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Old 31 July 2015, 20:41   #121
Mrs Beanbag
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Originally Posted by meynaf View Post
How does it do that ? Well, do you remember the last time you got some malware ? Perhaps you can study it to find out.
it was because of a bug in the SSH server. It wasn't because memory protection failed, it was because something let it in. Also we hadn't been keeping that computer up to date with security updates, which was very foolish.

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If the user can format his hard drive, then malicious code also can ?
If not, why turning memory protection off would be allowed for malicious code for the sole reason the user is allowed to do so ?
Format hard drive requires admin privileges. If malicious code could get admin privileges, it could do it. You can get to admin privileges from user mode through user authentication system (i.e. password prompt). Whether it is wise to allow admin privilege to format hard drive we could discuss. But what you are asking for is Kernel privilege, which is altogether a different kettle of fish.

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What would prevent hackers from signing their code too ?
They wouldn't have your private key.

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Having a system that can work without memory protection means that it can work without an MMU, which, you have to admit, is :
1. Absolutely mandatory for memory protection,
2. Quite costly to implement in a soft core, which seems the only option we have now.
Killing that ability for "security" doesn't sound clever to me.
indeed, existing MMUs are very complex, but they need not be... consider my earlier suggestion of an MMU that doesn't remap memory pagewise, but only protects it. You would only need a bit mask. Other simple schemes might also be possible.
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Old 31 July 2015, 21:35   #122
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Originally Posted by Mrs Beanbag View Post
Format hard drive requires admin privileges. If malicious code could get admin privileges, it could do it. You can get to admin privileges from user mode through user authentication system (i.e. password prompt). Whether it is wise to allow admin privilege to format hard drive we could discuss. But what you are asking for is Kernel privilege, which is altogether a different kettle of fish.
I don't differenciate admin and kernel privilege levels.
Format needs supervisor level ? So should disabling memory protection, that's all.


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They wouldn't have your private key.
So you want to send your private key to everyone whose software you intend to run ? Or else how could legitimate programs run at all ?


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indeed, existing MMUs are very complex, but they need not be... consider my earlier suggestion of an MMU that doesn't remap memory pagewise, but only protects it. You would only need a bit mask. Other simple schemes might also be possible.
I still prefer a simple supervisor config check to enable/disable memory protection. At least it will not rule out full paged memory, which has its uses.
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Old 31 July 2015, 21:47   #123
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I don't differenciate admin and kernel privilege levels.
Format needs supervisor level ? So should disabling memory protection, that's all.
well operating systems typically do, they are quite different things.

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So you want to send your private key to everyone whose software you intend to run ? Or else how could legitimate programs run at all ?
no, only the public key is needed to run the code. if you send the unsigned code to another person, they would have to sign it with their own private key to run it on their machine.

The way XBox 360 works is Microsoft has the private key, and nobody else can have it. So you can't run anything on it unless Microsoft has approved and signed it. All of this happens inside the CPU so it is not possible to get at without hardware exploits (i.e. glitches).

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I still prefer a simple supervisor config check to enable/disable memory protection. At least it will not rule out full paged memory, which has its uses.
so it will either be enabled or disabled globally?
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Old 31 July 2015, 21:57   #124
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well operating systems typically do, they are quite different things.
Honestly i don't care much about what others do


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no, only the public key is needed to run the code. if you send the unsigned code to another person, they would have to sign it with their own private key to run it on their machine.

The way XBox 360 works is Microsoft has the private key, and nobody else can have it. So you can't run anything on it unless Microsoft has approved and signed it. All of this happens inside the CPU so it is not possible to get at without hardware exploits (i.e. glitches).
This doesn't help debugging and running your own code. Sorry but i don't like the idea


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so it will either be enabled or disabled globally?
Yes.
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Old 31 July 2015, 22:10   #125
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This doesn't help debugging and running your own code. Sorry but i don't like the idea
It really does... it would be easy to sign your own code with your own private key, and then the Kernel would just be able to run it (above the level of the MMU), but no malicious code would be able to run in the Kernel if you hadn't signed it. It seems to me like a good solution to the problem... unless i have really misunderstood the point of it.

