LKML Archive on
help / color / mirror / Atom feed
From: "Richard B. Johnson" <>
To: "Jinu M." <>
	"Surendra I." <>
Subject: Re: protecting source code in 2.6
Date: Thu, 20 May 2004 11:43:39 -0400 (EDT)	[thread overview]
Message-ID: <Pine.LNX.4.53.0405201128460.3465@chaos> (raw)
In-Reply-To: <>

On Thu, 20 May 2004, Jinu M. wrote:

> Hi All,
> We are developing a block device driver on linux-2.6.x kernel. We want
> to distribute our driver as sum of source code and librabry/object code.

If it executes INSIDE the kernel, i.e., becomes part of a module,
it executes with no protection whatsoever. It is, therefore,
capable of destroying anything in the kernel including anything
the kernel can touch. Therefore, such a secret blob of code
can destroy all the user's work. It can even propagate to other
machines over the network and infect them. In short, it can
be a worm, Trojan Horse, or other dangerous, even "Microsoft-like"
infection. If it's not, it will be blamed anyway.

There are no secret methods of interfacing to proprietary
hardware. One can only use the methods provided by the target
CPU and its associated hardware components. Anybody who thinks
that their hardware interface code represents protected intellectual
property doesn't have a clue what intellectual property is.

If you have some magic unpublished algorithms in your driver,
they shouldn't be there. They should be in a user-mode library
that interfaces with the driver. In this manner, you keep your
secret algorithms to yourselves, protecting your intellectual
property, while publishing your interface code that executes,
unprotected, in the kernel.

So, either provide the source-code for your driver or go away.
There are very few persons who will allow you to insert secret
code into their kernels where it could destroy everything of
value to them.

Dick Johnson
Penguin : Linux version 2.4.26 on an i686 machine (5557.45 BogoMips).
            Note 96.31% of all statistics are fiction.

  parent reply	other threads:[~2004-05-21 23:58 UTC|newest]

Thread overview: 13+ messages / expand[flat|nested]  mbox.gz  Atom feed  top
2004-05-20 13:18 Jinu M.
2004-05-20 13:44 ` John Bradford
2004-05-20 14:05 ` Bartlomiej Zolnierkiewicz
2004-05-20 15:43 ` Richard B. Johnson [this message]
2004-05-21  8:29 ` Matthias Andree
2004-05-21 16:05 ` Rik van Riel
2004-05-21 19:49 ` Bill Davidsen
2004-05-20 13:21 Jinu M.
2004-05-20 14:08 ` Sam Ravnborg
2004-05-20 14:08 ` Giuliano Pochini
     [not found] <>
     [not found] ` <>
2004-05-22 14:54   ` Vincent C Jones
2004-05-22 23:24     ` Benjamin Herrenschmidt
2004-05-23  0:56       ` Vincent C Jones

Reply instructions:

You may reply publicly to this message via plain-text email
using any one of the following methods:

* Save the following mbox file, import it into your mail client,
  and reply-to-all from there: mbox

  Avoid top-posting and favor interleaved quoting:

* Reply using the --to, --cc, and --in-reply-to
  switches of git-send-email(1):

  git send-email \
    --in-reply-to=Pine.LNX.4.53.0405201128460.3465@chaos \ \ \ \ \ \
    --subject='Re: protecting source code in 2.6' \

* If your mail client supports setting the In-Reply-To header
  via mailto: links, try the mailto: link

This is a public inbox, see mirroring instructions
for how to clone and mirror all data and code used for this inbox;
as well as URLs for NNTP newsgroup(s).