Root exploit for FreeBSD

Kevin Oberman oberman at
Fri Dec 11 23:24:09 UTC 2009

> Date: Fri, 11 Dec 2009 08:49:42 +0000
> From: Matthew Seaman <m.seaman at>
> Sender: owner-freebsd-current at
> Polytropon wrote:
> > On Fri, 11 Dec 2009 01:42:36 -0600, "Sam Fourman Jr." <sfourman at> wrote:
> >> I have tried looking around and OpenBSD appears to be the undisputed
> >> #1 track record in terms of security and FreeBSD is #2 (I didn't count
> >> dragonflyBSD)
> > 
> > VMS would be #0, then? :-)
> I dunno.  Haven't seen many MS-DOS exploits recently either...

I'm sure that there are systems happily running MSDOS, but I bet not too
many are networked.

I know that there is still a lot of VMS out there and that it has
remained a cash cow for HP. It lived on primarily in the banking and
financial sector, though I guess the use is dropping since HP recently
outsourced support to India and that lead to the retirement of the last
of the original VMS developers, Andy Goldstein. 

Also, the the end of TECO as Andy was responsible for porting it to
almost every platform DEC ever sold (RSX, RSTS, VMS, TOPS-10 and
TOPS-20, RT-11, and several others) and continued to maintain it until
his retirement. (Most readers of this list probably don't even remember

And, for may years VMS had major network security problems, especially
the infamous default DECNET/DECNET account that lead to may compromises
and the second major network worm, Worms Against Nuclear Killers. (I
won't use the acronym so as not to offend our British readers. I found
out about that when the BBC interviewed me about it and I was told that
I could not utter the word.)
R. Kevin Oberman, Network Engineer
Energy Sciences Network (ESnet)
Ernest O. Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab)
E-mail: oberman at			Phone: +1 510 486-8634
Key fingerprint:059B 2DDF 031C 9BA3 14A4  EADA 927D EBB3 987B 3751

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