Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 5th Jan 2007 20:11 UTC, submitted by sogabe
Zeta MauriceK writes about security in the ZETA operating system. Apparently magnussoft, sole distributor of ZETA, makes security claims [on the German version] that with ZETA "it is not possible to examine a system from the outside without notifying the user due to the architecture of this software." MauriceK seems to think differently, and even gives examples on how code can be executed without the user's knowledge in ZETA. In related news, BeUnited is no more. Instant update: the discussion concerning security just made its appearance on the Haiku m-l.
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There is no security.
by stew on Fri 5th Jan 2007 22:12 UTC
stew
Member since:
2005-07-06

Before anyone jumps in and declares that $OS_OF_CHOICE is ultimately secure, let me say this: there is no ultimate security, at least outside the scope of proven correct software (which means for probably everyone reading this website except 15 people: nothing on your hard drive).

Multiuser? File permissions? Firewall? Encryption? Signed software? History shows that all of these measures were circumvented in the past and there is nothing that leads me to believe that this won't change.

The easiest way to gain access has always been social engineering anyway, and that has already happened long before computers and software (remember what the original Trojan horse was). And that is something no technology can protect you from: there is no way your OS can tell if the program you just double-clicked it only doing what you think it does or a bit more than just that.

Reply Score: 3

RE: There is no security.
by Luposian on Sun 7th Jan 2007 00:58 in reply to "There is no security."
Luposian Member since:
2005-07-27

"And that is something no technology can protect you from: there is no way your OS can tell if the program you just double-clicked is only doing what you think it does or a bit more than just that."

If you take the view that something is impossible, just because no one has ever done it before, you have lost the fight before you even started it. If, however, you "think outside the box", I am almost certain a 100% tamper-proof, hack-proof, virus-proof, and malware-proof OS *can* be designed.

When the particular OS I'm watching gets to a stage where it is "independant", I plan to try and design such an OS, with the help of those willing to believe that "impossible" is simply "possible" that hasn't been tried yet, and can "think different"...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: There is no security.
by Soulbender on Mon 8th Jan 2007 07:17 in reply to "RE: There is no security."
Soulbender Member since:
2005-08-18

"If, however, you "think outside the box", I am almost certain a 100% tamper-proof, hack-proof, virus-proof, and malware-proof OS *can* be designed. "

Is that like the car that can never crash? Or the stove that never burns your food?
Nothing is 100% proof, if you think that is possible you're beyond help. Honestly.
However, it IS possible, although extremely tedious and in no way foolproof, to prevent applications from touching files they shouldn't touch. On OpeBSD it's called systrace but I can't remember what it's called on other *nixes.
The problem is, how do you know what files an application is supposed to be able to access? Trust that the developer provide you with an accurate list? Use a list from a (more or less) random website? Go to the tedious work of creating it yourself?
As always, security is a tradeoff versus convenience and excessively prompting the user for file access isn't going to make the user happy or productive.

Reply Parent Score: 2