Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 21st Sep 2011 22:06 UTC, submitted by kragil
Windows After the walled garden coming to the desktop operating system world, we're currently witnessing another potential nail in the coffin of the relatively open world of desktop and laptop computing. Microsoft has revealed [.pptx] that as part of its Windows 8 logo program, OEMs must implement UEFI secure boot. This could potentially complicate the installation of other operating systems, like Windows 7, XP, and Linux.
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RE[6]: Comment by OSbunny
by Alfman on Fri 23rd Sep 2011 01:18 UTC in reply to "RE[5]: Comment by OSbunny"
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

lemur2,

"No one can guarantee that there is no unintentional bug in code. No one is claiming any such a thing anyway."

No one can guarantee that there is no intentional bug in code either. The difference between intentional bugs and unintentional bugs is...intent. Well intentioned programmers succeed in getting exploitable bugs into OSS every now and then, yet you make it sound like it is impossible for maligned programmers to do the exact same thing? Why?

How do we distinguish between deliberate vulnerabilities or accidental ones? Can you supply a test which differentiates between these cases?


"You are the one who is making the extraordinary claim that it is POSSIBLE to put intentional malware into an open source product and then have it distributed to end users using the repository system," (my emphasis)

It's not likely, but it's certainly not impossible.

"yet you have absolutely zero instances when this has ever happened."

There are around 30K packages in Ubuntu, have they closely vetted each one for intentional vulnerabilities? Unless someone was caught red handed, how would we know?

It would not be *technically impossible* for a maintainer in possession of the signing key to deliberately sign malware either and distribute it in a targeted attack such that no one other than the victim would see evidence of the attack. Repositories work because we trust the character of its maintainers.

As an example: If an evil entity wanted to, they could create a new linux distro complete with it's own repository. This is certainly possible. Then, using the exact same technology other distros use, they could then distribute malware via that repository. Do you admit that there is nothing about the repository technology itself which makes malware impossible? Isn't the only difference here the integrity of the maintainers?

These are all legitimate questions, I'd be grateful for legitimate answers.

Edited 2011-09-23 01:22 UTC

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