April 15, 2006
Don Dodge had an interesting take on the recent acquisition of open-source based company JBoss by Red Hat. He compared the acquisition to the incident in "Tom Sawyer" when Tom suckers a bunch of kids to paint a fence.
Here's what I wrote in response.
I tend to think OSS contributers as amateur sports-men and women. People who play sports on an amateur level are play because they love the game. They know that they'll never have the same recognition like the people who play sports professionally. Just participating is good enough for us.I think OSS developers feel the same way. I think what drives them is the hunch that may be, just may be they can write that great algorithm, or routine, or application that's better than the one developed in a traditional development environment.
March 12, 2006
I found this a reference to this article on slashdot(link). It describes how researchers at Microsoft Research have combined virtualization technology and rootkits to run spyware and malware on a target computer. The idea is is still in a proof-of-concept, but with open-source virtual machines like Xen and how-to guides for making rootkits, I dont think that hackers will be far behind in figuring how to exploit this.According to the article.
The proof-of-concept rootkit, called SubVirt, exploits known security flaws and drops a VMM (virtual machine monitor) underneath a Windows or Linux installation.Once the target operating system is hoisted into a virtual machine, the rootkit becomes impossible to detect because its state cannot be accessed by security software running in the target system, according to documentation seen by eWEEK.
Today, anti-rootkit clean-up tools compare registry and file system API discrepancies to check for the presence of user-mode or kernel-mode rootkits, but this tactic is useless if the rootkit stores malware in a place that cannot be scanned.
“We used our proof-of concept [rootkits] to subvert Windows XP and Linux target systems and implemented four example malicious services,” the researchers wrote in a technical paper describing the attack scenario.
“[We] assume the perspective of the attacker, who is trying to run malicious software and avoid detection. By assuming this perspective, we hope to help defenders understand and defend against the threat posed by a new class of rootkits,” said the paper, which is co-written by researchers from the University of Michigan.
…Read the article to find out more.