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  • Oct 27th, 2015 @ 6:20pm

    Re: Two sides of the coin

    This is a misconception that some people which have a basic and sometimes moderate understanding of the freedoms a rooted device gives.

    However, in the operating system world, there isn't a continuum, there isn't a spectrum, and it definitely isn't black & white.

    Why is this so?
    Premise: "If a device can be rooted through software"
    Inference/Conclusion: "1. Malware can take advantage of that"

    The Inference/Conclusion is false given the operating system in use.

    Without going into the details with every Linux distro ever created(hundreds, maybe thousands), Fire OS(Amazon's Android adopted OS) follows the same basic rules regarding root access. At least if security is a real concern of theirs.

    If there was a way for malware to take advantage of Fire OS, but not other Linux distros, especially its most closely related OS, Android, Malware would also be able to take advantage of all Linux OS's.

    But they cannot.

    The fact of the matter is, not a single piece of Malware has every been able to infect a Linux system in any "meaningful" way, "meaningful" being used in this case meaning harmful in such a way as being able to recover personal data such as identity or financial.

    Consider why someone would want to create malware for Linux systems in the first place. Distros of the Linux OS are used in more databases than any other OS. This includes databases which contain large amount of financial information like hundreds to thousands to millions of people's personal and credit card info.

    If Fire OS does have such a vulnerability, it is because they didn't follow the one rule which Linus Torvalds has repeated said is the one thing he would NEVER compromise in the Linux Kernal, which is "breaking the userspace." A quote directly from Linus Torvalds himself.

    If Fire OS has a vulnerability that allows malware to take advantage of the device, it is because Fire OS has deviated from the one single reason the Linux Kernal is "relatively" immune to malware that can cause "meaningful" harm.

    Consider that Fire OS while originally based off of Android, making it a Linux OS, isn't considered a Linux OS anymore, they have changed too much, yet there is only a few, probably 1 thing they really needed to keep which would protect against malware even after a person gains root access to their Fire OS device.

    In short, Amazon, having created a OS based on the Linux kernel, shouldn't punish their customers because Amazon may have created a vulnerability by breaking the userspace. A proper fix would be one that would correct the userspace issue and not one that "bricks" their own customers' devices.