[qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-15 Thread Vít Šesták
Well, I am afraid this will be a bit hard:

Touchscreen. I've a laptop with touchscreen. I was a bit curious, but I don't 
feel much of need for touchscreen, it was simply not a reason to buy the 
laptop. When trying to use touchscreen with QubesOS, I've experienced several 
issues:

* The touchscreen is technically an USB device connected to the same USB 
controller as other USB devices. This implies any other USB device could spoof 
its touches. This issue is inherent to the hardware, i.e., not something 
QubesOS can resolve. Moreover, this is AFAIK a typical implementation of 
touchscreen.
* Qubes has input proxies for mouse and keyboard. You see, touchscreen is 
missing there. There are undocumented pieces of support and it should be 
reportedly easy to make it working, but it seems nobody takes it as a priority.
* Once you get touchscreen input working, it will probably work just like a 
mouse input. As far as I know, there is no support for passing touch events to 
VMs in other way than mouse movements and clicks.

Regards,
Vít Šesták 'v6ak'

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Re: [qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-10 Thread Sean Hunter
On Sat, Oct 07, 2017 at 05:01:37PM -0400, taii...@gmx.com wrote:
> https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/3anjgm/on_the_librem_laptop_purism_doesnt_believe_in/
> Purism is a scam, don't buy from them - their laptops are as owner
> controlled and freedom respecting as a dell - their version of coreboot is a
> wrapper layer with all the hardware init done by a black box binary blob so
> it is worthless.

I see that reddit post from 2 years ago referred to a lot, and I know this is 
(for some reason) a very emotional topic.  However it doesn't seem to 
correspond to what I see when I dig under the surface, which is the purism guys 
merging changes into coreboot (eg 
https://review.coreboot.org/#/q/status:mergbranch:master 
topic:purism/librem13ed+project:coreboot+purism) and what I see on my own 
laptop, which is that it is SeaBios + coreboot .  I doubt it is perfect, but it 
is way better than a Dell.

If I look at https://puri.sm/faq/do-librem-devices-support-coreboot/ it says 
that 13v2 and 15v3 (what I have) come with coreboot pre-installed and for 
earlier versions they have instructions to update to coreboot.

Sean

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Re: AW: Re: [qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-08 Thread taii...@gmx.com

On 10/08/2017 06:44 AM, One7two99 wrote:


Hello Taiidan,


There isn't any reason to buy purism's faux
libre laptops instead of say
a Lenovo G505S ...

I don't understand why this topic is often discussed to emotionally.
As far as I know the G505s is a big laptop (15inch?) which seems also located at the 
entry class (compared to the "Thinkpad class").
The performance is about the same as an ivy bridge class laptop (X230), 
the downsides being the build quality is not as good and there is no 
dock or second battery option.

Don't get me wrong I think most "older" are perfectly fine, that why I am 
suggesting looking at a x230 or similar.
A good thing with Purism Laptop line is, that it shows that there is a market for laptops 
that seem to look like they are more "free" than others - if the company fools 
people here, you are right this is bad - but this is also a chance for others to make it 
better.
More competition is always good :-)
If it was a bigger market I would agree with you, however in such a 
small market they simply suck resources from better projects.

And maybe some users just want to buy a new "shiny" machine and not a 4y old 
laptop.

Then they should buy a dell

Maybe even for the "strange" reason that it just looks more sexy or that they 
need certain interfaces, a specific display resolution ... Whatever.
Looking at my company it would not be possible to buy a used machine without 
hardware replacement as all laptop are covered with on-site service.
That's why I'm using the X230 as BYOD device.


which is actually owner controlled (open
source hw init coreboot), supports qubes
4.0 and doesn't have a black box supervisor
processor (ME/PSP)

If I understand you correctly you're saying that the blob which contains Intel 
AMT/ME is not modified in Purisms laptop line?
It is modified by me_cleaner but as I said before one can do this on 
pretty much any laptop without boot guard (or cross vendor cpu swap to 
disable BG) and save the additional thousand dollars you would have 
spent on a purism laptop over a dell (I like dell because of the 
"ProSupport" US tech support option on their business lines) - 
additionally if Intel had a backdoor in ME they would include it in FSP 
as well making purism's "coreboot" quite pointless


me cleaner only would effect generic ME exploits not the hypothetical 
intel backdoor which could easily be included in the initial modules, 
hardware mask ROM or hidden EEPROM.

