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[liberationtech] An Arabic Linux distro that corrects "multiple Tor bugs"

KheOps kheops at
Thu Apr 19 14:38:51 PDT 2012

Hi again,

On 04/19/2012 04:35 PM, Jacob Appelbaum wrote:
> On 04/19/2012 03:36 AM, KheOps wrote:
> What changes have been made? What "bugs" fixed? How do we know that this
> isn't a crazy plot by the Syrians?

That was exactly my question, as nobody have reviewed it yet. If I had
to guess, I would not say they changed the source code but rather
included some relevant configuration options to the Tor version packaged
in the distro. I'm saying this because the description on the page
states that the "bug fixes" are peculiar to Syria.

> I mean, I have to say, I want to encourage people to build new stuff if
> they have a clue - there is something about Syria making their own
> malware that scares the heck out of me. If you were them, would you
> certainly make a distro? I'd guess, yes?

Well, as far as I know, the Syrian regime (or pro-regime "hackers") used
some already existing malwares (mostly Darkcomet RAT, made by a French
guy) and tried to find inventive ways to spread it: fake Youtube page
with fake Flash upgrade, Skype account stealing by torture and then
spreading to the person's Skype contacts, etc.

Now, yes, making a Linux distro is something the Mukhabarat can do as
well. In this particular case, it seems however that it is something
that is being put to everyone's view, in relation with the "Cyber Arabs"
group, itself being in relation with IWPR organization. As Susanne
Fischer said earlier on, it seems quite official and pretty clear.

Nevertheless, I am going to get in touch with Vitrus' developer in order
to get some more details about his bugfixes.

> All the best,
> Jacob


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