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Re: outside evil vs. the user (was: Please read if you use x86 -current)

On 13-Nov-2008, at 8:44 AM, Antti Kantee wrote:

Second, I am more concerned about outside evil, not so much the user
trying to exploit his own machine.  Of course multiuser machines are
another thing, but as I already said in the previous paragraph, I do
not agree with your concern there either.

When people talk about security vulnerabilities and use phrases like "the user" they mean a process acting at the privilege level of the average user.

However it may not be a process the human user intended to run, or it may not be doing something the human user intended it to do.

I.e. these concerns are part of a security threat model involving "outside evil" as you say. Users are not always in as direct a control over what they do on their own machines as you seem to suggest/ hope they might be.

Think phishing attacks, worms, viruses, buffer overflows, etc., etc., etc. The vector is irrelevant beyond the fact that it causes code to run as the user which the user did not intend to run. These are all examples of "the user" doing something to (try to) compromise security of their own machine, whether they realize it or not.

                                        Greg A. Woods; Planix, Inc.

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