On Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 10:28:24 PM UTC-4, QubesOS User wrote:
> You mentioned some good points about QubesOS. One thing I definitely dislike
> about QubesOS (and that's no offense of course - it's simply unavoidable, and
> of course that's not the developers' fault - in contrast I couldn't imagine
> how they could optimize it even more [maybe one could do so as a user by
> switching from Fedora to a distro template which needs very few ressources
> despite having to run multiple VMs]) is that it consumes a really huge amount
> of CPU and memory, even on modern hardware.
> Well, another approach for isolation (not in the way by VMs employed on any
> Linux distro, it's a totally different approach) is GNU Hurd, but it's still
> experimental and only works on QEMU as far as I know (didn't follow it for
> quite a while). However, those guys are really enthusiastic as well and maybe
> that could be another promising approach someday.
> Yes, if the NSA etc. really wouldn't be able to break into your QubesOS
> system, then they'll certainly have plenty of other means to gain access to
> your data (refer to the NSA-ANT catalogue, papers about key strokes and radio
> sginal interception etc.).
> No, I don't agree to your last paragraph. Any well-configured Linux distro
> plus a good firewall (pfsense etc.) / router (like Turris Omnia) will prevent
> any (super professional) hacker from breaking into your system, if you set up
> everything in the best possible way AND choose the right (open-source)
> Kind regards and all the best
> 16.10.2016, 03:47, "raahe...@gmail.com" <raahe...@gmail.com>:
> > On Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 9:16:52 PM UTC-4, QubesOS User wrote:
> >> 16.10.2016, 01:03, "raahe...@gmail.com" <raahe...@gmail.com>:
> >> > On Saturday, October 15, 2016 at 5:09:46 PM UTC-4, QubesOS User wrote:
> >> >> Hello everyone,
> >> >>
> >> >> I could imagine that this question has been discussed before already,
> >> and if this should be the case, then I'm very sorry for posting this (I'd
> >> be thankful for an according link if so though).
> >> >>
> >> >> I think that I've gained quite much knowledge about possible attack
> >> surfaces provided on hardware and software level during the last 15 years,
> >> trying to keep up-to-date and often doing research on new approaches in
> >> this field. First of all, I'd like to stress that the 'objection' (which I
> >> don't mean as such) I may raise by this post does not have any intention
> >> of criticizing the great work and effort done by the QubesOS developers
> >> and the community (it's not meant as an unhelpful 'critique' at all). Much
> >> rather I have a huge respect for the commitment shown by everyone involved
> >> in the development of QubesOS.
> >> >>
> >> >> Having compared various approaches in this field (e. g. OpenBSD,
> >> Linux using a hardened security kernel, GNU Hurd), I'd basically come to
> >> the conclusion that QubesOS is the most promising approach, especially if
> >> VT-d isolation is available.
> >> >>
> >> >> However, the main points I'd like to address are:
> >> >>
> >> >> 1) XEN is developed by people working for a company based in the U.S.
> >> (I know the difference between open-source and proprietary software, but
> >> still they belong to the same team/company). If even developers of
> >> TrueCrypt received one of those 'blue letters' - What is the reason to
> >> assume that the XEN developers didn't receive one of those as well? Seen
> >> from the perspective of the NSA it looks totally odd and irrational to me
> >> if they would not to so, since they can do so, and it's their task to
> >> thwart any efforts which might hinder them from collecting data. I don't
> >> regard those people as being 'evil' or anything like that (nor do I regard
> >> this as being positive, which should go without saying), I just look at
> >> things in a rational way: If QubesOS is a great approach to ensure
> >> security, then one must be naive to assume that this won't automatically
> >> lead to classifiying this as a 'high priority target' - With all the
> >> consequences.
> >> >>
> >> >> 1.2) Since this looks so obvious to me: Why isn't it a top priority
> >> for QubesOS developers to make use of a supervisor (or develop an
> >> independent one, which would surely need endless efforts, but wouldn't it
> >> be worth it?), which is not subjected to the objections I tried to express?
> >> >>
> >> >> 2) QubesOS totally relies on 2.1) trusting XEN developers to
> >> completely understand the more than just complex x64 architecture being
> >> used today and 2.2) on trusting Intel's VT technology.
> >> >> Regarding 2.2): Just assuming Intel would have received some kind of
> >> 'advice' (they may even find motivation without getting such - I certainly
> >> don't think that Intel is an 'NSA subcontractor', but they are simply a
> >> big and profit-orientated company, not an idealistic open-source community
> >> like the QubesOS developers etc.) - Then how realistic is it that an
> >> absolutely professionally designed and implemented backdoor etc. as the
> >> result of sheer endless human, technological and financial ressources gets
> >> discovered by people like the QubesOS community, no matter how
> >> enthusiastic, intelligent, cautious and sceptical those are?
> >> >>
> >> >> Referring once again to 2.1) I'd like to point to and quote from a
> >> highly interesting Qubes Security Bulletin
> >> (https://github.com/QubesOS/qubes-secpack/blob/master/QSBs/qsb-018-2015.txt):
> >> >> "2) We are not entirely convinced if the way Xen Security Team
> >> decided to address this vulnerability is really optimal, security wise. It
> >> seems like a more defensive approach would be to get rid of this
> >> >> dangerous construct of reusing the same memory for both an internal
> >> pointer and VM-provided data. Apparently Xen developers believe that they
> >> can fully understand the code, with all its execution paths, for decoding
> >> x86 operands. This optimistic attitude seems surprising, given the very
> >> bug we're discussing today."
