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  1. In Topic: If it has software, can it be compromised?

    Posted 5 Jul 2014

    View Postjon.kiparsky, on 04 July 2014 - 05:19 PM, said:

    In a nutshell, any computer that is sufficiently powerful to run interesting programs can be compromised. This is actually one of the earliest results in computer science, since it's really a direct consequence of Turing's work, and is fundamentally related to the Halting Problem. Basically, it's impossible to know what an arbitrary program will do by programmatic inspection. This is a bald statement and there's a lot more to understand here about what you can know about a program through inspection, but the upshot is that it will always be possible, in principle to compromise a piece of software if you can get access to it.

    If you want some in-depth discussion of malware, you might learn something from this course. There isn't a current session, but the lectures are available. While you're on that site, you might also enjoy looking up Jeff Ullman's course on Automata Theory, which will give you some useful tools for the CS side of these questions.

    Thanks. If I wanted to learn more about this stuff should I be reading about "embedded systems" or is it something different? What is the technical word for this sort of things?
  2. In Topic: If it has software, can it be compromised?

    Posted 4 Jul 2014

    View Postmodi123_1, on 04 July 2014 - 11:57 AM, said:


    so why do virusus not exist for mobile phones?

    It's the concept of the walled garden. They've built a really secure entry point into the phone and to access services. In the effort to increase security they removed functionality and some ease of use from the triangle.


    The simplest way to avoid a virus on your iPhone is to accept the fact that you may not be able to do everything that you ever wanted on your phone. While some view Apple's guidelines as too restrictive, it does keep you protected from viruses that have plagued other companies.


    Thanks for the reply. I do apologise if this seems like somewhat of a stupid or pointless post but I'm just really interested. For example consider this picture from the BAE website Posted Image
    and the software you see on the screen is something called Subamrine Command System Next Generation which takes all the sensory information the ships equipment picks up and displays it in real time to the screens. Obviously the computers that are running that software have to be running some sort of operating system like windows or linux?

    Here is a quote from the BAE Systems website "Drawing on combat management systems developments for the UK Royal Navy’s Type 45 Destroyer and Astute Submarine, Subamrine Command System Next Generation transfers proven applications into a Windows environment running on commercial off the shelf computers" So this is basically saying that at the front of the technology is basically just a windows operating system which is exactly what happened in the Iran hack.

    They infected the windows system which was then allowed to travel across onto the nuclear centrifuges network. In this case the network we're talking about is called the Subamrine Command System Next Generation. Basically by the sounds of it, it's only the PC's that have protection against virus and not that actual internal system?

    Afterall there has to be some data being sent to and from the windows pc and the submarines command system? It's really annoying because I want to read up about this stuff but obviously it's very difficult to find information. I've just never really understood the link between a PC running a classic OS like windows or linux can communicate with a system that isn't running any sort of O/S... or is it?
  3. In Topic: If it has software, can it be compromised?

    Posted 4 Jul 2014

    View Postmodi123_1, on 04 July 2014 - 10:13 AM, said:

    Of what thing? I am not sure if I follow what you are asking. Info sec and assurance is a pretty broad topic.

    Sorry if I'm not being clear, I'll use a iphone as an example. So an iphones operating system is called Darwin which is written in C/C++ and most phone user do not run anti virus software on their phones and phones in general don't have firewalls so why do virusus not exist for mobile phones?

    An iphone with its wifi on is pretty much open to the www so why can't virus' spread through iphones? My guess for the limitations / technicality is that you would need to find an exploit in the iOS and write a C/C++ virus which could somehow take advantage of that exploit by sending that user a message with the virus code attached, the phone receives the virus code and executes it.

    I probably have a lot wrong here but the same thing applies to a fighter jets computer or a submarines nuclear reactor or something. They all obey commands written into the O/S that runs that hardware. Find an exploit on a peice of software on that O/S and you have your entry, by why are computers hacked left, right and centre but other devices are barely hacked at all?

    Surely anything with a usb port or sd card is vulnerable to external code being deployed on the device through an interface like a usb or sd card?
  4. In Topic: If it has software, can it be compromised?

    Posted 4 Jul 2014

    View Postmodi123_1, on 04 July 2014 - 09:58 AM, said:

    In theory, yes.

    Could you perhaps give me some sort of idea about the limitations, problems you might face and the technicality of such a thing?
  5. In Topic: Where can I view opensource stuff?

    Posted 30 Jun 2014

    Well I found this list http://pythonhackers.com/open-source/ which is great. I basically don't want to see really complex huge programs but just small little apps , fun games like pacman, snake, maybe an IM client, filesharing app or something.

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