As far as I know it is possible (at least for the laptop I am using an also 
others) to use ME_cleaner which will cripple the AMT Blob so that the risk that 
anything bad is running there is reduced.
Yeah I did it on my X230 and it works great, but me is simply nerfed not 
disabled - a laptop without it is much better.

Take a look at this post:
https://puri.sm/posts/neutralizing-intel-management-engine-on-librem-laptops/

"(...) Of those 23 modules, 21 modules are completely removed from the ME partition, 
and we leave only 2 modules: ROMP and BUP. The ROMP module is a “ROM bypass” module which 
is used to bypass the ROM initialization code and it’s less than 1KB of code, used to 
load the BUP module and execute it. The BUP module is a 116KB module which is used to 
initialize the ME hardware. (...)"

So this would still be a (bit more) reasonable secure laptop.
Of course, but at that point you might as well just skip the middleman 
and go buy a laptop from a chinese whitebox seller like they did - then 
run ME cleaner yourself (and donate the money you saved to the people 
who made me_cleaner)


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AW: Re: [qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-08 Thread 'One7two99' via qubes-users
Hello Taiidan,

>> There isn't any reason to buy purism's faux
>> libre laptops instead of say
>> a Lenovo G505S ...

I don't understand why this topic is often discussed to emotionally.
As far as I know the G505s is a big laptop (15inch?) which seems also located 
at the entry class (compared to the "Thinkpad class").
Don't get me wrong I think most "older" are perfectly fine, that why I am 
suggesting looking at a x230 or similar.
A good thing with Purism Laptop line is, that it shows that there is a market 
for laptops that seem to look like they are more "free" than others - if the 
company fools people here, you are right this is bad - but this is also a 
chance for others to make it better.
More competition is always good :-)

And maybe some users just want to buy a new "shiny" machine and not a 4y old 
laptop.
Maybe even for the "strange" reason that it just looks more sexy or that they 
need certain interfaces, a specific display resolution ... Whatever.
Looking at my company it would not be possible to buy a used machine without 
hardware replacement as all laptop are covered with on-site service.
That's why I'm using the X230 as BYOD device.

>> which is actually owner controlled (open
>> source hw init coreboot), supports qubes
>> 4.0 and doesn't have a black box supervisor
>> processor (ME/PSP)

If I understand you correctly you're saying that the blob which contains Intel 
AMT/ME is not modified in Purisms laptop line?
As far as I know it is possible (at least for the laptop I am using an also 
others) to use ME_cleaner which will cripple the AMT Blob so that the risk that 
anything bad is running there is reduced.

Take a look at this post:
https://puri.sm/posts/neutralizing-intel-management-engine-on-librem-laptops/

"(...) Of those 23 modules, 21 modules are completely removed from the ME 
partition, and we leave only 2 modules: ROMP and BUP. The ROMP module is a “ROM 
bypass” module which is used to bypass the ROM initialization code and it’s 
less than 1KB of code, used to load the BUP module and execute it. The BUP 
module is a 116KB module which is used to initialize the ME hardware. (...)"

So this would still be a (bit more) reasonable secure laptop.

[799]

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Re: [qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-08 Thread taii...@gmx.com

On 10/08/2017 05:24 AM, Sean Hunter wrote:


On Sat, Oct 07, 2017 at 05:01:37PM -0400, taii...@gmx.com wrote:

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/3anjgm/on_the_librem_laptop_purism_doesnt_believe_in/
Purism is a scam, don't buy from them - their laptops are as owner
controlled and freedom respecting as a dell - their version of coreboot is a
wrapper layer with all the hardware init done by a black box binary blob so
it is worthless.

I see that reddit post from 2 years ago referred to a lot, and I know this is 
(for some reason) a very emotional topic.  However it doesn't seem to 
correspond to what I see when I dig under the surface, which is the purism guys 
merging changes into coreboot (eg 
https://review.coreboot.org/#/q/status:mergbranch:master 
topic:purism/librem13ed+project:coreboot+purism) and what I see on my own 
laptop, which is that it is SeaBios + coreboot .  I doubt it is perfect, but it 
is way better than a Dell.

