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Thread: concerned about keyloggers and user account security

  1. #41
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    Re: concerned about keyloggers and user account security

    Note: I am not against these academic discussions, I feel they are very valuable, but they could simply cloud the issues in what is primarily a Support section of the Ubuntu Forums.
    The outcome of security discussions are often open-ended.
    Imho security discussions are meaningful of they start with a beginning a discussion part, and a rational outcome, or conclusion.
    Thats the support part of an important subforum imho. I recently discoverd the discussion part of this subforum.
    Why discuss security related things without the prospect of*a*conclusion? (endless debats) I find the content very frequently confusing. Security related matters needs support, keep each other informed.
    Security related questions do need clarity, security related questions are not as ambiguous as they sometimes seems.
    Last edited by Soul-Sing; May 30th, 2011 at 12:14 PM.

  2. #42
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    Re: concerned about keyloggers and user account security

    Discussing a vulnerability is acceptable, writing proof of concept code is not.

    I agree it is a fine line, but the conversation in this thread turned from discussing theoretical issues to lets write the code.

    It is the process of writing potentially malicious code the we do not allow.

    Much of the discussion in this thread is highly theoretical and most of the discussion is the consequence of having your machine cracked.

    If an intruder has access to your box, including physical, shell, or graphical (X) access your are in trouble and honestly there is not much you can do.

    With that said, Linux (Unix) has a long history of being multi-user and there are in fact security mechanisms in place, as I demonstrated earlier.

    If you wish, you can harden your installation by using apparmor or selinux.

    So yes on these forums we support learning apparmor, but not posting / writing malicious code.
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

    #ubuntuforums web interface

  3. #43
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    Re: concerned about keyloggers and user account security

    Quote Originally Posted by gpost3 View Post
    I have created a section for this in launchpad . . .
    Could you give a link to it? I imagine it's still private, but I think the Ubuntu Security team try to look at security bugs within 24 hours.

  4. #44
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    Re: concerned about keyloggers and user account security

    Ok, fair enough and thank you all for the useful discussion.

    To provide a short summary of the outcome of this thread:

    1. XWindows does not implement isolation between applications using the same X session and therefore an application with access to the session can monitor keystrokes of any other application using the same X session (regardless of user running the application, as long as access to the X session is given)
    2. This is only a concern if any XWindows software you run is compromised or malicious to begin with. If the software you run is not vulnerable and not malicious this cannot be exploited since it needs "a way in".
    3. AppArmor can reduce the impact by making it more difficult to install the keylogger permanently, however it cannot prevent an application from receiving keystrokes, to the best of my knowledge (so the vulnerable/malicious application could still act as a keylogger itself and if it is allowed access to the internet it can report the keystrokes somewhere).
    4. SELinux appears to address the issue, however the XSElinux extensions are not loaded by default even if you run SELinux and it unclear whether they are production quality and whether they interfere with regular applications or not. Note: simply installing the SELinux packages does not change anything.
    5. Ideally, as was already mentioned, the problem should be fixed in XWindows rather than trying to rely on AppArmor or SELinux.

    I think this is about it. If there is anything factually incorrect there please let me know and I will edit it.
    Last edited by secret resistor; May 30th, 2011 at 07:30 PM. Reason: typo

  5. #45
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    Re: Flashing your system

    Quote Originally Posted by Lars Noodén View Post
    Less than that is needed. Every flash video is basically a potential trojan wrapped around an otherwise harmless video codec. Similar for the flash animation. Videos could more safely and more portably be distributed as a bare bones MPEG, Quicktime, WebM or Theora and skip the flash menace.
    I'm interested in the subject and I wonder whether you could
    elaborate a little on this. Would flash-scripts for instance install
    themselves to the HDD, or are their action only restricted to the
    moment? Do you have any resources about this that you
    would recommend?

  6. #46
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    Re: concerned about keyloggers and user account security


  7. #47
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    Re: concerned about keyloggers and user account security

    oh and this thread should be "closed down". Bodhi is correct on all accounts. The ideas here are merely theoretical and actually have no practical implications. Go nuts at it, use ubuntu. It's safe!
    Last edited by gpost3; June 6th, 2011 at 11:58 AM.

  8. #48
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    Re: concerned about keyloggers and user account security

    Quote Originally Posted by gpost3 View Post
    oh and this thread should be "closed down". Bodhi is correct on all accounts. The ideas here are merely theoretical and actually have no practical implications. Go nuts at it, use ubuntu. It's safe!
    I'm not sure it is so theoretical, my wife's Ubuntu-lucid box just got "keystroke grabbed" while using Firefox and hotmail -- the user interface was frozen keyboard-wise and we got a pop-up watrning that it was being grabbed. So, being pretty wet behind the ears (!), I do need to be told how to prevent this in future.

    [1] I have installed the clamav pkg, will this help?
    [2] Should I get the thing called apparmor?
    [3] Should I put a separate "admin" A/C on the box, and deny her some capabilities?
    [4] Is "SELinux" something I can put on Ubuntu?

    Explicit answers to any/all of the above will surely be gratefully appreciated.
    --Grahame

  9. #49
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    Re: concerned about keyloggers and user account security

    Quote Originally Posted by softappstudio View Post
    I'm not sure it is so theoretical, my wife's Ubuntu-lucid box just got "keystroke grabbed" while using Firefox and hotmail -- the user interface was frozen keyboard-wise and we got a pop-up watrning that it was being grabbed. So, being pretty wet behind the ears (!), I do need to be told how to prevent this in future.

    [1] I have installed the clamav pkg, will this help?
    [2] Should I get the thing called apparmor?
    [3] Should I put a separate "admin" A/C on the box, and deny her some capabilities?
    [4] Is "SELinux" something I can put on Ubuntu?

    Explicit answers to any/all of the above will surely be gratefully appreciated.
    --Grahame
    You should start your own thread with this question. Sounds more like the desktop sharing feature then a key logger, but hard to be sure without additional details.
    There are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth...not going all the way, and not starting.
    --Prince Gautama Siddharta

    #ubuntuforums web interface

  10. #50
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    Re: concerned about keyloggers and user account security

    Quote Originally Posted by bodhi.zazen View Post
    You should start your own thread with this question. Sounds more like the desktop sharing feature then a key logger, but hard to be sure without additional details.
    Thanks for the reply bodi. Yes I can start a new thread, but to help others I would be grateful if you could advise me what "additional details" would be important, and where they are/ how to get them.
    --Grahame

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