[Bf-committers] Blender security paranoia

Ton Roosendaal ton at blender.org
Wed Mar 24 16:29:18 CET 2010

Hi Roger,

I would consider such a popup the worst of all compromises. If every  
other option has been exhausted, maybe.


Ton Roosendaal  Blender Foundation   ton at blender.org    www.blender.org
Blender Institute   Entrepotdok 57A  1018AD Amsterdam   The Netherlands

On 24 Mar, 2010, at 14:30, Roger Wickes wrote:

> So, a little logic to this paranoia, and hopefully a process of  
> elimination. Also,
> confirmation of what security we do have in place already, to make  
> everyone rest easier.
> I agree that while however slight, the chance of having your PC  
> wiped by a malware script
> is troubling because there is no recourse against the evildoer. That  
> there is money made
> from it is no doubt. I discovered that I had malware sending my hard  
> drive contents to Russia.
> We can all agree that having a pop-up stop and force you to
> confirm automatic script
> executionisn't automatic script execution
> and therefore defeats the purpose of the option in the first place:)
> So if your all your scripts, like all programs installed on your PC,  
> are all from trusted sources,
> you can enable auto-execute. Just like when I start OpenOffice, my  
> OS does not popup and
> ask me if I want to execute OpenOffice. That would be just as  
> painful as the current
> set of delete confirmation popups in Vista.
> The only way for a script to become part of the blender install is  
> for a trusted dev
> to accept the patch. There has never been a case where malware patch  
> has been
> accepted, and highly unlikely to ever be. Commit rights are only  
> granted to trusted devs.
> That leaves the possibility of someone hacking SVN, someone with  
> commit rights, or
> somehow hacking into the blender.org or graphicall.org servers and  
> inserting a bad
> script (or compiled C code) without detection. That is a server  
> security issue, not a sandbox problem.
> There is both physical access and username/password security  
> protecting them.
> So that leaves someone posting a script in like BA that no one knows  
> and it may
> or may not do something bad. In that case, you are getting a program
> from an untrusted source. You can be a trusting person and just run  
> it, or,
> since you got a new blend file from an untrusted source, you disable  
> auto
> script
> execution and open it up. Look at it, see what it does, and execute it
> if you like.
> Just as likely is someone building an evil Blender and posting the  
> build somewhere for people
> to download. That is the general problem with software available for  
> the internet,
> and the only way to stop that is user education, unexpired  
> certificates, and OS protection.
> If it is malware, community response will be immediate and vengeful,  
> for either Blender exe
> or scripts. AFAIK scripts cannot be signed; they are text files.  
> Perhaps pyc files can be, but
> distributing source is the practice.
> That really leaves only one remaining possibility. I think you guys  
> are worried about the noob
> that is one of the very first to find the malware, and then proceeds  
> to
> run un-human-readable stuff (compiled code, pyc files) on their PC,
> or blindly runs source py files and does not read them or cannot  
> understand them,
> or downloads and opens a blend file, leaving auto-execute on.
> That is the same issue as downloading any kind of
> program and running it; it is impossible to protect a user from  
> their own stupidity.
> Therefore, there is nothing further that can reasonably be done, and  
> no additional processes
> or procedures need to be implemented.
> Therefore, the safest route is to ship Blender with auto-execute  
> turned off, and let the user decide
> to turn it on, or instead, run scripts after reviewing them. Either  
> way, the process and existing
> security measures guard the pipeline and the contents of the pipe.
> --Roger
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