On Fri, 28 December 2001, barsa@barsaconsulting.com wrote:

> 1).  It has to be done for each new release.  (There is an exposure that
> IBM could update that message mid-release via PTF, but this is unusual.)

It should only need to be done for releases that change the way SysReq works. 
I'd guess this is going to remain rare.

> 2).  IBM has been known to modify the message from release to release.  If
> you don't carefully follow what they do, you could cause breakage.

No matter how it's implemented, an IBM modification is a risk.

> 3).  It's easy to screw up.

Because...? To me, it seems easy to get right. Of course, any system-level kind 
of change can be screwed up. It's hard to "test" changes to a startup program 
for example. But a *msgf override set by an initial program (or maybe a routing 
program) can be tested in isolation without necessarily affecting anyone but 
the tester.

> 4).  A malicious command could always be inserted.

Again, no matter how it's implemented, this is true.

Overall, I suspect that any significant future change by IBM will involve the 
registration facility, perhaps by expansion of the QIBM_QWT_SYSREQPGMS exit 
point, perhaps by adding a new exit point.

However it'd be done, SysReq is so widely used and so ingrained that there 
better be plenty of notice from IBM. If they tried slipping in something 
dangerous such as swapping options 2 and 5 (ENDRQS and SNDMSG) without a lot of 
advance publicity, it won't matter if some few sites have implemented some kind 
of override.

And with minimal thought put to planning, it'd be possible for an operator or 
administrator to disable this on a moment's notice.

Just MHO.

Tom Liotta

--
Tom Liotta
The PowerTech Group, Inc.
19426 68th Avenue South
Kent, WA 98032
Phone  253-872-7788
Fax  253-872-7904
http://www.400Security.com


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