My textbook, on MS-DOS security.
2004-12-11
2 minutes read

This semester, I’m taking a class which is called “Management of Very Large Data Volumes”. The textbook, for some weird, weird reason talks a fair amount about MS-DOS. Apart from the fact that it’s about ten years old, so all the numbers are really wrong, the book is bearable.

However, once in a while, I come across sections which I wonder if are there just to make me cry (the textbook is in Norwegian, so any translation errors are mine):
> MSDOS’ file system is a bit too simple. Among other things, the > security is not cared for well enough. The directory ought to show > who has created or owns the file as well as the time the file was > created and when it was last changed. With regards to security and > rights, a minimum requirement is the file should have an associated > password. In fact, it ought to be one password for writing and > perhaps another password for deletion and extending the file.

First, “a bit too simple” is an exaggeration, MS-DOS does barely have a file system at all. And security? Well, it has none, so I guess saying “not cared for well enough” is a bit of an understatement. Then a bit of fairly reasonable requirements, but I really wonder what the author thought about when he wrote that last part. Is he really serious that all files should have three passwords associated with them? I would so much rather use either normal UNIX-based user/group/other permissions or ACLs.

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