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Security

Submission + - VM-based rootkits proved easily detectable (stanford.edu)

paleshadows writes: A year and a half has passed since SubVirt, the first VMM (virtual machine monitor) based rootkit, was introduced. The idea spawned two lively slashdot discussions: the first, which followed the initial report about SubVirt, and the second, which was conducted after Joanna Rutkowska has recycled the idea (apparently without giving credit to the initial authors). Conversely, in this year's HotOS workshop, researchers from Stanford, CMU, VMware, and XenSource have published a paper titled " Compatibility Is Not Transparency: VMM Detection Myths and Realities" which shows that VMM-based rootkits are actually easily detectable. The introduction of the paper explains that

"While commodity VMMs conform to the PC architecture, virtual implementations of this architecture differ substantially from physical implementations. These differences are not incidental: performance demands and practical engineering limitations necessitate divergences (sometimes radical ones) from native hardware, both in semantics and performance. Consequently, we believe the potential for preventing VMM detection under close scrutiny is illusory — and fundamentally in conflict with the technical limitations of virtualized platforms."

The paper concludes by saying that

"Perhaps the most concise argument against the utility of VMBRs (VM-based rootkits) is: "Why bother?" VMBRs change the malware defender's problem from a very difficult one (discovering whether the trusted computing base of a system has been compromised), to the much easier problem of detecting a VMM."

Music

Submission + - Radiohead lets you choose the price of music (the-anti-spam-program.com)

tehnoir writes: Apparently Trent Reznor isn't the only one getting away from the standard music industry mentality. Radiohead currently has their upcoming album available for pre-order. Currently you can order a box set for the album, or you can order a digital download of the album for whatever you think you should pay. While you must fill in an actual value, 0 is acceptable. Hopefully as more and more artists start exploring new avenues for release, the rest of the industry will catch on; though I'm not holding my breath yet.
Programming

Submission + - Whats the best platform for mobile development? (blogspot.com)

An anonymous reader writes: For a hobbyist programmer what should be the the target platform iPhone, Java ME, Windows Mobile, Linux, Palm, Brew, Symbian or Blackberry. Who provides the best tools and sdk's for development on these platforms?

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