[[Infowarrior] - NSA Said to Have Used Heartbleed Bug for Years]

Larry Sheldon LarrySheldon at cox.net
Tue Apr 15 01:00:12 UTC 2014

On 4/14/2014 7:50 PM, John Levine wrote:
> In article <534C68F4.305 at cox.net> you write:
>> On 4/14/2014 9:38 AM, Matthew Black wrote:
>>> Shouldn't a decent OS scrub RAM and disk sectors before allocating
>>> them to processes, unless that process enters processor privileged
>>> mode and sets a call flag? I recall digging through disk sectors on
>>> RSTS/E to look for passwords and other interesting stuff over 30
>>> years ago.
>> I have been out of the loop for quite a while but my strongly held
>> belief is that such scrubbing would be an enormous (and intolerable)
>> overhead ...
> It must be quite a while.  Unix systems have routinely cleared the RAM
> and disk allocated to programs since the earliest days.
> Pre-VM OS/360 may not have.

HP-UX did not.  Exec8 (OS1100) did not.  What ever it was we ran on the 
1401s and 360/30s (and 9300s) did not.

We manually zeroed core on the 707xs but even then we knew it was a 
wasted 3 minutes because that was only done before the firs run of the 
day and might not happen again for several days (because each daily 
cycle took several days in some offices).

MS-DOS and Windows (even still?) were notorious for not hurting 
"deleted" files.

Is the heartbleed bug not proof positive that it is not being done today?

Requiescas in pace o email           Two identifying characteristics
                                         of System Administrators:
Ex turpi causa non oritur actio      Infallibility, and the ability to
                                         learn from their mistakes.
                                           (Adapted from Stephen Pinker)

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