Linux Planet talks to Gene Spafford about OS security

Tuesday, 15 October 2002, 11:04 AM EST

Is open source software more secure? To most Linux enthusiasts, the answer is obvious: open source means more people can look for bugs and a faster dissemination of bug fixes. Obviously, yes. But noted security expert Gene Spafford says that this may not necessarily be true. According to the Purdue professor of computer science and co-author of Practical Unix & Internet Security, good security begins with good design and neither Windows nor Linux have much to brag about in that category. And while you might not agree with Spaf's assessment of the strengths of open source, you have to admit that he knows a thing or two about computer security. He's the director of Purdue's Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security, and has advised a wide variety of organizations on computer security, including CERT, the FBI, the Secret Service, and the Air Force.

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