Thursday, November 06, 2003

ACM Classic: Reflections on Trusting Trust

ACM Classic: Reflections on Trusting Trust: "The moral is obvious. You can't trust code that you did not totally create yourself. (Especially code from companies that employ people like me.) No amount of source-level verification or scrutiny will protect you from using untrusted code. In demonstrating the possibility of this kind of attack, I picked on the C compiler. I could have picked on any program-handling program such as an assembler, a loader, or even hardware microcode. As the level of program gets lower, these bugs will be harder and harder to detect. A well installed microcode bug will be almost impossible to detect."

Interesting point on compiled computer code that just begs to be extended into a philsophical metaphor about consciousness.

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