Sunday, September 19, 2004

Open Source Security Is a Myth?

I found this article on open source security very interesting. But here is what I am very curious about. Are more bugs and security flaws found in Microsoft software because their software is more buggy, or is it because those who tend to look for bugs and security flaws are usually non-Windows programmers?

I honestly have no authority to say whether or not MS's software is better than most open source software just because I don't have the experience. But, during my brief period as a programmer I have met lots of avid anti Microsoft programmers and only one outspoken anti open source programmer. In general, most MS programmers I've met just don't give a rat's patootie about the open source community and what they are doing. Do they want to find security flaws in the latest version of Fedora Core? No, of course not.

But is that the case for the pro open source types? Sometimes...and probably usually. BUT, and this is a big but, anti MS types often love to point out all the security flaws/bugs in MS stuff. I get the impression that lots of them just enjoy hearing about stuff like the latest problems with XP Service Pack 2. Why? Because lots of them hate MS.

Does this prove anything? No, of course not. But, what I do think is clearly present is motive. MS haters have every reason to loudly proclaim the latest Windows security issues and even to find more, because the more security issues and bugs the more likely that the world will switch to open source OS's like Linux and open source programs. On the flip side, MS technology programmers just don't have a reason to look for security flaws in stuff like Linux, because at this point they just don't pose a threat (at least to the desktop market). There is no motive to do so.

I could be wrong. These are just my speculations. What do you think?

Eric Sowell


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