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

Total War: WARHAMMER

Red Hat changes its open-source licensing rules

From outside programming circles, software licensing may not seem important. In open-source, though, licensing is all important. So, when leading Linux company Red Hat announces that -- from here on out -- all new Red Hat-initiated open-source projects that use the GNU General Public License(GPLv2) or GNU Lesser General Public License (LGPL)v2.1 licenses will be expected to supplement the license with GPL version 3 (GPLv3)'s cure commitment language, it's a big deal. Read more

Android Leftovers

Gentoo-Based Porteus Kiosk 4.7 Brings More Mitigations Against Spectre Flaws

Powered by the long-term supported Linux 4.14.50 kernel, Porteus Kiosk 4.7.0 is the second release of the operating system in 2018 and comes five months after version 4.6 to introduce more mitigations against the Spectre security vulnerabilities, though the next-gen Spectre flaws require microcode firmware updates for Intel CPUs. "Newly discovered "Spectre Next Generation" vulnerabilities require updated microcode from Intel which is not available yet. Please consider enabling automatic updates service for your kiosks to receive latest fixes and patches as soon as they become available," reads today's announcement. Read more