the power of being root, scary movie III

James Wilkinson ubuntu at
Thu May 19 22:28:56 UTC 2005

Magnus Therning wrote:
> It would still be possible for the root/admin to perform some tricks to
> read your data while it's in RAM... but at some point you have to start
> trusting your administrator :-)

Ultimately, with current hardware, if you can modify the kernel you can
change it to do whatever you want. (This is one reason why kernel
hackers dislike binary modules: they do change the kernel, and a bug in
the binary module can easily modify random other parts of the kernel).

This is precisely why Microsoft and others have been investigating
so-called "trusted computing": it has hardware support for a part of
memory that the OS can't modify, and can ensure that the system hasn't
been modified rom a known state. See for further details.


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