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Re: [ANNOUNCE] Introducing Codezero

From: Bas Wijnen
Subject: Re: [ANNOUNCE] Introducing Codezero
Date: Sun, 8 Nov 2009 04:53:00 +0100
User-agent: Mutt/1.5.18 (2008-05-17)


On Wed, Nov 04, 2009 at 07:01:42AM +0100, address@hidden wrote:
> On Tue, Jul 28, 2009 at 08:37:36AM +0200, Bas Wijnen wrote:
> > For me, supporting encapsulation is extremely important.  It means
> > that a user can start a program in a safe way.  Even if the program is
> > malicious, and somewhere on the system is an other malicious program
> > which would like to work together with it, it is impossible because
> > they cannot talk.
> This is nice in theory, but doesn't really work in practice, because of
> covert channels. All you can really do is make it more tricky, and limit
> the rate at which the malicious components can communicate; but not
> prevent it entirely. This makes me question whether it's even worthwhile
> to try building a system around this...
> Note that I do believe in limiting what potentially malicious programs
> can do in the first place. I'm just sceptical about trying to prevent
> cooperation between potentially malicious programs.

Yes, I agree.  However, I'm not building a system around preventing this
attack.  I'm building it around "doing what the user wants".  This means
that a program started by the user must not be compromised by some other
program, even if that other program is malicious.  For this,
encapsulation (of the malicious program) is required.

For example, on GNU/Linux any program can take over any other program
started by the same user.  In X, any client can hijack all events on the
server, and effectively take over the X interface of any other client,
which includes sniffing passwords.  Such things must not be possible if
the user is to trust the computer.


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