Code you don't need to run in Kernel space runs as normal, however.

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Yes.
Sorry but i don't like the idea

What sort of things would you do in such a mode? You would be crazy to use your computer for normal things. Maybe it would be useful for OS development but you didn't seem interested in that. You should certainly not have any network connection in this mode! Or run anything you don't 100% trust!

To come back to the thing i said that started us off on this whole line of argument... there are perfectly sane reasons not to do this.
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Old 31 July 2015, 22:27   #126
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It really does... it would be easy to sign your own code with your own private key, and then the Kernel would just be able to run it (above the level of the MMU), but no malicious code would be able to run in the Kernel if you hadn't signed it. It seems to me like a good solution to the problem... unless i have really misunderstood the point of it.

Code you don't need to run in Kernel space runs as normal, however.
Well, it might be an option... but only an option. I have signed code in my life before and it wasn't a great experience.


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Sorry but i don't like the idea

What sort of things would you do in such a mode? You would be crazy to use your computer for normal things. Maybe it would be useful for OS development but you didn't seem interested in that. You should certainly not have any network connection in this mode! Or run anything you don't 100% trust!

To come back to the thing i said that started us off on this whole line of argument... there are perfectly sane reasons not to do this.
If you don't like the idea, if you see no interest in it, well, just keep the memory protection on. I won't ask you to do otherwise, you know
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Old 31 July 2015, 22:45   #127
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well i do like the idea of being able to run kernel-mode accessories ad-hoc, without having to reboot the computer.

another possibility is to be able to boot "half way" into the OS, and then have more access to low level functionality before high-level layers are applied.

and there's always this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%CE%9CClinux
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Old 31 July 2015, 23:49   #128
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The OS doesn't have to guarantee anything at all. We're talking about personal computers, not servers.
Doesn't matter if it is personal or a server, the OS has to protect itself from you, protect you from yourself, and protect itself from other people's mistakes. The OS can't really know if you meant to write to $100 or if that is a bug unless it has been explicitly told so. That is what an API and priviledge levels can give you.

Now, the OS can still let you go into MeMeMe-mode, but the only sensible thing the OS can do then is to basically shut down(or something like what might be Unix-parlance for runl-evel 0 or single-user mode or a point where a reboot will be required) as it can not guarantee its own consistency.
I'll repeat myself: What you probably want is an API that can let you do near all the things you feel you need to do (and which gives the OS a chance of objecting with a "this town aint big enough for the both of us" ultimatum).

And reading is still not as "bad" as writing.
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Old 31 July 2015, 23:55   #129
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The OS doesn't have to protect from me. I know what i am doing. What i want is a tool, not a cop.
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Old 01 August 2015, 00:13   #130
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ah but do you know what everybody else is doing?

i know you said you'd notice unusual activity straight away and disconnect... but it occurred to me to ask... do you never go to the toilet?
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Old 01 August 2015, 06:36   #131
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The point is that, even though code can do less things under memory protection, what it can do is largely enough to mess up things a lot and get enough control to turn your machine into a spam-sending zombie - and at the end, there is no difference (apart the reduced freedom under the protected system).
I totally agree with this, and memory protection just makes it more difficult to observe the system. Instead there should be more focus on tools to detect system changes rather than protecting the users from themselves.


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Why the heck can't we be true supervisors of our own machines ?
The reason is that modern operating systems are designed to allow "credible software" to do anything while obfuscating it from the user. The owner of the device is sandboxed intentionally. Ten years ago people would have laughed at this and used the term "tinfoil hat", these days we know better.
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Old 01 August 2015, 08:40   #132
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I think we should focus on managed code like Oberon 2 does on existing Amigas. It yields better results than memory protection and has no additional hardware requirements.

That's also what C# does for XBox 360 and its security.
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Old 01 August 2015, 09:24   #133
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Memory protection doesn't detect everything, e.g. when you inadvertently alter your own data - which is more common than altering code (and usually a lot harder to debug).
Perhaps, but wouldn't things that fail hard and fast be detected by memory protection? In addition, things that fail silently aren't ever detected at all without memory protection until it's too late. With protection it may be detected when you're working on it.

