Installing a compiler by default

Shawn McMahon smcmahon at
Thu Jun 15 18:27:11 BST 2006

On Thu, Jun 15, 2006 at 11:40:27AM -0400, Lee Revell said:
> But if your target is Ubuntu it will be trivial to work around the lack
> of a compiler.  You're root - you can just upload one or even apt-get

Your target is usually "several million Linux boxes", not "this
particular Ubuntu box".  You're right that lack of a compiler is very
little defense against some guy trying to break into your box; but it's
of more use against some guy trying to break into all of them.

> install it.  All this does is give a false sense of security.  It's the
> computer security equivalent of the Maginot Line.

You don't know how right you are.  The Maginot Line was very effective
at what it was intended to do, and was designed as part of a larger
overall defense plan.  However, some in the government who didn't know
squat about strategy felt that it was sufficient defense in and of
itself, and so didn't make sufficient other preparations.  You've
inadvertantly created an apt analogy that illustrates why you're wrong.

BTW, the Germans didn't attack the Maginot Line; it remained secure
until France surrendered.  The Germans also used it, and it complicated
the Allies' battle strategy just as it did that of the Germans.

   Shawn McMahon    | "I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
   EIV Consulting   | And now that I have some light, I can see the | tunnel needs painting too." - Steve Jackson
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