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Snowden and Compilers



All the 'NDA'/proprietary/confidential information that goes with chip designs
provide plenty of cover to insert backdoors. 

GCC would be a lot harder and people would be looking for it.

But your USB chip, graphics card, hard drive, or two factor authentication
token, on the other hand...

The chinese are probably even copying the subverted chip designs without
even knowing it's there.

On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 02:47:01PM -0700, Kelly John Rose wrote:
> I could see them more easily subverting chip designs themselves then trying
> to subvert the entire compiler ecosystem.
> 
> 
> On Tue, Feb 11, 2014 at 2:05 PM, CypherPunk <[email protected]> wrote:
> 
> >
> > On 02/11/2014 01:32 PM, Rich Jones wrote:
> > > In all of the Snowden docs that have been released so far, has anybody
> > > seen any mention of any NSA programs designed to subvert compilers?
> > >
> > > Compilers seems like an extremely prime target for manipulation, but as
> > > far as I am aware there hasn't been anything mentioned about this yet.
> > > Has anybody here heard anything that I haven't?
> >
> > Given that compilers are both a fairly easy to attack and amazingly
> > convenient target, it wouldn't surprise me if the NSA has subverted a
> > few specific compilers that are in common use. An attack of this nature
> > has been hypothised since the early to mid-1980's. They would have to be
> > amazingly dense not to have at least considered it.
> >
> > On the flip side, the NSA likes to do things where it has the least
> > opportunity to be caught. Compiler subversion, while not "easy" to catch
> > by any means, might offer too big a risk of being caught for them to do
> > it. Being that they have a multitude of weirdly named programs
> > specifically set up to compromise software, the evidence would lean
> > towards they haven't done it but I'm sure it was, at the very least,
> > discussed.
> >
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Kelly John Rose
> Toronto, ON
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