Reflections on UNIX Vulnerabilities

Matt Bishop
2009 2009 Annual Computer Security Applications Conference  
The UNIX operating system was developed in a friendly, collaborative environment without any particular predefined objectives. As it entered less friendly environments, expanded its functionality, and became the basis for commercial, infrastructure, and home systems, vulnerabilities in the system affected its robustness and security. This paper presents a brief history of UNIX vulnerabilities, beginning with a report written in 1981-1983, but never published. It examines how the nature of
more » ... abilities has (and has not) changed since then, and presents some thoughts on the future of vulnerabilities in the UNIX operating system and its variants and other UNIXlike systems. Abstract-As the UNIX operating system becomes more widely used, considerations of operating system security and data integrity become more and more important. Unfortunately, UNIX has deficiencies in this regard. This note describes several ways of violating the protection mechanisms provided by UNIX, and where appropriate suggests solutions. REFLECTION, n. An action of the mind whereby we obtain a clearer view of our relation to the things of yesterday and are able to avoid the perils that we shall not again encounter. Ambrose Bierce [1]
doi:10.1109/acsac.2009.25 dblp:conf/acsac/Bishop09 fatcat:o2f7gi4drbcwjcrf7shortxgou