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[liberationtech] "uVirtus Linux, encrypted OS for Syria": a security review

KheOps kheops at ceops.eu
Thu Feb 6 14:18:07 PST 2014


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Dear all,

The uVirtus live distribution was publicized back in September as a
secure live OS specifically designed for Syrians. It stems from the idea
of having a one-click easy to use VPN client that uses OpenVPN over
Obfsproxy.

After testing it and discovering a few issues, I spent some more time in
order to dig a bit more into its security.

I noticed numerous worrying security issues, and in overall it does not
appear to me as really responsible to recommend it instead of, say,
Tails. Issues include for instance holes that may help an attacker
compromise the user's machine by gaining root access and weak protection
against data leaking in cleartext out of the VPN.

I published a report that lists all the issues I could find and tried to
assess their seriousness. I hope it is detailed and precise enough.

It is available here in English:
https://press.telecomix.ceops.eu/en/posts/Review_of_security_issues_in_uVirtus_2.0/

And in Arabic (sorry for the long link):
https://press.telecomix.ceops.eu/ar/posts/%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%A7%D8%AC%D8%B9%D8%A9_%D9%84%D9%82%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%8A%D8%A7_%D9%86%D8%B8%D8%A7%D9%85_uvirtus_2.0_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%85%D9%86%D9%8A%D8%A9/

We should thank Ameer, a Telecomix friend who spent a lot of time on
translating it, but also giving me hints and correcting some English
mistakes.

We hope this helps to better assess uVirtus security and maybe feed the
thinking for possible future versions.

Sorry for the TLS certificate warning you will probably get in your
browser, it is signed with the CA you'll find there:
https://github.com/TelecomixSyria/TheSouq/tree/master/resources/ssl-ca/2012-2014

and its SHA1 fingerprint is
C2:00:C7:9B:2C:9F:88:31:8B:A9:9E:B4:37:27:4E:93:75:8A:A7:6B.

With datalove!
KheOps
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