Encrypted files found

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neolithic
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Encrypted files found

Post by neolithic » Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:59 pm

Hi everyone,

I recently ran a virus scanner, which I don't normally do but wanted to scan a file I just downloaded. I accidentally scanned the whole drive and the scanner couldn't scan some firmware files because they are encrypted. I have never encrypted anything on my system so I'm wondering if this is normal for a new install of Mint 19 Cinnamon to have encrypted files.

Also, just to check, I tried to open one of the files using my system password and it wouldn't open.

Thanks in advance for any possible clues to whether this is normal or if I should be suspicious of these files.
ex:
Unscannable] <File is encrypted> /lib/firmware/vxge/X3fw-pxe.ncf->T1:X3_101115_1_8_1_expROM_FW_uni_template_rmt_cmd_line.txt
[Unscannable] <File is encrypted> /lib/firmware/vxge/X3fw-pxe.ncf->T1:X3_101115_1_8_1_expROM_FW_uni_template_flash0.bin

rene
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Re: Encrypted files found

Post by rene » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:24 pm

neolithic wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:59 pm
I recently ran a virus scanner
You shouldn't. The anti-virus industry is an industry; errs on the side of scaring you so as to keep you interested in their product.

/lib/firmware/vxge/X3fw{,-pxe}.ncf are simply password protected zip's. Note that most any file under /lib/firmware is some nondescript binary blob: that these two particular blobs being in a format your virus scanner recognizes but can't open, password protected zip's, doesn't mean that all the other blobs the scanner didn't recognize in the first place hence never even attempted to open at that archive level are any less "encrypted" -- or more for that matter.

Firmware files are files that are uploaded to the hardware by the driver, with here said hardware being an "Exar Corp's X3100 Series 10GbE PCIe I/O Virtualized Server Adapter". It is the existing firmware on that adapter that would have the password to decrypt the zip upon upload. Exar, like the vast majority of or perhaps even all companies supplying firmware for use by Linux, apparently felt they needed to protect their firmware from prying eyes; trade secrets and all that. The only difference is that they used a file format which your scanner recognized and then got to complain about.

Firmware, as described, runs on the adapter and not the host. Seeing as how it's very unlikely you in fact have one of those Exar X3100's it in your case moreover does not run anywhere; just sits around a corner of your disk picking its nose just like the overwhelming majority of firmware files you have installed. It is not anything to be concerned about, other than in a generic "binary blob bad" open-source way if so inclined.

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jimallyn
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Re: Encrypted files found

Post by jimallyn » Tue Aug 14, 2018 5:27 pm

Some good information on virus scanners in Linux can be found here:

https://sites.google.com/site/easylinux ... t/security

TL;DR: you don't need one, and you shouldn't use one.
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“If the government were coming for your TVs and cars, then you'd be upset. But, as it is, they're only coming for your sons.” - Daniel Berrigan

neolithic
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Re: Encrypted files found

Post by neolithic » Tue Aug 14, 2018 6:59 pm

Thanks for the responses! I appreciate the information about both the firmware files and the site with Linux Tips,
there's alot of interesting info there to keep me busy for awhile! I also realized that it's time for me to upgrade to the latest on my main machine, I sort of thought I had already, but no, that was my other systems. So this has also been a bit of a kick in the butt to get me going on the upgrade.

Thanks again, much appreciated!

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