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Date: Wed, 18 Oct 2023 17:31:07 -0500
From: Grant Taylor <>
Subject: Re: with firefox on X11, any page can pastejack you

On 10/18/23 2:30 PM, Michael Orlitzky wrote:
> That's the crux of it but I don't think it frees Firefox from 
> responsibility.

Please elaborate on what Firefox's responsibility is here?

> Despite the premise being contrary to common sense and fifty years 
> of evidence, Firefox promises to sandbox all of the bad things that 
> untrusted third-party code might do to you.

So perhaps Firefox needs to change their statement / stance.  Much like 
Google Chrome got sued over private browsing mode not preventing web 
servers of pages your visiting retaining logs.

> Are there any other programs that run third-party code by default 
> and are not considered vulnerabilities?

I'm sure there are many things that run third-party code that people are 
not aware are vulnerable.  Email clients like Evolution come to mind.  I 
would be shocked if OpenOffice / LibreOffice probably also qualify as 
programs on *nix systems that have the possibility of unexpectedly 
modifying the clipboard / selection buffers*.

I saw an interesting thread -- I think on the Zsh mailing list -- 
talking about protecting end users from unexpected things that make 
sense in hindsight.  E.g. shell globing expanding `*` into all files in 
the directory, including files with `-` at the start of their name and 
potentially if not likely altering the behavior of the command, probably 
in an undesirable way.

I have to wonder how far programs / their programmers must go to protect 
users from themself.

Where does the program's / programmer's responsibility stop and the 
users responsibility start?

Aside:  The thread in question brought up some interesting idea, 
including altering how things that start with unsafe characters -- 
though I wonder why not all files -- with `./` so the `-bob` file 
becomes `./-bob` when expanded.  --  I wondered about prefixing globing 
with `--` which is the de-facto don't process anything after this as a 
command line flag.

*To those who would complain about my use of the term "buffer" ... I 
agree that the primary and secondary selection $TERM doesn't contain the 
selected data, rather pointer to the program containing the data.  But 
there is $SOMETHING that holds that information about where the 
selection is, a pointer of sorts.  I'm taking the liberty of using the 
term "buffer" to refer to this location holding the pointer to the 
information.  --  The clipboard is different and will retain data after 
the program that is the source of the data terminates, unlike the 
primary / secondary selection.

Grant. . . .
unix || die

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