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    SubjectRe: What does tainting actually mean?

    On Wed, 28 Apr 2004 01:19:32 -0400, Chris Friesen
    <> wrote:
    > If only it were that easy.
    > There has already been a case mentioned of a binary module that messed
    > up something that was only visible once that module was unloaded and
    > another one loaded. It all depends totally on usage patterns.

    I don't know what module you're talking about, but surely there must be
    something that could be done kernel-side to protect against such problems.
    Reference counting or such like? I guess if it was a hardware issue, but
    then again that might be an issue with too many assumptions being made
    about prior state? Maybe I am being too naive :>

    > Binary modules, on the other hand, are often loaded up by users that
    > know just barely enough to download them and run an install script. In
    > this case, it can be helpful to know up front that there has been
    > proprietary code running in kernel space, and aside from calls to kernel
    > APIs, we have no clue what else it was doing, what memory was being
    > trampled, what cpu registers were whacked, etc.

    Now I see your point. Of course my previous point about patches is still
    valid though: the tainted flag only gives part of the picture. The person
    reporting the bug might create just as much of a black box for us by
    forgetting to mention that they applied patch foobar.


    Nigel Cunningham
    C/- Westminster Presbyterian Church Belconnen
    61 Templeton Street, Cook, ACT 2614, Australia.
    +61 (2) 6251 7727 (wk)
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