so much for the Ken Thompson

Story: Using Linux Software in Defense Systems Violates Every Principle of Security Says Green Hills Software's CEO and FounderTotal Replies: 1
Author Content

Apr 08, 2004
5:05 PM EDT
Ken Thompson created a back-door in a Unix product that was used by nobody. Well, "nobody" if you compare it to the widespread usage and peer-review of the modern Linux. That argument is fallacious. Thompson's backdoor escaped scrutiny because very few people looked at that code, and that's because there was no motivation to do so. Nowadays, the Linux code is analysed by thousands of security specialists on a permanent basis. The "Ken Thompson backdoor" could never happen.

Apr 11, 2004
12:49 AM EDT
Ken Thompson didn't put a backdoor anywhere.

He did, however, explain how to create one in such a way that it can't bee seen unless you read the compiler-generated ASM. No amount of looking at source code can find that kind of backdoor. That's the whole point of his paper.

Come on, it's Ken Thompson. Do you think he did the obvious thing?

I suggest you read his paper before commenting on it.

Posting in this forum is limited to members of the group: [ForumMods, SITEADMINS, MEMBERS.]

Becoming a member of LXer is easy and free. Join Us!