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Re: Can a machine test itself? + other issues



Every computer system needs some kind of firmware to interface the
operating system to the physical hardware.  The BIOS just happens to be
the PC name for that function.


Stan Klein


On Mon, 2004-12-06 at 22:34, Vincent J. Lipsio wrote:
> > That comment about "an image of the entire system including the OS" intrigues
> > me.  Since the machine itself must be used (I presume) to generate an image
> > of the entire system, couldn't malicious software in the OS or BIOS present a
> > false image of what is there?  (I have been inquiring about a foolproof way to
> > verify a BIOS.  I'm not sure that one exists.)
> 
> The only foolproof way to test a system's code is to have an external device perform 
> the test, so this would require, for example, a special system with clips that 
> connect to the ROMs and read and verify their contents. 
> 
> Also, the "BIOS" would be part of what is tested; the term "BIOS" in my experience 
> is something peculiar to a PC, which a voting machine should not be, but if it is, 
> then the BIOS would have to be part of the code and would have to be testable.
> 
> Vince Lipsio
-- 
Stanley A. Klein <sklein@cpcug.org>