Everything old is new again

Discussion in 'sandboxing & virtualization' started by Gullible Jones, May 3, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Posts:
    1,459
    No, really.
    - VMS had memory protection up the wazoo from the get-go
    - HP-UX has had OS level virtualization for a long time, IIRC assisted by the PA-RISC hardware (mind, this was on workstations)
    - OS/390 supported "logical partitioning" - basically hardware virtualization, with the hypervisor stored in firmware - back in the 1990s

    By computing standards this virtualization and exploit mitigation stuff is not new at all. What took it all so long to make it to x86? Is the x86 architecture really that much of a problem for such features?
     
  2. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    8,010
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    Yes, I´ve also read about this stuff, it´s kinda surprising that these technologies aren´t really new.

    I also think that innovation in PC security is going too slow. I even took a break of 3 years from the Wilders Security Forums (I didn´t post from 2010 to 2013) because IMO nothing exciting was going on. But the Win 8 OS, exploit protection, hypervisors and virtualization brought some excitement back. :)
     
  3. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Posts:
    1,459
    That's the problem though, this stuff is only innovation insofar as it's new on x86. On PA-RISC, Alpha, POWER, and other high-end architectures, not so much.

    Makes me wonder why in the heck we're using x86 for everything, seeing as it took so long to get feature parallel with other architectures (and with more resource intensive implementations too).

    NB, most of the historic mainframe and workstation architectures were RISC, not CISC. I wonder if there are security advantages to RISC architectures in terms of memory management?
     
  4. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    8,010
    Location:
    The Netherlands
  5. Gullible Jones

    Gullible Jones Registered Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2013
    Posts:
    1,459
    According to people on that link, ring 1 and 2 are pretty much unique to x86. Most of the older RISC architectures (running more powerful OSes) didn't have those, only privileged and unprivileged mode.

    ... I'm also astounded by the sheer resource consumption of newer OSes. 500 MB idle RAM consumption on Win7, not including buffers and caches! HP-UX by what I'm reading had more advanced security features, and ran on machines with a tenth as much RAM.

    Heck, OpenBSD still runs great on a Transmeta Crusoe tablet with < 500 MB of RAM - but only if you don't run any GTK2 or GTK3 programs. Though Qt4 stuff might work if you use the Motif theme, I will have to check that out.

    (Still, I wish people would focus less on eyecandy and more on utility!)
     
  6. Rasheed187

    Rasheed187 Registered Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2004
    Posts:
    8,010
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    That´s true, right now I´m not on Win 8, but I think it was using at least 1GB.

    Of course not a real problem on new machines, with loads of RAM. :)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.