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Re: [Texmacs-dev] Re: a voir

From: roberto
Subject: Re: [Texmacs-dev] Re: a voir
Date: Sat, 1 Jun 2002 10:25:47 +0200

Dear Ralph,
     thank you for reminding us of the security issues: I think any
development of features similar to those found in Active-DVI will
encounter the same difficulties.

The current status of the situation in Active-DVI is:

   - there are three levels of security, corresponding to
     command line options
           exec: launch any application
           ask: ask before launching an application
           safer: launch no application

   - the user has the right to define her/his policy in the .advirc file
   - the system administrator has the right to set a global policy
     in /etc/advirc
   - the defult is (if I rember well) ask

   - launching advi with the -n option will give a list of all
     esternal applications referenced in the .dvi file

I do not know if the debian packaged version is actually recent enough to
incorporate this, but thelatest official release of Active-DVI incorporates
all this...

>>>>> "Ralf" == Ralf Treinen <address@hidden> writes:

    Ralf> Désolé pour répondre en anglais mais ça va plus vite ...  There is, or
    Ralf> at least there used to be (I didn't follow the latest developments), a
    Ralf> big problem with advi: Advi can execute any arbitrary code (by passing
    Ralf> it to a shell) which is embedded in the code. An advi document can for
    Ralf> instance start an xclock application, an mpeg player, a texmacs
    Ralf> session, or anything else.  At the time when advi was to be included
    Ralf> into debian it was the default behaviour of advi to allow execution of
    Ralf> any embedded code.  The user had to supply a special option to switch
    Ralf> this behaviour off.

    Ralf> I guess I don't have to tell you why this is a security problem.  For
    Ralf> debian, the default behaviour was inversed, such that the user has to
    Ralf> explicitely switch on the execution of embedded code.

    Ralf> It is unclear to me how this feature can be used in a secure
    Ralf> way. Please keep this problem in mind when adding animation features
    Ralf> to texmacs.

    Ralf> -Ralf.

--Roberto Di Cosmo
Professeur (on leave at/detache a INRIA Roquencourt)
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