[kwlug-announce] Meeting Monday: AppArmor

Paul Nijjar paul_nijjar at yahoo.ca
Sat May 31 16:41:15 EDT 2014

Do you know what makes the world so fantastic? What makes the world so
fantastic is that our computer software is perfect. Every line of code
is written with the utmost care; every possible way that those lines
of code can be used (and abused) are carefully considered and planned
for, and no external aspects of the world ever change in ways that
allow any of this perfect software ever to be compromised. 

Schopenhauer was wrong. This cannot possibly be the worst of all
possible existences. An existence where software was not perfect would
be much worse. Just think of it -- small coding errors could lead to
all kinds of unexpected effects; "bit-rot" could mean that software
that used to work well does not adapt to changing conditions, and
every so often there would be some horrible zero-day exploit with huge
consequences that would render sysadmins everywhere quivering blobs of
weeping flesh. Woe and suffering would befall anybody foolish enough
to run a service on the Internet. Let us give thanks that we are
spared existence in such a universe. 

In this month's presentation, Tim Laurence will explore the
consequences of this dystopian alternative reality. In a world where
software was not perfect, where new exploits were discovered every
day, and where some exploits went undiscovered, what hope would there
be for a hapless systems administrator? Could there be any way to
mitigate against the flaws of imperfect software technologically? Tim
will show us one attempt which could be very helpful in such a dismal
reality: AppArmor, which protects applications and file paths from
exploitation by restricting program access to resources. Tim will
explain the ideas behind AppArmor and show us examples that
demonstrate how easy it is to configure. 

It is true that this will not be a beginner-friendly presentation.
However, Tim has a history of taking big sysadminny topics and making
them accessible to a wider audience. For example, he once walked
through the SSL handshake process without putting his audience to

And that's it. We meet at the usual location: 

St John's Kitchen
97 Victoria Street North
(at Victoria and Weber)

You can park your TARDISes and Hot Tub Time Machines in the Worth a 
Second Look parking lot, and bicycles along the side of the building.
For maps and photos, see http://kwlug.org/sjk

The meeting starts at 7pm. Setup starts around 6:30pm. Setup helpers
are super-welcome.


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