[TUHS] Thompson trojan put into practice

arnold at skeeve.com arnold at skeeve.com
Mon Sep 20 17:12:27 AEST 2021

Douglas McIlroy <douglas.mcilroy at dartmouth.edu> wrote:

> > It's part of my academic project to work on provable compiler security.
> > I tried to do it according to the "Reflections on Trusting Trust" by Ken
> > Thompson, not only to show a compiler Trojan horse but also to prove that
> > we can discover it.
> Of course it can be discovered if you look for it. What was impressive about
> the folks who got Thompson's compiler at PWB is that they found the horse
> even though they weren't looking for it.

I had not heard this story. Can you elaborate, please? My impression from having
read the paper (a long time ago now) is that Ken did the experiment locally only.



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