Muli Ben-Yehuda's journal

August 6, 2004

hacking under pressure

Filed under: Uncategorized — Muli Ben-Yehuda @ 2:18 AM

Tomorrow is the annual Israeli Linux Conference, August Penguin (Hebrew) . I am one of the organizers, taking care of the PGP Key Signing (Hebrew). I am also helping with the Hacking Contest (Hebrew). This is “Hacking” in the good sense of the word – each team of contestants starts with a Linux machine we set up earlier, the root password, and a mission. To accomplish the mission, they must show intimate familiarity with what makes a Linux system tick, and be able to think and code under pressure.

Last weekend, I spent a couple of pleasant Tucson evenings writing a kernel patch that will make the contestants lives a little bit more interesting. I thought I had it working, but today Aviram Jenik and the BeyondSecurity team put it on the machines, and we discovered that it’s not working quite as it’s supposed to. Which is why I’m now sitting at 2 AM at the office, writing this. I had a working but non-optimal patch around 11 PM (-E1), and a working nearly-optimal one at 1 AM (-F1).

We’ll be using the -E1 patch tomorrow, since it’s already on the machines, works (I sure as hell hope so) and we don’t have enough time to test -F1. I’ll post the patches here after the party, along with explanations and the success (or failure ;-)) stories.

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