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Globe and Mail: Linux Whimsy Belies Solid Security

Mar 26, 2003, 11:30 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Kevin Marron)

"An operating system that provides a software platform for running all kinds of computer systems, Linux was created as an alternative to commercial software by Mr. Torvalds, a Finnish programmer, with the help of computer experts from all over the world.

"But this freely available operating system that has evolved in the geeky Internet culture of hackers and computer programming enthusiasts may prove to be more secure and robust than many pieces of commercial software designed specifically for the corporate world, according to Chris Pratt, Linux manager for Markham, Ont.,-based IBM Canada Ltd.

"This is because Linux, unlike other operating systems that keep their proprietary software code under wraps, makes its code available for all to see and test for potential security flaws, says Mr. Pratt, whose company is one of many vendors now promoting Linux as a solid business platform.

"'It's a Darwinian approach. The strongest code survives. It is highly open to those trying to protect it and those trying to attack it. This enormous level of peer scrutiny means that the code that's put out is of extremely high quality...'"

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