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 Forum index » Off-Topic Area » Security
Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?
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d4p


Joined: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 407

PostPosted: Sat 08 Dec 2012, 12:46    Post subject:  Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?  

One of the major advantages of free software is that the community protects users from malicious software. Now Ubuntu GNU/Linux has become a counterexample.
http://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/ubuntu-spyware-what-to-do

How about puppy & other linux distros?
How can we know as a user which one contain spyware or not?
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tlchost

Joined: 05 Aug 2007
Posts: 1699
Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA

PostPosted: Sat 08 Dec 2012, 13:13    Post subject: Re: Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?  

d4p wrote:

How can we know as a user which one contain spyware or not?


One suggestion would be not to distro-hop.

When the black Helicopters are overhead, you'll know that the distro you use is the culprit.

The safest course may be not to connect to the Internet.
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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Sat 08 Dec 2012, 13:57    Post subject: Re: Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?  

d4p wrote:
One of the major advantages of free software is that the community protects users from malicious software. Now Ubuntu GNU/Linux has become a counterexample.
http://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/ubuntu-spyware-what-to-do

How about puppy & other linux distros?
How can we know as a user which one contain spyware or not?


Maybe tlchost tease you or he is dead serious.
I guess we can ask him to let us move into his home
that has to be a safe place indeed.

Back to your topic. Thanks for that link.
http://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/ubuntu-spyware-what-to-do

We could do google search to see of people that are good at programming
has any suggestion maybe? I will try to do some googling tomorrow
and if I forget about it do remind me.

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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
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Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Sat 08 Dec 2012, 14:05    Post subject:  

Quote:
Ubuntu, a widely used and influential GNU/Linux distribution, has installed surveillance code. When the user searches her own local files for a string using the Ubuntu desktop, Ubuntu sends that string to one of Canonical's servers. (Canonical is the company that develops Ubuntu.)

This is just like the first surveillance practice I learned about in Windows. My late friend Fravia told me that when he searched for a string in the files of his Windows system, it sent a packet to some server, which was detected by his firewall. Given that first example I paid attention and learned about the propensity of "reputable" proprietary software to be malware. Perhaps it is no coincidence that Ubuntu sends the same information.

Ubuntu uses the information about searches to show the user ads to buy various things from Amazon. Amazon commits many wrongs (see http://stallman.org/amazon.html); by promoting Amazon, Canonical contributes to them. However, the ads are not the core of the problem. The main issue is the spying. Canonical says it does not tell Amazon who searched for what. However, it is just as bad for Canonical to collect your personal information as it would have been for Amazon to collect it.


I have a very poor memory but I do recognize this
and it maybe is many months ago but did we not discuss it here?
on Puppy forum?

Or was that on some other forum. I am active on too many sorry.

So what to do?
Does Lupu Puppy by accident have this in it without the devs knowing about it?

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tlchost

Joined: 05 Aug 2007
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA

PostPosted: Sat 08 Dec 2012, 14:15    Post subject: Re: Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?  

nooby wrote:

Maybe tlchost tease you or he is dead serious.
I guess we can ask him to let us move into his home
that has to be a safe place indeed.


No one is invited to move in....THe building is infested with proprietary software and applications designed to operate on the Dark Side.

Quote:

We could do google search to see of people that are good at programming
has any suggestion maybe? I will try to do some googling tomorrow
and if I forget about it do remind me.


It would seem to me that if the spyware is found to be objectionable, one could always simply not use the OS that has it. It may be hard to believe, but the market force of a large number of folks refusing to use an OS because of the built-in spyware might cause the developers to abandon the plan.

Conversely, some enterprising person might prove/certifiy that their OS was spyware free, and thus gain converts from the evil OS that spys on them.

Thom
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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Sat 08 Dec 2012, 16:42    Post subject:  

Oh I envy you. The Dark Side those guys can code indeed.
I've seen their Death Star impressing thing that one Smile

Yes they explain it in that text it is a kind of connect to their server
showing searches. so typical.

Should I trust that every Ubuntu variant have it like
Netrunner and Linux Mint and what have you?

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tlchost

Joined: 05 Aug 2007
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Location: Baltimore, Maryland USA

PostPosted: Sat 08 Dec 2012, 23:39    Post subject:  

nooby wrote:

Should I trust that every Ubuntu variant have it like
Netrunner and Linux Mint and what have you?


I have no idea...I think what we're seeing here is commercialism creeping into the sacred halls of "Free" software. It hyad to happen, sooner or later.

I think the most effective way to combat this type of thing is simply not using an OS that offends you. You could also add fuel to the fire by making public statements on why you don't use it. Public statements in a forum such as this one may not do much good, as it may be akin to "preaching to the choir".

Years ago one very large retailer redesigned their site in such a way that only Internet Explorer would work. My immediate reaction was to call the corporate office, cancel my account and tell them why. Next I got some other folks who were offended by the redesign to complain.

I even took the pains to document what per centage of the computer community did not use IE....and suggested to the company that it made no business sense to alienate a significant number of present and future customers.

The company redesigned their site to be less browser specific.

My point is complaining does little....one needs to jab needles into what folks value...their income, reputation, egos to affect real change.