If I look at https://puri.sm/faq/do-librem-devices-support-coreboot/ it says 
that 13v2 and 15v3 (what I have) come with coreboot pre-installed and for 
earlier versions they have instructions to update to coreboot.

Sean
You seem to not have noticed the second half of my email, or read the 
entirety of that threads topic post.


Their "coreboot" is simply a wrapper layer that performs no hardware 
init - everything is done by Intel's FSP binary blob making it pointless 
to have as all you do is move trust from vendor (quanta) to OEM (intel) 
- the whole point of coreboot is to avoid an OEM backdoor which this 
doesn't do so you are paying twice as much as dell for no real reason 
and supporting a company that has dishonest advertising.


It is as you say "an emotional topic" because not only do they steal 
money and fame from vendors that sell real libre hardware but they also 
have shills everywhere to put down their technically superior 
competitors and put pressure on the FSF to loosen the RYF standards.


There isn't any reason to buy purism's faux libre laptops instead of say 
a Lenovo G505S, which is actually owner controlled (open source hw init 
coreboot), supports qubes 4.0 and doesn't have a black box supervisor 
processor (ME/PSP)



If google can't convince intel to open source ME and FSP then no one can.

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Re: [qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-07 Thread taii...@gmx.com

https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/3anjgm/on_the_librem_laptop_purism_doesnt_believe_in/
Purism is a scam, don't buy from them - their laptops are as owner 
controlled and freedom respecting as a dell - their version of coreboot 
is a wrapper layer with all the hardware init done by a black box binary 
blob so it is worthless.


I would buy a Lenovo G505S, it is owner controlled, supports qubes 4.0, 
supports open source init coreboot (need blob for video and power 
management, but I would consider that a better tradeoff than the x230's 
no blob open source hw init coreboot as the x230 has ME), no ME/PSP and 
16GB RAM support.


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Re: [qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-07 Thread Ron Hunter-Duvar

On 10/07/2017 01:10 PM, frassefredk...@gmail.com wrote:

Thank you for your response and for sharing your thoughts and experince from 
using Lenovo Thinkpads! I looked at the Hardware Compatibility List and looked 
at Thinkpads, most of the models did not seem to be for sale anymore.


Honestly I haven't seen any user using touchscreen with Qubes.
Just out of interest what is the use case for touch?
Regarding recommendation:
You haven't said which display size you need.
'

The use case of touch is mainly for ergonomical reasons. I read and write alot 
and it is better for my arms to scroll down the documents and highlight things 
using the touch instead of the keyboard and mouse. This is so important for me 
that I would pay more for a touchscrren even. But if I would be able to take 
notes on a Yoga from a conference, using the touch screen, then that would not 
a be a bad thing either, but I dont expect that to work well wth Qubes.

Desired size of the screen is 14-16 inches.


I Should be been more clear about my question regarding the security of the 
Lenovo and if they can be trusted. I have read articles accusing Lenovo of 
planting backdoors in its hardware. My technical skills are currently on a 
hobbyists level so I'm not always sure what to trust and not, wanted some input 
from others regarding this. But then I have also read this article (cited 
below)  that sort of says that the likelyhood of there being a backdoor planted 
by Lenovo is low. I just dont know what to believe in. Do you have any comments 
to this? :)

"Lenovo hardware is reportedly banned from the US CIA, as well as the UK's MI5 
and MI6, as well as the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) and 
Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). As of the time of writing, no evidence of any 
wrongdoing on the part of Lenovo has been presented by any of governments who have 
banned their hardware from use in intelligence services.

On devices as open as computers, and especially with Lenovo's ThinkPad product line, 
which has been long venerated for being foremost among laptops designed with 
modularity in mind—featuring detailed disassembly manuals and readily available 
replacement parts—it is difficult to imagine that many opportunities exist to hide a 
hardware backdoor in a relatively open product. Combined with the fact that the 
vital components (processor, RAM, etc.) aren't made by Lenovo, there are few 
opportunities for Lenovo to introduce a hardware-level backdoor in a way that 
wouldn't be glaringly obvious to any engineer armed with a screwdriver."
Source: 
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/it-security/corporate-espionage-or-fearmongering-the-facts-about-hardware-level-backdoors/

"...glaringly obvious to any engineer armed with a screwdriver." That's 
the most unbelievably naive view of security I can remember reading. I 
bet the author's password is "pa33w0rd", and it's secure because no one 
would guess some letters were switched with numbers.


https://thehackernews.com/2015/09/lenovo-laptop-virus.html

Note: (1) confirmed, (2) 3 times, (3) one of them was BIOS-embedded.

https://thehackernews.com/2015/08/lenovo-rootkit-malware.html

Ron

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Re: [qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-07 Thread Ron Hunter-Duvar

On 10/07/2017 09:42 AM, Frasse F wrote:

I would like some purchasing advice: I'm looking for a laptop that is 
reasonably secure and also has a built in touch screen. I would prefer if it 
had 16 GB of ram as I want to run Qubes OS and I want to sometimes be able to 
run a Windows App-VM for dictation and speech recognition which is processed 
locally (I do a lot of writing and I also care about security/privacy).

...
My second alternative is to buy a non purism laptop which has both a 
touchscreen, enough RAM and is fairly secure. So my second alternative that I'm 
considering would be the Lenovo 520 Yoga. 
https://www.dustin.se/product/5011033265/yoga-520-touch . The model is running 
the Intel® Core™ i5-7200U Processor. According to the specification page on 
Intels website, this processor does not have the vPro technology. 
https://ark.intel.com/products/95443/Intel-Core-i5-7200U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz

These are my questions

1) Is there anything except for the AMT/vPro aspect of the hardware security 
that I might have overlooked that is critical when evaluating the Lenovo Yogas 
safety?

2) Should one in general be sceptic towards Lenovo even when they are using 
hardware from other manufacturers?
Personally, I avoid Lenovo like the plague since they became 
Chinese-owned. Yes, I know pretty much all the hardware is manufactured 
in China now anyway, but having the senior company management controlled 
by the Chinese government adds a whole 'nother layer of vulnerabilities.


My suspicions were confirmed when they were caught pre-installing 
spyware on them. Of course, that was only Windows, and they were forced 
to remove it, and claimed it was only intended for Chinese customers. 
But to me it shows their intent, and there are many other ways they can 
embed spyware (BIOS/UFI, other firmware) that would affect Linux too, 
and wouldn't be so easily removed.


Call me paranoid (because I am), but that's my opinion.

I typically go with Dell, although their quality has gone down in recent 
years, and I can't comment on Qubes-specific issues, or your particular 
requirements.




3) are there a Qubes user out there who are already using a laptop with touch 
screen and enough ram, running Qubes? What laptop model are you using and would 
you recommend it?



Ron

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Re: [qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-07 Thread frassefredkrok
Thank you for your response and for sharing your thoughts and experince from 
using Lenovo Thinkpads! I looked at the Hardware Compatibility List and looked 
at Thinkpads, most of the models did not seem to be for sale anymore. 

> Honestly I haven't seen any user using touchscreen with Qubes.
> Just out of interest what is the use case for touch?
> Regarding recommendation:
> You haven't said which display size you need.
> '

The use case of touch is mainly for ergonomical reasons. I read and write alot 
and it is better for my arms to scroll down the documents and highlight things 
using the touch instead of the keyboard and mouse. This is so important for me 
that I would pay more for a touchscrren even. But if I would be able to take 
notes on a Yoga from a conference, using the touch screen, then that would not 
a be a bad thing either, but I dont expect that to work well wth Qubes. 

Desired size of the screen is 14-16 inches. 


I Should be been more clear about my question regarding the security of the 
Lenovo and if they can be trusted. I have read articles accusing Lenovo of 
planting backdoors in its hardware. My technical skills are currently on a 
hobbyists level so I'm not always sure what to trust and not, wanted some input 
from others regarding this. But then I have also read this article (cited 
below)  that sort of says that the likelyhood of there being a backdoor planted 
by Lenovo is low. I just dont know what to believe in. Do you have any comments 
to this? :) 

"Lenovo hardware is reportedly banned from the US CIA, as well as the UK's MI5 
and MI6, as well as the Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) 
and Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS). As of the time of writing, no evidence 
of any wrongdoing on the part of Lenovo has been presented by any of 
governments who have banned their hardware from use in intelligence services.