Memory protection seems to be a very useful development tool to me.

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But you still have to instanciate objects to do things, don't you ?
Of course, although you can add things directly in the editor and assign code to them. Obviously this isn't always enough. One example is randomly spawning new monsters in a game world.

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How long is it to just setup a display and show some kind of image on it ?
You have to add a RawImage GUI control to the scene in the editor, and add a few lines of code to load the image, set the size of the RawImage control and assign the image to the control. Ten lines or so.

Or you could make a plane with a material in the editor and add some code to it to set a texture. Also just a few lines. You could also use 2D mode and make a sprite out of the image. Never tried that, but undoubtedly only a few lines as well.
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Old 01 August 2015, 11:27   #134
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@Thorham
Mostly memory protected environments protect against dodgy drivers and libraries. Internal error detection is mostly done with managed code under .NET and such.
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Old 01 August 2015, 12:19   #135
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ah but do you know what everybody else is doing?
I don't need to know. But the machine i want is for intelligent people, not for people who don't know themselves what they do (this is why it interests so few people ).


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i know you said you'd notice unusual activity straight away and disconnect... but it occurred to me to ask... do you never go to the toilet?
I usually don't go to the toilet when online, especially when on suspect sites. That said, it's only a few minutes away, not whole days.


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I totally agree with this, and memory protection just makes it more difficult to observe the system. Instead there should be more focus on tools to detect system changes rather than protecting the users from themselves.
How odd, someone who agrees with me


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Originally Posted by modrobert View Post
The reason is that modern operating systems are designed to allow "credible software" to do anything while obfuscating it from the user. The owner of the device is sandboxed intentionally. Ten years ago people would have laughed at this and used the term "tinfoil hat", these days we know better.
I sure don't want a system that's obfuscated from me.


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Originally Posted by Thorham View Post
Perhaps, but wouldn't things that fail hard and fast be detected by memory protection? In addition, things that fail silently aren't ever detected at all without memory protection until it's too late. With protection it may be detected when you're working on it.

Memory protection seems to be a very useful development tool to me.
I never said that memory protection wasn't useful as a development tool, actually quite the opposite.
What i'm saying is that we should have the freedom to enable or disable it at will.


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Originally Posted by Thorham View Post
Of course, although you can add things directly in the editor and assign code to them. Obviously this isn't always enough. One example is randomly spawning new monsters in a game world.

You have to add a RawImage GUI control to the scene in the editor, and add a few lines of code to load the image, set the size of the RawImage control and assign the image to the control. Ten lines or so.

Or you could make a plane with a material in the editor and add some code to it to set a texture. Also just a few lines. You could also use 2D mode and make a sprite out of the image. Never tried that, but undoubtedly only a few lines as well.
So you have an editor to do things graphically and not only code, right ?
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Old 01 August 2015, 12:54   #136
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i am an intelligent person... but i still run software that segfaults occasionally (not code that i am developing). if there were no memory protection, such bugs could put the kernel in an inconsistent state, leading to corruption of the filesystem... or deactivating firewalls.

Also it's not just dodgy porn websites that you can get nasty viruses from. Respectable websites can be hacked, or, often they don't have direct control over their advertising space so things can be sneaked in there. I use "NoScript" but turning off Javascript renders so much of the internet completely useless, with some sites not even showing you article text without it activated (and there are exploits in Javascript despite its supposed sandbox, also i have visited sites before and then suddenly been followed on Twitter by a spookily relevant account).

You don't have to be stupid or careless to fall victim to some of these things (although it helps), but if you turned off memory protection and proceeded to use your computer for every day online things, i'd say you were being stupid and careless.

I don't even connect my Amiga to the network at all these days now i have a SDHC card reader for transferring files to my PC.

Of course all technology can be used for good or for evil. But i don't find that memory protection limits me in what i can do on my own computer. I do find that Windows does.
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Old 01 August 2015, 13:26   #137
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i am an intelligent person... but i still run software that segfaults occasionally (not code that i am developing). if there were no memory protection, such bugs could put the kernel in an inconsistent state, leading to corruption of the filesystem... or deactivating firewalls.
Then just run these with memory protection and that's all.

