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Old 02-02-2012, 02:52 PM   #1
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Chatty Kathy vs Linux (p1)

Concerned about what is being sent to Amazon but not quite ready to take measures such as those in the "Big Brother" threads?
Such as:
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/sho...t=51371&nojs=1

Being a newcomer to the Amazon Kindle I wanted to do some exploring before doing any modifications to my new Keyboard+3g reader.
My new toy is nicknamed: Chatty Kathy for well known reasons.

First step was to disable her 3G connectivity to cell phone services.
The quick and easy way - unplug her 3G modem/radio (its a mini-PCIe card).
Yes, if your careful, the card can be removed without removing the antenna assemble.

Whoot! Now I have a Kindle Keyboard - Wifi only model.

The Wifi access I can control since the only access points in-range are my own.

After a few hours of packet capture from initial power-on, and a bit of study...
I decided to brute force the matter in my gateway/router using source based, policy routing rules.

Your gateway/router does run Linux, doesn't it? If not, adapt the following:

Day 2:

Based on the Day one activity, you want to give these ranges special routing treatment before Chatty Kathy can talk to them:

Code:
CIDR:           23.0.0.0/12
CIDR:           50.16.0.0/14      (the log collector)
CIDR:           72.21.192.0/19
CIDR:           107.20.0.0/14
CIDR:           184.72.0.0/15
CIDR:           204.246.160.0/19
CIDR:           205.251.192.0/18
CIDR:           207.171.160.0/19
Example:
Where 169.254.0.225/27 is the range you assigned to your wireless devices;
Then in your Linux based, gateway router, do:

Code:
$ sudo ip rule add from 169.254.0.225/27 to 23.0.0.0/12 prohibit
$ sudo ip rule add from 169.254.0.225/27 to 50.16.0.0/14 prohibit
$ sudo ip rule add from 169.254.0.225/27 to 72.21.192.0/19 prohibit
$ sudo ip rule add from 169.254.0.225/27 to 107.20.0.0/14 prohibit
$ sudo ip rule add from 169.254.0.225/27 to 184.72.0.0/15 prohibit
$ sudo ip rule add from 169.254.0.225/27 to 204.246.160.0/19 prohibit
$ sudo ip rule add from 169.254.0.225/27 to 205.251.192.0/18 prohibit
$ sudo ip rule add from 169.254.0.225/27 to 207.171.160.0/19 prohibit
Which should result in:

Code:
$ ip rule show
0:	from all lookup local 
32758:	from 169.254.0.225/27 to 205.251.192.0/18 prohibit
32759:	from 169.254.0.225/27 to 207.171.160.0/19 prohibit
32760:	from 169.254.0.225/27 to 50.16.0.0/14 prohibit
32761:	from 169.254.0.225/27 to 204.246.160.0/19 prohibit
32762:	from 169.254.0.225/27 to 184.72.0.0/15 prohibit
32763:	from 169.254.0.225/27 to 107.20.0.0/14 prohibit
32764:	from 169.254.0.225/27 to 72.21.192.0/19 prohibit
32765:	from 169.254.0.225/27 to 23.0.0.0/12 prohibit
32766:	from all lookup main 
32767:	from all lookup default
Unless you typo'd something or already have other policy rules.

The above has been tested in a controlled packet capture environment for:
Wifi-On
Wifi-Off
Wakeup-Wifi-On
Wakeup-Wifi-Off
Adding bookmarks and highlights
Doing web searchs

Chatty Kathy asks for domain addresses in those ranges for each of the above cases, but of course can't get out to them.


I will get all of the related reference materials and packet captures up on my homesite RSN, you all know how that goes.

Last edited by knc1; 02-02-2012 at 03:26 PM. Reason: typo - think I got all of them this time.
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Old 02-02-2012, 05:13 PM   #2
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Hmm... This could be almost easily written to /etc/hosts of Kindle itself.
I mean make DNS records that resolve to those IPs point to 127.0.0.1 instead.

