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Open Source

Evaluating the Harmful Effects of Closed Source Software 490

New submitter Drinking Bleach writes "Eric Raymond, coiner of the term 'open source' and co-founder of the Open Source Initiative, writes in detail about how to evaluate the effects of running any particular piece of closed source software and details the possible harms of doing so. Ranking limited firmware as the least kind of harm to full operating systems as potentially the greatest harms, he details his reasoning for all of them. Likewise, Richard Stallman, founder of GNU and the Free Software Foundation, writes about a much more limited scope, Nonfree DRM'd games on GNU/Linux, in which he takes the firm stance that non-free software is unethical in all cases but concedes that running non-free games on a free operating system is much more desirable than running them on a non-free operating system itself (such as Microsoft Windows or Apple Mac OS X)."

Intel Cache Poisoning Is Dangerously Easy On Linux 393

Julie188 writes "A researcher recently released proof-of-concept code for an exploit that allows a hacker to overrun an Intel CPU cache and plant a rootkit. A second, independent researcher has examined the exploit and noted that it is so simple and so stealthy that it is likely out in the wild now, unbeknownst to its victims. The attack works best on a Linux system with an Intel DQ35 motherboard with 2GB of memory. It turns out that Linux allows the root user to access MTR registers incredibly easily. With Windows this exploit can be used, but requires much more work and skill and so while the Linux exploit code is readily available now, no Windows exploit code has, so far, been released or seen. This attack is hardware specific, but unfortunately, it is specific to Intel's popular DQ35 motherboards."

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