But you're giving me an idea. It might be fun to code some kind of sandbox running only "suspicious" code in a memory protected environment, while the rest of the system runs without (a concept similar to whdload).


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Also it's not just dodgy porn websites that you can get nasty viruses from. Respectable websites can be hacked, or, often they don't have direct control over their advertising space so things can be sneaked in there.
Big sites are quite rarely hacked. Also i consider a site such as EAB as sure - you don't ?

About advertising space, well, honestly i don't care. IBrowse didn't show that at all, and i'm now using AdBlock.


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I use "NoScript" but turning off Javascript renders so much of the internet completely useless, with some sites not even showing you article text without it activated (and there are exploits in Javascript despite its supposed sandbox, also i have visited sites before and then suddenly been followed on Twitter by a spookily relevant account).
A few browser plugins might eventually help you. Setting your browser so that cookies get deleted when you close it, can also help for not being followed.


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You don't have to be stupid or careless to fall victim to some of these things (although it helps), but if you turned off memory protection and proceeded to use your computer for every day online things, i'd say you were being stupid and careless.
No, i'd be knowing what i'm doing. I did that on my A1200 for many years.
Memory protection really has nothing to do with online security.

Nevertheless you can still run the browser sandboxed while the system itself isn't protected. Software such as Sandboxie (ever tried it ?) makes your online experience far more secure than locking the whole operating system in a vain hope for security.

Note that you can set up your online software to run under whdload on the Amiga, and provided your system has an MMU (and you activate it there), you're fully protected
Who said the Amiga has no security ?


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I don't even connect my Amiga to the network at all these days now i have a SDHC card reader for transferring files to my PC.
I don't either, but for different reasons


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Of course all technology can be used for good or for evil. But i don't find that memory protection limits me in what i can do on my own computer. I do find that Windows does.
Guess why Windows is this way.
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Old 01 August 2015, 13:31   #138
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Well, let's admit i connect some Amiga and you hack it. What would you do exactly ? Even if I don't close ports in MiamiDx, you will NOT pass.
Well, I could steal your data, keyfiles and whatever else you got that may be of interest.

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And should you pass nevertheless, you'd be ejected (by me) as quickly as you entered ! If you can enter - which i seriously doubt - you can not do anything unnoticed.
Oh yeah? Also when you are using torrent software, with random disk access and network connections anyways? Also when snatching keyfiles that are so tiny that there is hardly any activity? Also when some weirdo on IRC is busy trolling you intensly?

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... IF you let anything run.
But, boy, if you let anything from a remote source run, your entire system may be owned within seconds... regardless of the machine you use.
Really. Do you browse web much? Javascript? And again, that darn tcp: device, that lets amigaos execute scripts from tcp:host/port, all you need is an exploit of some sort, any sort.

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... and for me it can also be un-owned within seconds. I disconnect, or even perform ctrl-A-A. Then you lose all control.
Yeah, but maybe I added something funny to your datatypes, to your devs:monitors, to your wbstartup, your SetPatch... or just about anywhere, anything is up for grabs on AmigaOS, unlike on systems with proper security models, sandboxing etc that memory protection makes possible.

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Nah, this is reversing the charge of the proof. I don't see any attack done without memory protection, that can not also be done with it.
Allright then, presume I give you remote login to my Linux box, how will you steal my files, fuck up my setup, and hose up the operating system? Hang around waiting for a 0day local root exploit?

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Remember that all the zombie peecees sending spam all have memory protection. A good firewall does a lot more than memory protection ever did.
Remember that all those spam senders are located behind firewalls too.

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Anyway as I said earlier, it's pointless to have "security" when you have no risk of being attacked ! We're in a market niche, remember.
Security through obscurity? Is that your business model?