And you could plug 3G back then

BTW, did you identify which of addresses was used by KT for what?
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Old 02-02-2012, 07:20 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAMan View Post
Hmm... This could be almost easily written to /etc/hosts of Kindle itself.
I mean make DNS records that resolve to those IPs point to 127.0.0.1 instead
You could, just depends on the impact you want to have on your system.
And what sort of maintenance you want to put up with.
Any change you make on the Kindle itself requires access (called here: Jailbreak) and may be wiped out at any time. Either by an update or remotely.

Doing it external to the Kindle keeps things under your control.
Note: (p1) means "part 1".

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAMan View Post
And you could plug 3G back then
I am not ready to take a position on that (yet).
My feeling is that GSM uses its own device addressing/naming conventions, not the Internet DNS.
That feeling is based on going over how OpenBTS works (a 'provider side' GSM system):
OpenBTS

Quote:
Originally Posted by JustAMan View Post
BTW, did you identify which of addresses was used by KT for what?
A few of them, such as the net-range to which the log files are transmitted and the net-range the twice a minute 'trace-route' function is being done.

Some will take a bit more digging. I have found my Chatty Kathy holding open, and using, two TCP/TLSv1 connections at the same time.

In my first post, I just brute forced the situation without taking the time to do something a lot more elegant.

The reference materials, raw packet captures, and decoded packet capture summaries will be publicly available on my home web-site, KnetConnect.com someday, RSN.

Readers will be able to invent a solution that suits them based on the raw data.
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Old 02-03-2012, 05:22 PM   #4
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Update - Yes Chatty Kathy tries IPv6 also

My first post only covered IPv4 because that is all I have seen.

But I just today recorded Chatty Kathy querying the name servers at ultraDNS for IPv6 address(es).

In my case, it didn't do her any good, I don't have public IPv6 enabled while testing.

But those readers who do have IPv6 enabled...
You will probably want to block her use of IPv6 in addition to the IPv4 rules above.
Just limit her to 20th Century networking and then the IPv4 rules above should be enough.

Last edited by knc1; 02-08-2012 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:03 PM   #5
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Sorry, I may be ignorant, but what's the problem of amazon's device trying to connect to amazon? I mean, how else are you going to get auto-book downloads, page syncing, kindle store, etc. If you don't want that, just turn off wireless.
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Old 02-03-2012, 07:29 PM   #6
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Quote:
A few of them, such as the net-range to which the log files are transmitted
I'd be curious to see if you've actually caught Kathy transmitting her log-file to an Amazon server. Packets with actual bits of log-file stuck to 'em, I mean. I believe you'd be the first to do so, if so.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 02-03-2012 at 07:31 PM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 12:32 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yifanlu View Post
Sorry, I may be ignorant, but what's the problem of amazon's device trying to connect to amazon?
Some of us want to control our environment because we've observed that the companies we do business with don't always have our best interest at heart.

Also, any information or control that any company has is available for an overreaching government to grab. And we KNOW the government doesn't have our best interest at heart.
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:47 PM   #8
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Sorry, I may be ignorant, but what's the problem of amazon's device trying to connect to amazon? I mean, how else are you going to get auto-book downloads, page syncing, kindle store, etc. If you don't want that, just turn off wireless.
The Kindle+3G device that I have is no longer "amazon's device" - it belongs to me now, I paid for it.

If you just want to read books, start with this one:
George Orwell, 1984

Beyond that, I will only say I believe it should be the owner's choice of if/when/what activity of theirs gets reported to someone else.
My own personal opinion and may not be shared by every reader here.

Last edited by knc1; 02-04-2012 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Wrong quote
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Old 02-04-2012, 02:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DiapDealer View Post
I'd be curious to see if you've actually caught Kathy transmitting her log-file to an Amazon server. Packets with actual bits of log-file stuck to 'em, I mean. I believe you'd be the first to do so, if so.
That will happen, I just fat fingered the saving of that packet capture when I saw that transmission. In fact, I was entering my original post when Chatty Kathy decided to make that call home.

Some of the things Chatty Kathy talks about use a secure (TLSv1) transport link. Those exchanges will take a bit more work.

