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University of Minnesota Linux “Hypocrite Commit” Researchers Publish Open Letter

The drama in kernel land this week was University of Minnesota being banned from Linux kernel development over research they previously carried out looking at “hypocrite commits” and the possibility of intentionally introducing vulnerabilities (such as use-after-free bugs) into the kernel source tree. This weekend those researchers involved published an open letter to the Linux kernel community.

Word of these university researchers having done a research paper on “hypocrite commits” and carried out their actions with seemingly little to no external oversight and having wasted upstream developer resources and potentially risked the kernel’s security raised many concerns in the community.

In addition to “banning” University of Minnesota from contributing to the upstream kernel, Greg Kroah-Hartman planned to revert all umn.edu patches. However, so far that has yet to happen on the mainline tree. So far the vast majority of the University of Minnesota patches contributed to mainline over the years were found to be done in good faith.