Following Many Patches, Linux 5.9 Finally Switching To HTTPS Links En Masse
Written by Michael Larabel in Linux Kernel on 25 July 2020 at 09:25 AM EDT. 8 Comments
LINUX KERNEL --
On the mailing lists and browsing various Git "-next" repositories it's felt like "damn, there are a lot of patches about replacing HTTP links with HTTPS all of a sudden" inside the kernel sources and documentation. Indeed, for Linux 5.9 where applicable HTTP links are being replaced for HTTPS.

After wondering in passing about all these "replace HTTP with HTTPS" patches in recent weeks and checking the linux-next tree, indeed, there are ~150 patches at the moment on deck for Linux 5.9 that amount to replacing HTTP links within the kernel tree with HTTPS.

The basis for all of these patches are to "reduce attack surface on kernel devs opening the links for [man in the middle attacks] as HTTPS traffic is much harder to manipulate." Though this change appears to be proactive as there are no indications any kernel developer was recently attacked or compromised via such means with most URLs in the kernel sources/documentation not being sensitive but rather mundane documentation, personal web pages, and other resources. Many web servers and browser plugins are also automatically upgrading HTTP traffic to HTTPS anyhow.

This isn't some concerted effort but the replacing HTTP with HTTPS links is done by Alexander Klimov, who has contributed to the Linux kernel over the years. He wasn't manually scouring the kernel tree for HTTP links but this effort was largely driven automatically via scripting in finding HTTP links, ensuring it's not in SVG or similar, and then checking HTTPS is offered by a given server/URL but that it also returns the same contents as the HTTP version.

So with that come Linux 5.9 the in-kernel/documentation links are looking to finally be HTTPS where applicable.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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