Last edited by knc1; 02-08-2012 at 12:33 PM.
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Old 02-04-2012, 03:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by knc1 View Post
My first post only covered IPv4 because that is all I have seen.

But I just today recorded Chatty Kathy querying the name servers at dynDNS for an IPv6 equivalent of my IPv4 address.

In my case, it didn't do her any good, I don't have public IPv6 enabled while testing.

But those readers who do have IPv6 enabled...
You will probably want to block her use of IPv6 in addition to the IPv4 rules above.
Just limit her to 20th Century networking and then the IPv4 rules above should be enough.
When you press the "update kindle" selection in the settings menu, it makes Chatty Kathy very, very nervous.

The summary info of her attempts to tell someone about your just having done an update:

At start of the update:
Code:
Standard query A dogvgb9ujhybx.cloudfront.net
Standard query response CNAME dogvgb9ujhybx.lax3.cloudfront.net 
 A 205.251.203.152 A 205.251.203.189 A 205.251.203.206 A 205.251.203.235 
 A 205.251.203.248 A 205.251.203.14 A 205.251.203.114 A 205.251.203.123
Standard query A dogvgb9ujhybx.lax3.cloudfront.net
Standard query response 
 A 205.251.203.208 A 205.251.203.221 A 205.251.203.250 A 205.251.203.9 
 A 205.251.203.10 A 205.251.203.52 A 205.251.203.163 A 205.251.203.190
Standard query A dns.kindle.com
Standard query response A 207.171.179.1 A 207.171.170.1
Standard query A pins.amazon.com
Standard query A pdns1.ultradns.net
Standard query AAAA pdns1.ultradns.net
Standard query A pdns2.ultradns.net
Standard query AAAA pdns2.ultradns.net
Standard query A pdns3.ultradns.org
Standard query AAAA pdns3.ultradns.org
Standard query A pdns4.ultradns.org
Standard query AAAA pdns4.ultradns.org
Standard query A pdns5.ultradns.info
Standard query AAAA pdns5.ultradns.info
Standard query A pdns6.ultradns.co.uk
Standard query AAAA pdns6.ultradns.co.uk
Standard query response A 204.74.108.1
Standard query response AAAA 2001:502:f3ff::1
Standard query response A 204.74.109.1
Standard query response A 199.7.68.1
Standard query response
Standard query response A 199.7.69.1
Standard query response AAAA 2001:502:4612::1
Standard query response A 204.74.114.1
Standard query response
Standard query response A 204.74.115.1
Standard query response
Standard query response
Standard query response A 107.22.160.18
Standard query A firs-ta-g7g.amazon.com
Standard query response A 72.21.203.200
System going down for the restart:
Code:
Standard query A dogvgb9ujhybx.cloudfront.net
Standard query response 
 A 205.251.203.208 A 205.251.203.9 A 205.251.203.10 A 205.251.203.108 
 A 205.251.203.135 A 205.251.203.159 A 205.251.203.167 A 205.251.203.190
Standard query A pins.amazon.com
Standard query response A 107.22.160.70
Standard query A firs-ta-g7g.amazon.com
Standard query response A 72.21.203.200
System restart completed:
Code:
Standard query A dogvgb9ujhybx.cloudfront.net
Standard query response 
 A 205.251.203.175 A 205.251.203.182 A 205.251.203.53 A 205.251.203.104 
 A 205.251.203.111 A 205.251.203.128 A 205.251.203.147 A 205.251.203.174
Just for those folk who might believe they are updating their machine in the privacy of their own home.
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Old 02-05-2012, 04:57 AM   #11
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Hmm, mine KT (non-3G) has almost always WiFi off So no problem here, right?
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:15 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by JustAMan View Post
Hmm, mine KT (non-3G) has almost always WiFi off So no problem here, right?
From a technical stand point, you are not saved from making a decision about what to share with Amazon by turning off the Wifi.
Much of this information could (can not yet say if it is) be saved and sent in a batch the next time the machine connects.

The information gathering system would almost have to be designed that way, since Wifi connections are not always available where the machine is being used.

