Panel: Meltdown, Spectre, and the free-software community

Presented by Jonathan Corbet, Andrew 'bunnie' Huang, Benno Rice, Jess Frazelle, Katie McLaughlin, Kees Cook
Thursday 10:45 a.m.–11:30 a.m. in Great Hall CB01.05.009
Target audience: Developer


The Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabilities raise a lot of questions about how our hardware works — and how we respond when things go wrong. This panel will discuss these vulnerabilities, how they affected us, and what we would like to see done differently the next time around. The panel consists of Kees Cook, Andrew 'bunnie' Huang, Jessie Frazelle, Katie McLaughlin and Benno Rice; it will be moderated by Jonathan Corbet.

Presented by

Jonathan Corbet

Jonathan Corbet is the kernel documentation maintainer, co-founder of (and the author of its Kernel Page), a member of the Linux Foundation's Technical Advisory Board, and the lead author of Linux Device Drivers, Third Edition. He lives in Boulder, Colorado, USA.

Andrew 'bunnie' Huang

bunnie is best known for his work hacking the Microsoft Xbox, as well as for his efforts in designing and manufacturing open source hardware, including the chumby (app-playing alarm clock), chibitronics (peel-and-stick electronics for craft), and Novena (DIY laptop). He received his PhD in EE from MIT in 2002. He currently lives in Singapore where he runs a private product design studio, Kosagi, and he actively mentors several startups and students of the MIT Media Lab.

Benno Rice

Benno is a longtime FreeBSD committer and, more recently, Core Team member. He’s also been part of the Python community for a fair old while. He kicked off FreeBSD’s port to the PowerPC architecture a long time ago and co-created Python’s behave project. Lately he’s been working with FreeBSD’s Core Team to improve FreeBSD’s community processes.

Jess Frazelle

Jess Frazelle works at Microsoft on open source, containers, and Linux. She has been a maintainer of Docker, contributor to RunC, Kubernetes and Golang as well as other projects. She loves all things involving Linux namespaces and cgroups and is probably most well known for running desktop applications in containers and her work on making containers secure.

Katie McLaughlin

Katie has worn many different hats over the years. She has been a software developer for many languages, systems administrator for multiple operating systems, and speaker on many different topics. When she’s not changing the world, she enjoys cooking, making tapestries, and seeing just how well various application stacks handle emoji.

Kees Cook

Kees Cook has been working with Free Software since 1994, and has been a Debian Developer since 2007. He is currently employed as a Linux kernel security engineer by Google, working on Android and Chrome OS. From 2006 through 2011 he worked for Canonical as the Ubuntu Security Team's Tech Lead, and remains on the Ubuntu Technical Board. Before that, he worked as the lead sysadmin at OSDL, before it was the Linux Foundation. He has written various utilities including GOPchop and Sendpage, and contributes randomly to other projects including fun chunks of code in OpenSSH, Inkscape, Wine, MPlayer, and Wireshark. He's been spending most of his time lately focused on security features in the Linux Kernel.