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My point of view on memory protection is that it should be an OPTION. What's wrong in that ???
It complicates the OS. It presents users to strange choices. Some software may only work with, other software without - what if you want to run both? How do you intend to implement the option anyways? Are you the kind of person who only run as Administrator user on Windows, or only as uid 0 user on *ix? Exactly what is it about memory protection that you are against?
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Old 01 August 2015, 13:40   #139
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But you're giving me an idea. It might be fun to code some kind of sandbox running only "suspicious" code in a memory protected environment, while the rest of the system runs without (a concept similar to whdload).
That's basically what we've got... Kernel code runs without memory protection, afterall it has to manage the memory protection for everything else. "User mode" is exactly this kind of sandbox. Now if only you could run code in Kernel mode ad-hoc...

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Big sites are quite rarely hacked. Also i consider a site such as EAB as sure - you don't ?
i'm never 100% sure of anything.

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A few browser plugins might eventually help you. Setting your browser so that cookies get deleted when you close it, can also help for not being followed.
I have cookies turned off, with exceptions (obviously Twitter is an exception or it would not work). Scripts are not supposed to be able to access cookies from other sites. If i ever have to enable cookies to get some site to work, i always set it "allow for session" and remove the exception when i'm done. I'm about as careful as i think i can be with cookies. I have no idea how somebody's blog post could find out my Twitter handle.

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No, i'd be knowing what i'm doing. I did that on my A1200 for many years.
Memory protection really has nothing to do with online security.
round in circles... you don't know what code is doing, if you didn't write it, or if you haven't read and understood the source code. you have to trust it.

Memory protection is not online security. It is offline security. If something does get through the firewalls &c, then it has another challenge ahead of it.

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Guess why Windows is this way.
because it was written for idiots, by idiots. yeah, some of the things i have come up against make me suspect that a lot of their code is very bad.
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Old 01 August 2015, 13:51   #140
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Well, I could steal your data, keyfiles and whatever else you got that may be of interest.
No, you could not. Too bad my A1200 no longer works. An online appointment with you trying to hack me would have been FUN.
Besides, you did not answer the question of "what would you do exactly" - which could be rephrased as "how would you do that" (but i don't expect a precise reply either).


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Oh yeah? Also when you are using torrent software, with random disk access and network connections anyways? Also when snatching keyfiles that are so tiny that there is hardly any activity? Also when some weirdo on IRC is busy trolling you intensly?
I'm not using torrent software. Also you can not snatch any keyfile off me without scanning my dirs - and this doesn't go inconspicuous.
About IRC, i can perhaps type something starting with "/kick"


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Really. Do you browse web much? Javascript? And again, that darn tcp: device, that lets amigaos execute scripts from tcp:host/port, all you need is an exploit of some sort, any sort.
All you need is an exploit of some sort. Unfortunately it's everywhere the case. And you're not gonna get it.


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Yeah, but maybe I added something funny to your datatypes, to your devs:monitors, to your wbstartup, your SetPatch... or just about anywhere, anything is up for grabs on AmigaOS, unlike on systems with proper security models, sandboxing etc that memory protection makes possible.
You can sandbox on the Amiga as well.


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Allright then, presume I give you remote login to my Linux box, how will you steal my files, fuck up my setup, and hose up the operating system? Hang around waiting for a 0day local root exploit?
I could type "su" then guess your "1234" (or your birthdate) root password and type "rm -rf /". Might not work on yourself but might work on many people, and memory protection won't help.
On the other hand, no remote login at all available on my A1200.


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Remember that all those spam senders are located behind firewalls too.
Not all of them. But all have memory protection.


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Security through obscurity? Is that your business model?
Are you gonna buy tanks to protect your home ? If not, why ?


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It complicates the OS. It presents users to strange choices. Some software may only work with, other software without - what if you want to run both? How do you intend to implement the option anyways? Are you the kind of person who only run as Administrator user on Windows, or only as uid 0 user on *ix? Exactly what is it about memory protection that you are against?
What is about memory protection that i'm against ? Simple : it can not be disabled.

But, good boy, i'm not saying YOU have to live without, ok ?
So what is about memory protection that you don't even want the possibility of it being facultative ? I'm not forcing you to disable it, ok ?
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