Much like a compromised system, it doesn't really matter if the cat is dead or alive. At some point, the poison gas will be released, you will end up with a dead cat, and eventually it will start stinking the place up.
The trick is to find effective ways to deal with failures so that you can be back up and running quickly and securely!
- SecurityFocus copy_from_user_mmap_sem() vulnerability: http://www.securityfocus.com/bid/27796
- Schrödinger's cat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger's_cat
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