[512] in Coldmud discussion meeting

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daemon@ATHENA.MIT.EDU (Wed Nov 2 12:43:25 1994 )

From: brandon@riverheights.declab.usu.edu
To: coldstuff@MIT.EDU
Date: Wed, 02 Nov 94 10:40:18 -0700

I've been reading through the Department of Defense's Orange Book (specifies
how to define a secure system, and what makes a system secure), and I think
a few additions to the driver would help.  For now the only one I am
definitely sure about is an extra method flag along the same lines as
disallow_overrides.  This flag can be called anything (such as "read_only;").
It's purpose is to specify that it can never be re-compiled while the
driver is running.  I.e. it is read in when the driver initializes but
from that point on the method will never be rewritten.  What prompted me to
think of this was a section from the Orange Book:

          Requirement 6 - CONTINUOUS PROTECTION - The trusted mechanisms that
enforce these basic requirements must be continuously protected against
tampering and/or unauthorized changes.  No computer system can be considered
truly secure if the basic hardware and software mechanisms that enforce the
security policy are themselves subject to unauthorized modification or
subversion.  The continuous protection requirement has direct implications
throughout the computer system's life-cycle.

I would specifically point to the line 3 starting at 'No computer system...'.

Although I know any world in the coldmud driver will probably never rank
high by the Orange Book's standards (just because of the fact that it isn't
a full system (hardware/software/etc)), this addition will help a lot as far
as security goes.  Instances where I would add 'read_only;' would be on
$root.eval(), $root.compile() and $sys.compile() (especially $sys.compile(),
as in The Cold Dark it logs every time it is executed.  If somebody can write
over such a critical method, it is much less secure.

I am sure i will come up with more things, but this is enough for now :)

(although I have always liked the idea of the 'private;' flag that Jordan
added for a short period of time (perhaps 'local;' would be a better name?)).

-Brandon (Lynx)