In this first part, I am only doing 'discovery' of what/where the machine is trying to connect to.
In the next part, I will try to learn just what it is trying to share with Amazon.
The point I had in starting this thread was to have 'Informed Users' that could make their own decisions on what to share, once it becomes an owner's choice.

The 'Free Wifi' and the 'Free (portion of) 3G' are not being provided by Amazon without the expectations of something being received in return.


Amazon does fully disclose that the machine is designed to be "Always Connected".
They do include features that make use of that connectivity for the user and describe how having those features are a benefit to the user (mostly Amazon Cloud based things).

They forgot to mention in bold print the advantages to Amazon.

The best description I can give is by analogy.
In the USA, the largest, oldest, consumer research organization was originated to study the (new at the time) users of Television.
They are still in that business, along with others, and make no secret of what they do:
Nielsen Ratings
These ratings and the consumer research these people provide to the television industry are a major factor in the decisions made by the producers and marketers of those viewing products.

Now consider that you are a publisher / distributor / seller of books.
Wouldn't your department of Corporate Strategic Planning just love to have the sort of consumer studies and research that the television industry has?

So why not just put a 'consumer interest' data gathering device into every consumer's hands? Report their reading habits, down to the detail of bookmarks and highlighted quotations?

Where is the difference between Nielsen and Amazon?

With Nielsen, the viewers who report know they are reporting their viewing habits.
With Amazon, the readers do not know they are reporting their reading habits.

With Nielsen, the company provides an electronic reporting device for the purpose.
With Amazon, the company provides an electronic reporting device for the purpose.
With the Nielsen device, the viewers know they have it. With Amazon...
Oh, gee, we forgot to mention that.

With Nielsen, the viewers have a choice of what and when they report on their viewing.
With Amazon, the readers do not have a choice. They don't even know they are reporting.

If the reader of this is a believer in: "Ignorance is Strength" (George Orwell, 1984, page 2) then they will have no complaint about this situation.

Other readers might want an 'Advanced Settings' panel on their Kindle where they can choose what sort of information about their reading habits they share with Amazon.

Such as:
Share my titles:
Share my bookmarks:
Share my quotations:
Share my reading time per title:
Share my ....

And whatever other things that are being reported for which the machine's owner might have an opinion about sharing with the customer research database in the Amazon Cloud.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:18 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by knc1 View Post
That will happen, I just wasn't recording the payload's when I identified that transmission.
Your evidence of this? Nobody has EVER found a Kindle transmitting that log file.

Why buy a Kindle if you're this paranoid about what it sends to Amazon?
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:31 AM   #14
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Your evidence of this? Nobody has EVER found a Kindle transmitting that log file.

Why buy a Kindle if you're this paranoid about what it sends to Amazon?
You are assuming too much about my motives in starting this thread.
I am only posting the information for an owner to use in arriving at their own decision.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by knc1
You are assuming too much about my motives in starting this thread.
I am only posting the information for an owner to use in arriving at their own decision.
Except that you said:
Quote:
A few of them, such as the net-range to which the log files are transmitted ...
If you haven't recorded the payloads, why have you made the assertion that that particular net-range is responsible for receiving Kindle log-files? Shouldn't you wait until the evidence is in to make that claim if you're just doing unbiased research?

Quote:
Originally Posted by knc1
That will happen, I just wasn't recording the payload's when I identified that transmission.

Some of the things Chatty Kathy talks about use a secure (TLSv1) transport link. Those exchanges will take a bit more work.
Regardless of the encryption, you should be able to monitor the volume of the data that's originating from the Kindle. Most people—who've attempted this before—never detected anything big enough to represent anything more than normal keep-alive pings (originating from the Kindle). Certainly nothing that would represent the size of the log file that the Kindle collects and maintains.

The fact that they have the ability to collect that log-file doesn't really interest me at all... but I'd definitely be curious to know if you find evidence contrary to the previous packet-sniffing experiments (that say nothing big enough to represent a log file is being sent)—but only if that evidence doesn't contain any supposition.

Last edited by DiapDealer; 02-05-2012 at 09:41 AM.
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