Does the 'undetectable' backdoor exist?


Haydon

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Can you be infected with a backdoor that only spies on you and hence is very difficult to detect?
 

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barman58

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The main question to answer here is how likely is some criminal (or other neerdowell), likely to spend the time to target you. These days unless you are a government, Financial institution, or major business, you are more at risk from something that you do. The point of serious attacks is to steal money, either directly or indirectly, (steal data or other information that is worth money to someone that will pay to keep it quiet or returned)

The private individual is unlikely to have access to anything that would make it worth the effort and time it would take to set-up such an attack.

They may try to gain a dollar or two from several million users by a scam, but the whole technique used for this is open to the target who is fooled into willingly give money or information that is worth money
 

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wimorrison

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In the computing world, nothing is absolutely impenetrable, and it is a case of weighing the cost and risk of infiltration against the cost of preventing the infiltration. If the cost or risk is high enough to overcome the cost of prevention, then clearly you would mitigate the potential by implementing the preventative measures.

Unfortunately, many companies (and individuals) consider that this is a one time exercise which it is not, it is an ongoing exercise that needs to be undertaken constantly because every time you close a door to the infiltrator they will look for an alternative door that you haven't locked which means you then need to repeat the exercise - at best you will be one step behind the infiltrators, and highly unlikely to ever be ahread of them - but you can make it difficult.

As to the original question, absolutely, it has been done many times in the past and will be done again in the future - connecting anything to anything always introduces a risk, you need to evaluate that risk and make a decision based upon the value and costs - or disconnect completely from the internet, and never reconnect :wink:
 

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Haydon

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Yeah, my neck hairs were standing up a few years ago, when an Outlook vulnerability could get you infected (although not a backdoor) just by having a mal-email appear in the preview pane, no mouse clicks required :(

On persistence, my neighbors are listening to my (password protected) WiFi day and night. I could stop broadcasting the SSID, but a cheap directional antenna could easily pinpoint me. I don't want my neighbors to know if I watch naughty pictures on the net :(

I wonder about actual ways of installing a spying backdoor, though, especially those that can be installed without physical access.
 

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wimorrison

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....

I wonder about actual ways of installing a spying backdoor, though, especially those that can be installed without physical access.

Start searching the web for ways to do it and watch yourself popup on all sorts of radars :)
 

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Haydon

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Ha ha, I let the experts here do that with Tor over VPN, LOL

Edit: Actually, experts don't have to do that, they already know about the issue from the white hat side of things.
 
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NavyLCDR

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Can you be infected with a backdoor that only spies on you and hence is very difficult to detect?
Some people believe that Microsoft does it routinely. (not I)
 

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barman58

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Digital security is no different to any other form of security, you need to secure your system to whatever level means that the perpetrator of the attack will give up and move on to the target next door - the same as the householder or car owner who adds obvious external signs of security to their property is likely to drive the potential thief to the next House or Vehicle along ... ...

I recall an incident back in the last century - a department in the company I worked at had an attack so the company brought in specialists and spent a lot of money to secure the systems - A few days later an intern (as a proof of concept) spent 30 seconds or so with the malicious code, changed a couple of characters and sent the new code straight through the new defenses (to post a cheeky good morning to the management ), A simple case to show you need to keep the protection fluid - The gentleman responsible for the incident here was not punished at all, ( though the fact he was the son of one of the directors had a part in this :wink: )
 

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flashh4

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A few people who's computer i have cleaned we found that they had become infected by merely running the mouse over the link to the web site which downloaded the virus into their browser, i'm sure Brink has ran across this a time or two in his working of Malware Removal also, he was one of the best around ! If these people would use their skills to design Malware protection we would be a lot better off ! I have no doubt what you say is true barman58.
Chuck
 

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I don't think it is a thing for home usere to worry about, backdoor takes a long time to access someone's system so the baddies will aim for big companies
 

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Only way to stay 100% safe on the internet....



Nice Drinks.png
 

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DigitalGoat

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This subject is compounded by the fact that there are both soft and hard backdoors in existence, example of soft backdoor, a recent report of a popular NAS supplier forcing an update onto their users devices, an example of a hard backdoor, Intel's management engine, a chip on the motherboard.
Both are non hidden backdoors for legitimate purposes, but are backdoors none the less.
Do you know each and every chip and it's function on the motherboard for a PC/ laptop, or each and every chip and it's function on a phone's circuit board?
I remember a story some years back about a chip found to be installed on popular motherboards by Chinese manufacturers rumoured to phone home when an internet connection was present.
Can't remember the exact details or what the outcome was, but it is entirely possible for any hardware manufacturer to install a chip for 'purposes' and to hide/ mask it's presence.
 

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Haydon

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This subject is compounded by the fact that there are both soft and hard backdoors in existence, example of soft backdoor, a recent report of a popular NAS supplier forcing an update onto their users devices, an example of a hard backdoor, Intel's management engine, a chip on the motherboard.
Both are non hidden backdoors for legitimate purposes, but are backdoors none the less.
Do you know each and every chip and it's function on the motherboard for a PC/ laptop, or each and every chip and it's function on a phone's circuit board?
I remember a story some years back about a chip found to be installed on popular motherboards by Chinese manufacturers rumoured to phone home when an internet connection was present.
Can't remember the exact details or what the outcome was, but it is entirely possible for any hardware manufacturer to install a chip for 'purposes' and to hide/ mask it's presence.

I would presume that a Government agency would procure 'clean' computers without backdoors. I wonder if a private citizen like me could get such a 'clean' computer.
 

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The-Hive

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I would just get good AV and not worry
 

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TheMystic

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Can you be infected with a backdoor that only spies on you and hence is very difficult to detect?
Can I be infected: Theoretically yes, Practically No. :)
 

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Haydon

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I would just get good AV and not worry
My grandfather told me to get the good things in life before it is too late (y)

Edit: Joking aside, I have covered the basics, and frankly, possibly better than most of you folks, since I became paranoid in this regard when Adobe got hacked big time. I am exploring not so basic stuff with threads like this one (y)
 
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The-Hive

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@Haydon I guess if you have been caught, it can affect you but you have to get it into perspective. I have good backups, and good AV, never had a problem except once and that was my own fault! When searching I saw a dodgy link above the good link I wanted in the list, clicked on it by mistake...
 

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Haydon

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Well, it was not me who was caught, it was Adobe who was caught, but my account along with millions others were exposed. I did not notice any ill effects but it made and still makes me do more precautions than others, even on this computer forum.

I noticed from comments on another thread, though, that there are people with expertise in security, so I created this thread to draw them out, for everyone's benefit.

Back to regular programming, the last issue is this:

"I would presume that a Government agency would procure 'clean' computers without backdoors. I wonder if a private citizen like me could get such a 'clean' computer."
 
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TheMystic

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I wonder if a private citizen like me could get such a 'clean' computer.
Unpossible.

Spyware today is embedded at the hardware level, at the core of the computer (processor) and can therefore never be gotten rid of.
 

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Haydon

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Well, I hope you are not saying that all of our computers are bugged for all eternity :scream:
 

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