One Laptop per Child security

Ivan Krstić krstic at
Fri Feb 9 09:48:25 EST 2007

Peter Gutmann wrote:
> Just a general thought, it seems like the OLPC security design is a real-world
> implementation of Bill Cheswick's "Windows OK" proposal.  See for example
> for more on this (modulo
> the comments on "feature starvation", which don't apply to the OLPC design).

The systems are similar in their desire to offer no-frills protection,
but I think the similarities end there. If I had been trying to simply
lock the machines down, as is the essence of Cheswick's proposal, my
task would have been extremely simple. The resulting security model
would also have gone against everything OLPC's educational principles
stand for.

I think you'll find that moving (even mentally) from "protection by not
running untrusted code" to "usable protection _while_ running untrusted
code" involves a few trips through a labyrinth sitting on top of a mine
field, with the exit guarded by a killer rabbit. It's also certainly
possible I'm not smart enough, and other people find this to be an
easier problem.

Ivan Krstić <krstic at> | GPG: 0x147C722D

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