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Re: [coldwarcomms] Ptech e:JBurke

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  • siriusss@aol.com
    In a message dated 12/7/2002 6:16:18 AM Pacific Standard Time, ... What is to stop any software company from doing the same thing? Isn t this the old story of
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 7, 2002
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      In a message dated 12/7/2002 6:16:18 AM Pacific Standard Time,
      jburks2@... writes:

      > The fear, described poorly in the NYT article, by a writer not
      > completely familiar with the concepts, is that someone (developer)
      > in the software company might have put virus code, Trojan code,
      > etc. into a software application that would be installed inside
      > the firewall at FBI, et. al. by less technical, senior management
      > personnel, who might have broad authority to computer system
      > access.

      What is to stop any software company from doing the same thing? Isn't this
      the old story of Israeli agents and PROMIS backdoors with a Saudi twist? Is
      PTECH another Inslaw? If so, I hope the employees have more than an
      employment backdoor.

      BTW my understanding of the PROMIS backdoor is that it is caused by
      installing it on the wrong platform. As soon as you close up one, another
      opens. Once the backdoor opens you can upload a message that will launch and
      instal what you need- as you said a Trojan horse in the vitals sections of
      the machines. I wonder if that is the problem with this software-installing
      it on the wrong platform causes backdoors to open. If so, there is very
      little security on PTECH government software. Possibly no Al Qaeda at all,
      but poor design.


      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • tenshirotori <doug@joss.com>
      ... anyone who is writing software can attempt to put backdoors in it, but the real key is what privledges the software has when it is running in its
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 7, 2002
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        > What is to stop any software company from doing the same thing?

        anyone who is writing software can attempt to put backdoors in
        it, but the real key is what privledges the software has when
        it is running in its production environment. It is very
        unfortunate that PC operating systems like windows get used
        in production environments, because whatever code runs on them
        has acccess to everything on the PC - it could for example
        delete all of the stuff on hard drives, talk to comm ports, etc.

        Under the Unix OS (and all its various spawn) most software
        can run without privledges, so that even if the developer puts
        in a backdoor or other bad code, that code may not be able
        to do anything bad because it will try to do something, and the
        OS will simply deny it access.

        Unix, of course, was a Bell Labs product, and was much used in
        the phone network and related activities long before most other
        businesses. So, if you use the right tools, and software, and
        your brain, you can be somewhat proof against this kind of thing,
        but of course nothing is perfect.

        ten
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