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[REBOL] A small security hole REBOL, and a huge one! Re:(5)

From: brian:hawley:bigfoot at: 21-Aug-2000 12:32

Jeff ([jeff--rebol--net]) wrote:
>Launch, at least in its present form, will not likely be in >the regular distribution. It went out in the windows view >version by accident.
Good to hear. What do you think about my suggestion for the changes to the function interface? I think it would help... I sent that message to Feedback as well but I got no reply. Did it go through?
>The security risks of modifiable REBOL code will be best >dealt with by modules. Untrusted REBOL code can evaluate in >a module prevented from affecting the surrounding execution >environment.
I'd be curious to see how that is done. The current module spec doesn't prohibit the kind of change to the code of the mezzanine functions that I outlined, nor the hacks involving changes to the specs that Ladislav mentioned. The problem with the current module spec is that once you make a function visible inside a module so that it can be used there, that function can be modified. The problem is not with the security of modules, but that of functions. I suppose that it would be too expensive to copy/deep the code blocks and specs when second and third are applied to functions. Perhaps a way of marking those values as read- only once they have been used in a function, maybe with a copy-on-write strategy? That would at least protect the inner workings of functions. Protect the specs too so that Ladislav's hack won't work either. Don't misunderstand, I'm as much a fan of self-modifying code as the next mad scientist - it's just that I'm willing to give up modifiable functions for security reasons. We should be able to get by with replaceable functions, since we can easily track assignment if we want to. If we still need self-modifying code we can still do blocks.
>Besides, only good hackers use REBOL! ;-) Why would >someone be so evil as to make good little REBOL do >something bad?! (-;
A jealous Perl enthusiast, perhaps? :-) Brian Hawley