> >> >> [One should read the whole bulletin to know the context, but I didn't
> >> want this to become too long.]
> >> >>
> >> >> One might also like to take a look at this bulletin, which gives me,
> >> among other XEN-related informations and facts, the strong impression that
> >> seeking an alternative hyperadvisor should have higest priority for the
> >> QubesOS development (believe me, I'd more than like to contribute to doing
> >> so by myself, too, and if I shold be able to aquire the necessary skills,
> >> I'll definitely try to do so):
> >> >>
> >> https://github.com/QubesOS/qubes-secpack/blob/master/QSBs/qsb-024-2016.txt
> >> >> "A more radical reader might be of the opinion that we should
> >> completely replace Xen with some other hypervisor. Such an opinion is
> >> surely not unfounded, as we have previously expressed our disappointment
> >> in the Xen security process . Sadly, not much has improved over the
> >> past several months. Moreover, even though Qubes is now based on a
> >> hypervisor-abstracting architecture ("Odyssey"), which should make
> >> switching to a different VMM a relatively easy task, the primary problem
> >> that remains is the lack of a good alternative hypervisor to which we
> >> could move ."
> >> >>
> >> >> Hopefully my post won't get misunderstood or even discourage people
> >> (if so, I'd really regret having written this) - I'm just worried
> >> regarding those points, and I believe that nothing is more dangerous than
> >> thinking one would have ensured security and therefore feeling even more
> >> motivated to rely on this (imaginary) security with all the consequences
> >> (to express this using quite harsh words: In the worst case users of
> >> QubesOS might be enticed to step into a huge honeypot, and I'd be pretty
> >> sure that - if this should be true - won't become known for many years,
> >> allowing the NSA etc. to collect petabytes of data in the meantime).
> >> >>
> >> >> Finally, I don't think (this might sound even more provocative to
> >> many people) that organisations like the NSA etc. are 'useless' or 'to be
> >> abolished by all means' - This is similar to a simple but fundamental
> >> problem like "Well, complete disarment would surely be a great thing, but
> >> we'll run into big trouble if other nations won't think so", and of course
> >> I don't feel sorry at all for any terrorist etc. who gets prevented from
> >> killing other people because of getting caught before he can do that (or
> >> for criminals being caught). But nonetheless everyone knows where mass
> >> surveilance can lead to, and I think governments should generally respect
> >> people's privacy unless they have good reasons to watch them (and this
> >> should not be determined by computer algorithms) - But that's not what I
> >> wanted to address here, and I think it also doesn't belong here at all.
> >> >>
> >> >> I'd be very curious to hear other people's opinions regarding the
> >> issues I addressed above.
> >> >>
> >> >> Kind regards and all the best to everyone
> >> >
> >> > you are going to have select someone to trust no matter what man. Imo,
> >> ITL team seems more trustworthy then most. They never trying to hustle
> >> anybody, are not very politically correct, may be boring for some but they
> >> just about the work they aint a marketing team lol. Another distro I loved
> >> is trisquel ran by a couple fsf guys I hope they stick around too. Are you
> >> going to stop the nsa? no man just don't use a computer then if its that
> >> serious... but you at least want to be able to stop random people and not
> >> install shady software. so gotta just decide who to go with.
> >> But for that purpose you most definitely don't use QubesOS, and that's
> >> quite a point. You can achieve that with any Linux distro, you just need
> >> to configure it the right way, which is pretty easy.
> >> By the way: I'd still doubt that you could stop the NSA from spying on
> >> you if they'd want to, but 1) developing an independet supervisor from the
> >> scratch, 2) finally moving away from x64 architecture (see the security
> >> bulletins) [or at least using open hardware] and 3) running QubesOS behind
> >> a router like Turris Omnia would make it quite difficult for the NSA to
> >> watch/attack you.
> >> And you might have misunderstood me: I certainly trust ITL, in fact
> >> they're one of the very few people involved in IT security I trust -
> >> Joanna Rutkowska's warnings against XEN are the best prove for this.
> >> I'd be curious how much effort and time would be needed to write a
> >> supervisor from the scratch.
> >> Kind regards and all the best
> > yes but most linux distros would consume more resources meaning you won't
> > get as many vms running for as much isolation. You won't get any isolation
> > at the hardware level for pci devices. And qubes makes it much easier to
> > recover from or mitigate damage from a compromise compared to a normal
> > linux distro, when you think how easy it is to delete and recreate and
> > appvm for example. So when you accept the fact that getting compromised
> > somewhere is probably inevitable, especially for a paranoid person, Qubes
> > is the perfect os.
> > And who is to say how sophisticated bots and low level actors are becoming,
> > so much so that Qubes might be nescessary for everyone in the future.
> > Nowadays low level actors and nsa have basically same abilities. NSA just
> > has built in shortcuts in the infrastructure itself.
well I use qubes on an old system as well. an amd phenom II x4 and 6 gb ddr3
ram. old 7200 rpm sata drive. I find what makes the biggest diff is the hdd
if using ssd. But also I can't have as many vms running at the same time as
the 16gb system and I don't get the hardware isolation, but its definitely
usable for sure. I play videos on it and everything.
I heard of it but I don't know much about GNU hurd.
Sure plus 0 days.
Well again, you can't stop 0 days or programs designed with malicious intent.
And of course I can limit myself to not being able to do what I want on a pc,
not visiting websites anymore makes me inherently more secure, but then I
wouldn't bother using a computer. This is the whole point of Qubes.
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