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[liberationtech] NYT report on Obama admin's wiretap plans

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Mon Sep 27 14:34:07 PDT 2010


On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 5:31 PM, Thomas Smyth <thomas.smyth at gatech.edu> wrote:
>> Skype cannot easily patch their network. They do not own every computer
>> in the network - they even have hardware devices that cannot be (easily
>> or ever) upgraded such as telephone units, firmware for motherboards, etc.
>>
>
> Hmm, you mean the motherboards on client computers?  For example, person X
> has a motherboard with an exploitable on-board network card that lets an
> attacker, say, snoop packets before they're encrypted or something?  (Just
> thinking aloud here.)  So then the security of Skype relies on not just
> Skype client software, but all these other bits as well?
>
> That makes sense but again then we're back to this reducing to cracking any
> point-to-point encrypted communication.  So the argument becomes that no
> digital communication is truly secure, no?  But then Skype is not a special
> case...

There are systems with a complete mini-Linux distribution in bios
including Skype. For example, "Asus Express Gate" on Asus
motherboards.



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