forget the carbon paper.

 

bpalone


Edited by bpalone, Yesterday, 10:35 AM.


#5492
ricktendo

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Easter egg: DSL router patch merely hides backdoor instead of closing it
The same security researcher who originally discovered a backdoor in 24 models of wireless DSL routers has found that a patch intended to fix that problem doesn’t actually get rid of the backdoor—it just conceals it. And the nature of the “fix” suggests that the backdoor, which is part of the firmware for wireless DSL routers based on technology from the Taiwanese manufacturer Sercomm, was an intentional feature to begin with.

 

 



#5493
monroe

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OK jaclaz ... I guess CDs / DVDs can't be read after being cut into pieces. The silver film does flake off ... so no repair jobs with super glue! I will still burn and melt them down ... mine have nothing important on them to anyone, I do like watching them melt and as they burn, all the different colors and then black smoke.

 

I remember reading somewhere where paper that had been cross shredded was put back together over a very long period of time ... very time consuming but do-able.

...






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