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OpenBSD Security Techniques

Referencing: /

http://cvs.openbsd.org/papers/auug04/index.html

Interesting set of slides showing what lengths OpenBSD does on top of their code auditing efforts they put into securing their operating system.

Very impressive and looks like it would make over flow buffers exploits a thing of the past, and badly written programs get exposed quickly as part of the process.

Stuff like this is why OpenBSD has the best security record of any OS available to the average person. They are a bit behind in terms of new software and hardware support, and SMP support is near non-existent. But if you need a secure machine it's hard to go wrong with OpenBSD.



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More Articles by © Drag Sidious




---September 2, 2004

I have never understood why W^X hasn't been just automatic practice. There are very few programs that ever need to write into executable space, and as they say, they can be handled as a special case.

I like the stack gap idea - not foolproof, but it could thwart an attack or two and it is obviously trivial to implement.

OSes should just automatically do both of these - if you had W^X the stack gap shouldn't be necessary, but it's like blocking a service at the firewall AND at the server - never hurts to cover the same ground twice just in case.


--TonyLawrence



---September 3, 2004

Personally my favorite is the propolice stack smashing protection patches for GCC. You simply recompile programs using the patched GCC compiler, and with no internal code change, you have a extra layer of protection against buffer overflow attacks. And if a program does end crashing because of it, 9 times out of 10 that program's memory management/whatever was flawed. Helps to chase down bugs.

--Drag

---September 3, 2004



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