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Open Source Software Poses a Real Security Threat
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tychotithonus
tychotithonus,
User Rank: Strategist
8/15/2018 | 2:41:39 PM
contrast with closed source
I feel that this headline was designed to poke the FOSS bear. :)

Singling this out as an open-source problem is insufficiently precise. The valid points made here have less to do with open source per se than they do with overall software supply chain.

Further, most closed-source projects are themselves built on top of many layers of open-source components - from Linux to Apache http to Cygwin to the broad spectrum of libraries. This is especially true for security appliances. With open source, you and others can at least verify that you're using current, patched versions of those components - and quickly upgrade them to respond to vulnerabilities, instead of waiting for your vendor's next quarterly/yearly patch/certification cycle.

As a FOSS advocate, it would have been more even-handed of you to have included points such as these as part of your analysis.
JeffW94002
JeffW94002,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/28/2018 | 4:59:22 PM
Re: contrast with closed source
Well, you're right in the sense that this is a problem for both open and closed source code.  But they're not the same. The success of open source code has made your point incorrect.  The size and complexity of the open source supply chain is dramatically larger than for closed source. The average web application is now 81% open source libraries and frameworks (although 72% of *that* is never invoked).  Your point about closed-source projects just makes my point.  Further, updating open source isn't the same as updating closed source.  Nobody goes back and provides patches for old open source... you are forced to upgrade to the latest version.  That means changing your software to match.  As I mentioned, I'm a huge open source advocate, but you can't try this false equivalence thing -- it's not helping the cause.  That bear now deserves to be poked.


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