Presented by

  • Russell Currey

    Russell Currey

    Russell is a Linux kernel hacker primarily focused on memory protections and microarchitectural security. By day he leads the Linux hardening team for IBM Power, and by night he is an avid Linux gamer and desktop ricer.


The Linux kernel is everywhere. It's running on billions of devices here on Earth, and quite a few in space, too. Linux is big. It does a lot of stuff. It runs on a lot of things. It's deployed in a lot of different ways, with a lot of different versions with a lot of different modifications. That paints a very large target for attackers on our favourite penguin-associated operating system. On most systems an attacker attempts to compromise, there is going to be a Linux kernel. And if that attacker compromises the kernel, they gain complete control over the entire system. Luckily for us, throughout its history Linux has come a very long way in terms of defending itself against attacks. Over the lifespan of the Linux kernel, there's been a steadily increasing focus on security that has led to many different projects that contribute to its protection. Compromising the kernel is still possible today, but it's leaps and bounds more difficult than it used to be, and I'll fill you in on the details - what things used to be like, how we got to where we are today, and what's still left to do to in the future. YouTube: