An easy way to create the API would be to prevent client connections to
Zeitgeist from programs not installed on a system wide basis. Any
program running from a temp file system or from the user's home
directory is likely to be customized and prompting the user for input
seems reasonable. In most other cases, we can assume that the software
is authorized - root could simply replace Zeitgeist all together - If
root is installing unsafe (spyware) software, no user prompting is going
to save them.
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Encryption of database
Status in Zeitgeist Framework:
I think that Zeitgeist should encrypt databases in
~/.local/share/zeitgeist/* for anti-forensics reasons.
While someone may happen to use an encrypted disk, Zeitgeist may serve
as the ultimate accidental spyware to an unsuspecting user. One
possible mitigation is to randomly generate a reasonable key, tie it
into the login keychain and then use that key with something like
http://sqlcipher.net/ rather than straight sqlite.
In theory, a user will never know that this encryption/decryption is
happening - no underlying assumptions about the disk need to be made
to maintain any security guarantees. This should prevent anyone from
learning the contents of the database without also learning the login
password. Modern Ubuntu machines disallow non-root ptracing (
and if the gnome keyring is locked, an attacker would have a much
harder time grabbing meaningful Zeitgeist data without interacting
with the user or bruteforcing the login keychain.
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