GNU bug report logs - #49029
ungoogled-chromium failed to disable malware extension The Great Suspender

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Package: guix; Reported by: "Jorge P. de Morais Neto" <jorge+list@HIDDEN>; dated Mon, 14 Jun 2021 21:30:02 UTC; Maintainer for guix is bug-guix@HIDDEN.

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Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2021 09:49:43 -0400
From: Leo Famulari <leo@HIDDEN>
To: "Jorge P. de Morais Neto via Bug reports for GNU Guix" <bug-guix@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#49029: ungoogled-chromium failed to disable malware
 extension The Great Suspender
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On Mon, Jun 14, 2021 at 06:29:03PM -0300, Jorge P. de Morais Neto via Bug reports for GNU Guix wrote:
> Hi.  I use Guix atop Debianš testing (currently bullseye).
> 
> I normally browse the web on GNU IceCat and sometimes Firefox and
> Emacs EWW.  I only use (ungoogled-)chromium for the rare websites that
> don't work on the other browsers.  Long ago I installed in Chromium the
> extension The Great Suspender, and only today (months after G$$gle
> Chrome, according to news articles) did my Chromium disable it for
> having malware.  And the only Chromium that did that for me was
> Debian's.
> 
> So, I hypothesize that the ungoogling process has disabled Chromium's
> ability to automatically disable malware extensions.  If true, that is a
> serious defect of ungoogled-chromium and Guix should make sure that
> users at least know about it.  There could be a warning in the Guix
> package description *and* on the browser's start page.

Chromium is a program that is meant to be "evergreen". Version numbers
are not highlighted to the user and the software is supposed to update
itself, quickly and often. It's like a "rolling release" just for that
program.

A variant of the package that blocks communication to Google and
requires one of us to update it is, if you trust the Chromium team,
categorically less up-to-date than a "normal Chromium" downloaded
directly from chromium.org, and thus also less "secure", as you've seen.

I don't know exactly how the "disable malware extensions" mechanism
works, but it's likely that the "ungoogling" disables the possibility
that it can happen quickly, outside of full program updates.

It's a tradeoff we (have to?) make to offer a variant of Chromium that
is judged acceptable by us under the Free System Distribution
Guidelines, which Guix follows:

https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.en.html

Personally I use the "regular" variants of browsers, that talk directly
to the "motherships" of Google and Mozilla, for that reason.

By the way, the Debian testing branch is the last to receive security
updates, and in general has no guarantee of fast security updates. If
you want to use a Debian with more up-to-date software than the stable
branch and also are concerned about your security, you might consider
using Debian sid.




Information forwarded to bug-guix@HIDDEN:
bug#49029; Package guix. Full text available.

Message received at submit <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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From: Leo Famulari <leo@HIDDEN>
To: "Jorge P. de Morais Neto via Bug reports for GNU Guix" <bug-guix@HIDDEN>
Subject: Re: bug#49029: ungoogled-chromium failed to disable malware
 extension The Great Suspender
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On Mon, Jun 14, 2021 at 06:29:03PM -0300, Jorge P. de Morais Neto via Bug reports for GNU Guix wrote:
> Hi.  I use Guix atop Debianš testing (currently bullseye).
> 
> I normally browse the web on GNU IceCat and sometimes Firefox and
> Emacs EWW.  I only use (ungoogled-)chromium for the rare websites that
> don't work on the other browsers.  Long ago I installed in Chromium the
> extension The Great Suspender, and only today (months after G$$gle
> Chrome, according to news articles) did my Chromium disable it for
> having malware.  And the only Chromium that did that for me was
> Debian's.
> 
> So, I hypothesize that the ungoogling process has disabled Chromium's
> ability to automatically disable malware extensions.  If true, that is a
> serious defect of ungoogled-chromium and Guix should make sure that
> users at least know about it.  There could be a warning in the Guix
> package description *and* on the browser's start page.

Chromium is a program that is meant to be "evergreen". Version numbers
are not highlighted to the user and the software is supposed to update
itself, quickly and often. It's like a "rolling release" just for that
program.

A variant of the package that blocks communication to Google and
requires one of us to update it is, if you trust the Chromium team,
categorically less up-to-date than a "normal Chromium" downloaded
directly from chromium.org, and thus also less "secure", as you've seen.

I don't know exactly how the "disable malware extensions" mechanism
works, but it's likely that the "ungoogling" disables the possibility
that it can happen quickly, outside of full program updates.

It's a tradeoff we (have to?) make to offer a variant of Chromium that
is judged acceptable by us under the Free System Distribution
Guidelines, which Guix follows:

https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-system-distribution-guidelines.en.html

Personally I use the "regular" variants of browsers, that talk directly
to the "motherships" of Google and Mozilla, for that reason.

By the way, the Debian testing branch is the last to receive security
updates, and in general has no guarantee of fast security updates. If
you want to use a Debian with more up-to-date software than the stable
branch and also are concerned about your security, you might consider
using Debian sid.




Information forwarded to bug-guix@HIDDEN:
bug#49029; Package guix. Full text available.

Message received at submit <at> debbugs.gnu.org:


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To: bug-guix@HIDDEN
Subject: ungoogled-chromium failed to disable malware extension The Great
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Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2021 18:29:03 -0300
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Hi.  I use Guix atop Debian=C2=B9 testing (currently bullseye).

I normally browse the web on GNU IceCat and sometimes Firefox and
Emacs EWW.  I only use (ungoogled-)chromium for the rare websites that
don't work on the other browsers.  Long ago I installed in Chromium the
extension The Great Suspender, and only today (months after G$$gle
Chrome, according to news articles) did my Chromium disable it for
having malware.  And the only Chromium that did that for me was
Debian's.

So, I hypothesize that the ungoogling process has disabled Chromium's
ability to automatically disable malware extensions.  If true, that is a
serious defect of ungoogled-chromium and Guix should make sure that
users at least know about it.  There could be a warning in the Guix
package description *and* on the browser's start page.

Thank you for your work on GNU!

Regards

=C2=B9 When I find the time I intend to migrate to PureOS for superior libre
software ethics.

--=20
- https://stallmansupport.org "In Support of Richard Stallman"
- If an email of mine arrives at your spam box, please notify me.
- Please adopt free/libre formats like PDF, ODF, Org, LaTeX, Opus, WebM and=
 7z.
- Free/libre software for Replicant, LineageOS and Android: https://f-droid=
.org
- [[https://www.gnu.org/philosophy/free-sw.html][What is free software?]]




Acknowledgement sent to "Jorge P. de Morais Neto" <jorge+list@HIDDEN>:
New bug report received and forwarded. Copy sent to bug-guix@HIDDEN. Full text available.
Report forwarded to bug-guix@HIDDEN:
bug#49029; Package guix. Full text available.
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