On devices as open as computers, and especially with Lenovo's ThinkPad product 
line, which has been long venerated for being foremost among laptops designed 
with modularity in mind—featuring detailed disassembly manuals and readily 
available replacement parts—it is difficult to imagine that many opportunities 
exist to hide a hardware backdoor in a relatively open product. Combined with 
the fact that the vital components (processor, RAM, etc.) aren't made by 
Lenovo, there are few opportunities for Lenovo to introduce a hardware-level 
backdoor in a way that wouldn't be glaringly obvious to any engineer armed with 
a screwdriver."  
Source: 
http://www.techrepublic.com/blog/it-security/corporate-espionage-or-fearmongering-the-facts-about-hardware-level-backdoors/

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AW: [qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-07 Thread 'One7two99' via qubes-users
Hello,

>> These are my questions

>> 1) Is there anything except for the AMT/vPro
>> aspect of the hardware security that I might
>> have overlooked that is critical when
>> evaluating the Lenovo Yogas safety?

If talking about hardware security I would suggest looking into a device which 
can run coreboot.

>> 2) Should one in general be sceptic towards
>> Lenovo even when they are using hardware
>> from other manufacturers?

The good thing with Lenovo/Thinkpad is that lots of devices have a good Linux 
support.
And you get 'older' devices which run smoothly under Qubes after adding a SSD 
and more RAM.
You can also get dockingstations very cheaply.
I'm using Thinkpads since years and would definitely recommend it.

>> 3) are there a Qubes user out there who are
>> already using a laptop with touch screen and
>> enough ram, running Qubes? What laptop
>> model are you using and would you
>> recommend it?

Honestly I haven't seen any user using touchscreen with Qubes.
Just out of interest what is the use case for touch?
Regarding recommendation:
You haven't said which display size you need.

Leaving touch functionality out, I would recommend a x230 with 16 GB RAM, LTE, 
SSD and fresh battery -> 10-11h battery runtime.

[799]

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[qubes-users] Reasonably secure laptop with touchscreen and enough ram for dictation in Windows App-VM?

2017-10-07 Thread Frasse F
I would like some purchasing advice: I'm looking for a laptop that is 
reasonably secure and also has a built in touch screen. I would prefer if it 
had 16 GB of ram as I want to run Qubes OS and I want to sometimes be able to 
run a Windows App-VM for dictation and speech recognition which is processed 
locally (I do a lot of writing and I also care about security/privacy). 

The dream would be to run one of Purisms Libre 13 and 15 laptops, however they 
do not have a touch screen. Purism are planning to release a Librem 11 laptop 
(with a touchscreen) but it will only have 8 GB of RAM and cannot be upgraded. 
I think this is not enough for my needs. 

Thats why I'm looking for an alternative laptop. I read on Purisms website that 
having a processor without AMT or in Intels case what they call "vPro" is 
important to avoid possible hardware backdoors. 
https://puri.sm/learn/avoiding-intel-amt/ 

My second alternative is to buy a non purism laptop which has both a 
touchscreen, enough RAM and is fairly secure. So my second alternative that I'm 
considering would be the Lenovo 520 Yoga. 
https://www.dustin.se/product/5011033265/yoga-520-touch . The model is running 
the Intel® Core™ i5-7200U Processor. According to the specification page on 
Intels website, this processor does not have the vPro technology. 
https://ark.intel.com/products/95443/Intel-Core-i5-7200U-Processor-3M-Cache-up-to-3_10-GHz

These are my questions

1) Is there anything except for the AMT/vPro aspect of the hardware security 
that I might have overlooked that is critical when evaluating the Lenovo Yogas 
safety? 

2) Should one in general be sceptic towards Lenovo even when they are using 
hardware from other manufacturers?

3) are there a Qubes user out there who are already using a laptop with touch 
screen and enough ram, running Qubes? What laptop model are you using and would 
you recommend it?

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