Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Intent Is The Problem

Filed under
OS

Of late, I keep banging into the problem that people want systems to be “secure by default”: they don’t want to pester the user about security. They want the system to just do the right thing. The problem is, this just isn’t possible. One example I like to give is “rm -rf *“. Clearly this command is sometimes a very bad idea, and sometimes exactly what you want to do. If some piece of code I mistakenly trusted runs that command on my behalf, I might be very sad about it. Therefore, any system that wants to be “secure” has to somehow know that when I move to some directory and type rm -rf * I mean it, and when I run a piece of code I’m expecting to (say) edit some text, I don’t mean it, and it should not be allowed to do it.

How can the system discover this? Clearly it must be through some user action. The user must behave differently in some way in the two cases, so that the system can discover his intent. Therefore it is impossible to be “secure” without, in some way, consulting the user about his intent.

Rest Here

More in Tux Machines

Migrate from Proprietary Software to Linux to Create Cost Savings

Amongst the top IT trends of the moment is the development of Linux Containers. Financial and technical investors, Linuxsoftware programmers and customers believe that Linux Containers will transform the way organisations manage their Linux environments from deployment to maintenance. A recent survey by Red Hat and Techvalidate says that 56% of the respondents plan to use Linux containers as vehicles for rolling out web and eCommerce over the next two years. The respondents included a number of Fortune 500 companies and public sector organisations. Any development in the world of e-Commerce is definitely worth taking a look. Read more

Second Successful Ubuntu Hackathon Ends in China

A second Hackathon has just been completed in China, and developers from all over the country came ready to play with Ubuntu and all sorts of gadgets. Read more

Why business should bet on open source

Among the benefits of OSS is that it is hardly ever a standalone product. Most OSS is built on other open-source projects. Because of the way it is licensed, these enhancements are then passed back to the open-source community, so the software constantly evolves. So, if such open-source technology is readily available, and has proved its scalability in webscale businesses, why reinvent the wheel? Open source is certainly more accepted in the enterprise, said Tony Lock, distinguished analyst at Freeform Dynamics. “It is suitable for all businesses, not just for webscale businesses.” Read more

Lubuntu 15.10 Beta 1 Still Doesn't Use LXQt, Now Powered by Linux Kernel 4.1 LTS

The development team of the Lubuntu Linux operating system were among the last to announce the release of the first Beta build of the Ubuntu 15.10 (Wily Werewolf) release for opt-in flavors. Read more