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in “ Tech news in brief ”,
April 21, 2021.

U Minnesota banned from Linux

University of Minnesota.

University of Minnesota. © iStock.

Now for something a little different . . . University of Minnesota teachers and students are no longer permitted to contribute to the Linux kernel. Why this mass ban? Two University of Minnesota researchers published an article earlier this year explaining how they submitted known vulnerabilities to the Linux kernel. They wanted to demonstrate how potentially malicious code could get through the approval process. In response, Greg Kroah-Hartman, kernel maintainer and member of the Linux Foundation, issued a statement calling on all kernel maintainers to reject any code submissions from anyone using an umn.edu email address. In addition, all code submitted in the past will be removed and reviewed. The mass reversion involves 204 files, with 306 insertions and 826 deletions. “Our community does not appreciate being experimented on, and being ‘tested’ by submitting known patches that either do nothing on purpose, or introduce bugs on purpose,” wrote a visibly upset Greg Kroah-Hartman. Naturally, the decision gave rise to discussions of epic proportions in the free-software community, where a good debate is always welcome.

The Register, Thomas Claburn, “University duo thought it would be cool to sneak bad code into Linux as an experiment. Of course, it absolutely backfired.”

The Verge, Mitchell Clark, “University of Minnesota banned from contributing to Linux kernel.”



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