"Name" key value in desk. entry spec collides with file names, could misguide users?

Diego Calleja diegocg at teleline.es
Tue Mar 15 15:31:45 EET 2005

El Mon, 14 Mar 2005 22:11:35 +0200,
Kalle Vahlman <kalle.vahlman at gmail.com> escribió:

> Why doesn't
> --- begin "my nude full frontal.png"
> #!/bin/sh
> exec malware
> --- end
> do it already?

Because it fails at several levels. To start with, you can't put a misleading icon that 
can misguide to even some clueful users

That script will not work because the MUA you're using will (or should) not set the
+x bit in the permissions field, and doublecliking it won't work. That's the failure with
.desktop files: We CAN'T stop them being executable. They're executable by
themselves as long as they have a exec key in them.

.pif/.exe/.scr share exactly the same problem. In latest versions of Outlook, Microsoft
just doen't allow you to download *ANY* file with those extensions. That's because
Windows design is flawed from the roots, and their way of differencing between a
executable file is adding a extension to the list of "executable mime type" extensions.
They can't disable .pif files, because the whole system would stop working. Their one
solution was not to allow to open then in outlook.

.desktop files bring to us the same problem, they are executables by themselves,
and as long as you receive a evil .desktop file and you save it to your hard disk, there's
*NO*WAY* of not allowing it to execute its Exec line when you double click it. With other
types of malware (say, a evil perl script being attached) that problem is not really
there - as long as it doesn't have the +x bit it's fine. And if someone in the gnome/kde
worlds configures their file managers to execute "perl file" if the file's extension is .pl
they're falling  in the *same* problem than .exe, .pif, .desktop files: The existence of
a "executable mime type", and this is much different than using .jpg files to open them
with gqview, because you can't store "executable instructions" in a jpg file, but you
can store them in a .desktop file. 

(To make things worse, now when you download a .exe file with IE, it associates it
with the "security level" of the page it was downloaded or something like that. Yet
another patch for a broken design: THey can't stop .exe files being executable, and
they've to put hundreds of checks and warn dialogs because they're too keen to
fix the real problem)

This doesn't stops user's stupidity. It makes it much harder for them to fall in the hole.
We've seen what happens in the windows world with such horrid designs, and it will
happen the same in linux when we've enought market share. Let's going to work to
stop this design failure before it's too late. I don't want to spend my professional life
runing GNUantispyware.

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