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Date: Sat, 21 Mar 2015 23:01:31 -0400
From: Daniel Micay <>
Subject: Re: CVE for Kali Linux

On 21/03/15 09:59 PM, Kurt Seifried wrote:
> From RISKS, looks like it needs a CVE
> Date: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 07:37:50 -0700
> From: Henry Baker <>
> Subject: Kali Linux security is a joke!
> FYI -- Your best chance to hack the hackers...
>   "Downloading Kali Linux"
>   "Alert!  Always make certain you are downloading Kali Linux from official
>   sources, as well as verifying md5sums against official values.  It would
>   be easy for a malicious entity to modify a Kali install to contain
>   malicious code, and host it unofficially."
> ---
> No kidding!
> So how come whenever you do apt-get install in Kali Linux, it accesses
> and ??
> Hasn't Kali heard about MITM attacks against http ??

Using HTTPS for package downloads would only make it harder to figure
out which packages are installed on the system. A dedicated attacker
could figure this out based on side channels over time and I'm not at
all convinced that it's valuable information anyway. There are usually
other ways of distinguishing between different client/server software
and it's not like attacking Thunderbird with a mutt imap exploit is
going to trigger any kind of alert...

Community distributions like Debian and Arch rely heavily on completely
untrusted third party mirrors. That's probably even true of many with
commercial support. At some point, someone in the computer science club
at $UNIVERSITY sets up a cron job on a machine that many people probably
have access to anyway. The people who set up most of the mirrors
probably don't even have access to them anymore. Is there really trust
between the client and mirror that's worth securing?

> What's the point of verifying md5 sums against "official values", if Kali
> can't even get the "official values" securely ??

Obtaining the initial ISO is a different issue from the package security
model. They seem to use SHA1 anyway. Perhaps they used MD5 some time ago
and the summary on the main page was never updated.

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