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

Sahar Massachi Sahar at brandeis.edu
Thu Feb 6 16:37:47 PST 2014


The fact that there's a "naked sudo" hole is brutal.

Forgive me if I misunderstand the problem, but how could *anyone* ship a
distribution with a passwordless sudo? That seems like it requires
deliberate malice to even set up.


On Thu, Feb 6, 2014 at 2:18 PM, KheOps <kheops at ceops.eu> wrote:

> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
> 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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-- 
Sahar Massachi

c: (585) 313-6649
t: twitter.com/sayhar
w: saharmassachi.com
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