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[liberationtech] Dealing with dueling interfaces / config conflict in modern operating environments...

John Case case at SDF.ORG
Tue Dec 27 20:55:20 PST 2011


I run OSX on my desktop and laptop systems.  I've made this choice because 
OSX is the most polished of the unix variants, and I do much of my 
configuration and operation from the CLI.

Every once in a while, though, I witness a conflict between GUI chosen 
settings and CLI settings.  Specifically, I notice that there are GUI 
actions you can take in preferences that create and destroy ipfw rules, 
while, of course, you could create and destroy them manually, or via 
script, in the CLI.

In this case, it's an extremely limited interaction, and FWIW, OSX appears 
to be quite clueful as to how it inserts and denies rules, but this can't 
be the case everywhere...

If I were to survey the landscape of different operating environments 
running on top of full blown unix implementations, what would I find, and 
how dangerous are the potential configuration conflicts for privacy and 
anonymity ?

I'm not an ubuntu user, but I hear everything is all slick and "modern" 
over there - can I configure my network or firewall or profile settings in 
the CLI, and then break them with a mouse click in "settings" ?  What 
about folks rooting android ?

Is there a generally accepted behavior and ruleset to follow so as to 
avoid dangerous conflicts like this ?  Are people thinking about config 
conflicts as relates to privacy leaks ?  Do even the most technically 
minded of us have any real idea how many vectors for config exist in a 
modern operating environment, and have any idea how to keep them in 
balance ?  I suspect the answers are "no, no and no" but I'd love to be 
surprised...



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