[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Re: Debian for kids


On Thu, 3 Feb 2000, Thomas Quinot wrote:
> Beware in particular that, in the default installation,
> it will be possible to boot the system from a floppy disc
> regardless of your BIOS and LILO settings, although his
> is not documented anywhere.

Well, that's simply a breach of trust.  I think the focus of parenting
young kids and guiding them thru the computer learning experience is not
to prevent them from doing stuff that is malicious, but rather to try to
keep them from inadvertently locking up the system (such as starting a
whole herd of gimp processes might do, or repeatedly pounding on the "pg
up" button in xjig (re-scales the puzzle, chewing up more and more memory
each time it scales up, eventually leading to the system thrashing if
you don't have a ulimit on the memory).

If your kids are older and are trying to crack your system to gain root
access, that's a different matter altogether.  As much as you should try
to secure your system from outside attack, when someone can easily gain
physical access to the system while not being observed, there's not a
whole lot you can do, other than rely on their trustworthiness.

Once your kids reach their teen years, and they start testing your
authority in the arena of your computer network, you stop dealing with the
"kids' issues" that I would like the focus of this subgroup to be.  You
start dealing with hard-core network security issues.  It's not like you
shouldn't have thought about this before and planned well in advance, as
it's wise to secure *any* Debian system, period, but with the additional
consideration of physical access, which is not specific to raising kids. 
You'd have the same problem if, say, your computer was in a room shared
with a roommate in a college dorm.  If you really cannot trust your teens
(friends, roommates ...) with physical access to your box, you had better
have a lock and key to whatever you use as your "computer room" in your
house.  That is the ultimate solution (assuming your teen is not also into
cracking locks ;) 

    nSLUG       http://www.nslug.ns.ca      synrg@sanctuary.nslug.ns.ca
    Debian      http://www.debian.org       synrg@debian.org
[ pgp key fingerprint = 7F DA 09 4B BA 2C 0D E0  1B B1 31 ED C6 A9 39 4F ]
[ gpg key fingerprint = 395C F3A4 35D3 D247 1387  2D9E 5A94 F3CA 0B27 13C8 ]

Reply to: