Keeping security a secret

Monday, 20 January 2003, 4:25 PM EST

Is open-source software better for security than proprietary software?

The open-source movement argues that it's better because "lots of eyes can look at it and find the bugs." Those who favour proprietary software offer two counterarguments. The first is that a lot of hostile eyes can also look at open-source code -- which, they say, is likely to benefit attackers more than anyone else. The second point is that a few expert eyes are better than several random ones; a dedicated organisation with responsibility for the software is a better custodian than the many eyes of the open-source community.

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