[CentOS] SELinux threads, cynicism, one-upmanship, etc.

Lamar Owen lowen at pari.edu
Sat Nov 19 01:03:11 UTC 2005

On Thursday 17 November 2005 18:53, Preston Crawford wrote:
> What you said there was really funny. So let's assume said fictional
> employer Googles to see what Lamar Owen is up to. What's going to look
> worse, people turning off SELinux or someone getting "perturbed" because
> someone turned off SELinux? People skills are part of any job usually.

Well, first they're going to wonder why a basketball star is an IT Director.

What got me perturbed, and still does, is the flippant attitude about the 
security angle.  The lack of doing what is necessary to make the system 
secure and still usable is a real problem; I'm sure the programmer who wrote 
XCP for Sony is wishing they hadn't been quite so quick to release it.  And 
I'm sure Sony is quite perturbed about the lack of their rootkit's security.

And perturbed is less intense than annoyed, or 'ticked off' or any number of 
other adjectives on the spectrum to livid.  Perturbed is at best mildly 
annoyed compared to livid (yes, I know it means 'greatly disturbed or 
anxious': if the best and the brightest sysadmins are so careless about 
security, no wonder worms are running rampant, and it should be greatly 
disturbing to people that some sysadmins Just Don't Care).

Judging from the responses, some must have been perturbed about what I 
said.  :-)  Particularly the part about digging ditches.  If learning SELinux 
is being compared to digging ditches, well, something isn't right.  SELinux 
is to my mind a very fascinating vehicle for some true controls, even on 
myself.  And this is a good thing.
Lamar Owen
Director of Information Technology
Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute
1 PARI Drive
Rosman, NC  28772

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