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I think its been exacerbated significantly by the reporting elsewhere: https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2019/08/skype...

Notably, according to that Ars Technica coverage:

> attackers could backdoor applications and then redistribute them, and the modified applications would be unlikely to trigger warnings—since their digital signature is not modified

That isn't in a claim in the original post, and doesn't seem to be true afaict: every distribution mechanism I can think of signs the entire distributable, so you really can't just modify the ASAR without breaking the signature. Windows & macOS both require you to only install from signed application bundles/installers (or at least they make it very difficult for you to use unsigned software). On Linux you could get caught out, but only if you download and install software with no signing/verification whatsoever, and that's a whole other can of worms.

If that claim were true this would be a bigger concern, but given that it's not I'm inclined to agree this is basically nonsense.




every distribution mechanism I can think of signs the entire distributable, so you really can't just modify the ASAR without breaking the signature. Windows & macOS both require you to only install from signed application bundles/installers (or at least they make it very difficult for you to use unsigned software)

Only drivers have to be signed on Windows, and even then not all kinds until Windows 8. Also many apps, including Visual Studio Code, are available in 'run from USB' form, so there's no installer, just an archive you unpack and run. Those archives can be modified and redistributed without invalidating any of the PE signatures within, but since nobody pays attention to these signatures anyway and Windows doesn't enforce them, yeah, this is typical Black Hat-week PR nonsense.


> Only drivers have to be signed on Windows

This is half-true.

Windows and macOS both make it difficult to install self-signed (or unsigned) software. For example, I made http://www.lofi.rocks (an open source Electron-based music player) and I'm not going to spend like a few hundred bucks a year to have a non-self-signed cert. This makes both macOS and Windows complain when users install the app. More draconian practices (that "protect users from themselves") will make it even harder for independent open source devs like me to share cool projects with a wide audience.


https://www.certum.eu/en/cert_offer_en_open_source_cs/ free - although you have to submit a worrying amount of personal identification.


Only drivers have to be signed on Windows This is half-true.

Windows and macOS both make it difficult to install self-signed (or unsigned) software. For example, I made http://www.lofi.rocks (an open source Electron-based music player) and I'm not going to spend like a few hundred bucks a year to have a non-self-signed cert. This makes both macOS and Windows complain when users install the app. More draconian practices (that "protect users from themselves") will make it even harder for independent open source devs like me to share cool projects with a wide audience.




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