Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Intent Is The Problem

Filed under
OS

Of late, I keep banging into the problem that people want systems to be “secure by default”: they don’t want to pester the user about security. They want the system to just do the right thing. The problem is, this just isn’t possible. One example I like to give is “rm -rf *“. Clearly this command is sometimes a very bad idea, and sometimes exactly what you want to do. If some piece of code I mistakenly trusted runs that command on my behalf, I might be very sad about it. Therefore, any system that wants to be “secure” has to somehow know that when I move to some directory and type rm -rf * I mean it, and when I run a piece of code I’m expecting to (say) edit some text, I don’t mean it, and it should not be allowed to do it.

How can the system discover this? Clearly it must be through some user action. The user must behave differently in some way in the two cases, so that the system can discover his intent. Therefore it is impossible to be “secure” without, in some way, consulting the user about his intent.

Rest Here

More in Tux Machines

Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) to Reach End of Life Soon

Canonical has just announced that Ubuntu 14.10 (Utopic Unicorn) will reach end on life in just a couple of weeks, on July 23. Read more

You Can Now Upgrade to Linux Mint 17.2 "Rafaela"

Now that Linux Mint 17.2 "Rafaela" has been officially released, both for the MATE and Cinnamon flavors, the upgrade path has been opened for the users of older versions. Read more

YotaPhone drops Android for Sailfish OS

You may not have heard of them but Yota is a Russian company who dared to be different with their YotaPhone 2 smartphone. While most manufacturers tend to stick to tried-and-tested designs, Yota took a risk with the YotaPhone 2 and if you somehow haven’t heard of it, the dual-screen smartphone was one of the most unique Android devices ever made. Read more

Today in Techrights