Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (3831 mails)

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Re: [opensuse] Re: This is OT, but you guys are gonna love this one!!
  • From: John Andersen <jsa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 11 Jan 2007 22:29:18 -0900
  • Message-id: <200701112229.19196.jsa@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
On Thursday 11 January 2007 19:23, Paul Abrahams wrote:
> Many years ago Ken Thompson (or maybe it was Dennis Ritchie) gave the ACM
> Turing Lecture on, essentially, coding tricks.  He showed how it was
> possible to booby-trap a compiler using repeated bootstraps in such a way
> that the compiler was corrupted, yet its visible source code was clean.
>  Recompiling the compiler would retain the corruption.  And such a
> corrupted compiler could do anything, of course.

Actually what he showed was that the compilers couldn't do anything.
They were useless in the real world.

If you want to hunt ghosts, go see what's burned in silicon in the
chips on the motherboards, nics, and routers. Stop fantasizing about
secrets hidden in open source.

John Andersen
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