Thoughts on the Security of qmail
Dan Bernstein wrote an interesting paper on the security lessons he's learned from qmail.
My views of security have become increasingly ruthless over the years. I see a huge amount of money and effort being invested in security, and I have become convinced that most of that money and effort is being wasted. Most "security" efforts are designed to stop yesterday's attacks but fail completely to stop tomorrow's attacks and are of no use in building invulnerable software. These efforts are a distraction from work that does have long-term value.
Very interesting stuff, some counter to conventional security wisdom.
I have become convinced that this "principle of least privilege" is fundamentally wrong. Minimizing privilege might reduce the damage done by some security holes but almost never fixes the holes. Minimizing privilege is not the same as minimizing the amount of trusted code, does not have the same benefits as minimizing the amount of trusted code, and does not move us any closer to a secure computer system.
Posted on November 16, 2007 at 6:47 AM • 43 Comments