How far can/should it be taken? Boycott Ubuntu...sure....boycott things that use Ubuntu as a base...sure.

I'll leave it up to others to ponder boycotting puppies that are based on Ubuntu Laughing
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nooby

Joined: 29 Jun 2008
Posts: 10557
Location: SwedenEurope

PostPosted: Sun 09 Dec 2012, 01:34    Post subject:  

Wow that was a good thing you did there.
Yes I remember that IE where peculiar that way
that it had html things that where different.

One had to have two browsers for to check up how
the site looked in both.

Being as noob as I am I have no clue on what to do.
So I should STFU about it Smile

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Terryphi


Joined: 02 Jul 2008
Posts: 760
Location: West Wales, Britain.

PostPosted: Sun 09 Dec 2012, 03:17    Post subject:  

nooby wrote:


Should I trust that every Ubuntu variant have it like
Netrunner and Linux Mint and what have you?


Linux Mint by default includes a package mint-search-addon. This adds the extension Mint Search Enhancer to Firefox. It can be disabled (but not removed) using Tools>Add-ons.

The extension is not added to Opera so that is yet another reason to use Opera.

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Q5sys


Joined: 11 Dec 2008
Posts: 1049

PostPosted: Sun 09 Dec 2012, 15:36    Post subject: Re: Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?  

d4p wrote:
One of the major advantages of free software is that the community protects users from malicious software. Now Ubuntu GNU/Linux has become a counterexample.
http://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/ubuntu-spyware-what-to-do

How about puppy & other linux distros?
How can we know as a user which one contain spyware or not?


You can figure this out on your own if you've got some skill. Install a packet sniffer like wireshark on your system... turn it on, and then just mess around on your system and see if anything calls out to the internet. if when you do desktop searches you see outgoing data.. then you can track down where its going.

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d4p


Joined: 12 Mar 2007
Posts: 407

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 01:21    Post subject:  

Thanks for all comment.
I am not familiar with wireshark and will try it.
I think firewall with in-outgoing support should help.
Is out there a firewall with in- outgoing support that by default block all ports?
Just open the port(s) what we need only.
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Johnny Cache

Joined: 06 Nov 2012
Posts: 30

PostPosted: Sat 15 Dec 2012, 02:05    Post subject:  

I know this sounds over-simplistic, but the easy answer is to ditch Ubuntu. Debian is way better than it used to be. It even comes with support for mp3s and common codecs out of the box now, and it comes with GNOME Shell and lots of plugins. Ubuntu isn't that much easier to install anymore.

For realz.

.

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postfs1


Joined: 27 Mar 2010
Posts: 831

PostPosted: Sun 16 Dec 2012, 02:25    Post subject: Re: Ubuntu Spyware: What to Do?  

d4p wrote:
One of the major advantages of free software is that the community protects users from malicious software. Now Ubuntu GNU/Linux has become a counterexample.
http://www.fsf.org/blogs/rms/ubuntu-spyware-what-to-do

How about puppy & other linux distros?
How can we know as a user which one contain spyware or not?


Maybe as shown here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Linux_Distribution_Timeline.svg
Information about the Internet page: This work contains material which may be subject to trademark laws in one or more jurisdictions. Before using this content, please ensure that you have the right to use it under the laws which apply in the circumstances of your intended use. You are solely responsible for ensuring that you do not infringe the rights to this trademark. See our general disclaimer. The use of this trademark does not indicate endorsement of the holder by Wikimedia Commons or the Wikimedia Foundation, nor vice versa.

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sszindian


Joined: 24 Apr 2010
Posts: 603
Location: Pennsylvania U.S.

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2012, 20:39    Post subject: Re-Think  

And for all who think you are even 'slightly secure' because of the software, browser or hardware you use.

Here are but a few sites that will make you re-think!

------------------------------------------------------
Carnivore: US Government Surveillance of Internet Transmissions-


http://www.vjolt.net/vol6/issue2/v6i2-a10-Jennings.html

------------------------------------------------------
Hackers Equipment For Surveillance:

http://www.privatewifi.com/a-hacker%E2%80%99s-toolkit/

------------------------------------------------------

And on the Ubuntu Spyware issue... I have been to several sites and forums on this and 'NO ONE' can give a straight 'YES or NO' that their program made from Ubuntu binaries is infected. I did find that Ubuntu has been a major contributor to development of the Linux Kernel for quiet awhile now... they have some excellent programmers... who knows?

You can believe whatever you want but as I've always said 'There is No Computer Security... Period.'

>>>---Indian------>

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musher0


Joined: 04 Jan 2009
Posts: 4236
Location: Gatineau (Qc), Canada

PostPosted: Tue 18 Dec 2012, 21:22    Post subject:  

Hello, people.

I don't know if it has anything to do with spyware, but my lupu 5.25 retro has been acting up lately: freezing outright or rebooting for no apparent reason, or some program (ROX, for ex.) refusing to work while all others are running ok.

I was forced to go back to dpup 4.85 temporarily, and I have had NO problem whatsoever with dpup.

Maybe I should install wireshark in lupu, as suggested above.

Or can it simply be that my lupu_save is corrupted at the byte level? (But I use fsck.)

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

BFN.

musher0

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