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The kernel is the key
When you have a kernel built on a sound basis, you cannot hack it. If you ever wrote a production operating system, you would understand. With virtual memory on main frames you have "keys" for each user and that prevents them from accessing other users or the nucleus (kernel). While you may POSSIBLY be able to attack the application in a particular user's memory, you won't be able to attack another user's nor the kernel. A good kernel will not provide any back doors to other components, unlike Windows gives access to its other products .