Linus Torvalds, the creator of open-source computer operating system Linux, has slammed current approaches to cyber security during a recent discussion.
The Finnish-American software developer, who took part in a talk about new whitelisting features destined for Linux, disapproved of the approaches of many security bods .
In particular, he criticized the work of Kees Cook, who’s a member of Google Pixel’s security team. Torvalds has previously branded him as idiotic.
As The Register reports, Cook recently wrote a request to pull hardened user copy changes for v4.15-rc1. He said: “Please pull these hardened usercopy changes for v4.15-rc1.
“This significantly narrows the areas of memory that can be copied to/from userspace in the face of usercopy bugs by adding explicit whitelisting for slab cache regions,” he said in the posting.
Torvalds appeared to be displeased with Kees’ post. In fact, he doubts that the points he raised are actually useful. With the support of the likes of Paolo Bonzini, Cook attempted to explain his stance on the code and counter Torvald’s concerns.
He continued: “This is why I introduced the fallback mode: with both kvm and sctp (ipv6) not noticed until late in the development cycle, I became much less satisfied it had gotten sufficient testing.”
Torvalds was far from satisfied with what Cook had to say, saying: “So honestly, this is the kind of completely unacceptable ‘security person’ behavior that we had with the original user access hardening too, and made that much more painful than it ever should have been.
“It is not acceptable when security people set magical new rules, and then make the kernel panic when those new rules are violated.”
His approach to security is completely different to Cook. Instead, he believes that security problems are just bugs, and he doesn’t believe in changing the kernel completely.
Submitted by: Arnfried Walbrecht