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Re: Installation of software, and security. . .
From: Matt Beaumont <mbeaumon () cs hmc edu>
Date: Tue, 19 Jul 2005 09:46:36 -0700

On Tue, Jul 19, 2005 at 14:01:01 +1000, Tim Nelson wrote:
      My suggested solution would be to:
1.    Build in to RPM (or whatever) any relatively harmless features
      which are regularly used (eg. reload)

That's a double-edged sword. On the one hand, a "standard library" of
useful installation actions could make life easier for developers and
package maintainers. On the other hand, the package management system
would then also have to play nice with the idiosyncracies of the service
management mechanisms on whatever systems are supported by the former. 

2.    Issue a security warning and quit for any packages that have
      pre/post install scripts, and any actions that might cause trouble
      (eg. reload)
3.    Set --with-scripts (or something) to enable running scripts, and
      --with-actions to enable potentially troublesome actions (eg.
      reload), or --without-actions to just install files and not do the
      actions.

Good idea in principle, but a malicious package will just arrange to
tell J. Random User to run the install with whatever dangerous flags
allow the malware to do its thing, and, corollary to the "J. Random User
will always just click OK" principle of user psychology, the user will
follow the instructions and the box will get 0wned.

Anyway, that's just my two cents. 

Cheers,
Matt

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