Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 10th Aug 2007 20:46 UTC, submitted by SReilly
Privacy, Security, Encryption An unpatched flaw in an ATI driver was at the center of the mysterious Purple Pill proof-of-concept tool that exposed a way to maliciously tamper with the Vista kernel. Purple Pill, a utility released by Alex Ionescu [yes, that Ionescu] and yanked an hour later after the kernel developer realized that the ATI driver flaw was not yet patched, provided an easy way to load unsigned drivers onto Vista - effectively defeating the new anti-rootkit/anti-DRM mechanism built into Microsoft's newest operating system.
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If Windows drivers are that bad...
by rjamorim on Fri 10th Aug 2007 23:20 UTC
rjamorim
Member since:
2005-12-05

Since ATI's drivers are so buggy (and supposedly Nvidia's too), I wonder about the dangers of installing their drivers on Linux machines, considering they run on kernel land.

Come to think of it, I suppose the Linux versions are even more dangerous, since I guess the developers pay more attention to stability and security on Windows drivers (by far their largest market) than Linux ones.

It's a good thing most servers running linux are powered by slower graphics cards (they are servers, after all) or are simply headless, otherwise, I suppose people would have started exploiting those flawed drivers ages ago.

Edit: clarity

Edited 2007-08-10 23:23

Reply Score: 5

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

It may very well be true the Linux drivers provided by ATI and NVIDIA --obfuscated binary blobs that they are-- have more flaws, more security holes, more opportunities for infection with malware. This may someday be shown true, but unlike with Windows at least on Linux I have a choice of drivers. I can choose to run the community drivers, slow though they may be.

What do you do in W#indows when your drivers are faulty?

--bornagainpenguin

Reply Parent Score: 7

n4cer Member since:
2005-07-06

What do you do in Windows when your drivers are faulty?


You install a different version.

Reply Parent Score: 4

bornagainenguin Member since:
2005-08-07

From who? Containing what the same files as in the "official" drivers but "remixed" by a hobbyist cherrypicking which DLLs he or she prefers over whatever the current ones might be? Face it, even so called unofficial drivers like the Omega ones are nothing alike when compared to the community open sourced drivers and that's a good thing! Since the community open sourced drivers are so different than the official binary blobs there is less of a likelihood of the same flaws or vulnerabilities existing in both.

You do not have this advantage in Windows drivers, because even if the packager of the unofficial drivers packages an older DLL (presumably not containing whatever popular exploit) there is still the risk of those older DLLs having unknown vulnerabilities*....

So again, what do you do in Windows when this comes up?

--bornagainpenguin

*that is they are unknown to the public perhaps but have been patched by the manufacturer without comment.

Reply Parent Score: 2