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CNET News: Decrypting the Secret to Strong Security

Jan 17, 2003, 08:30 (9 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Whitfield Diffie)

"The open-source movement argues that it's better because 'lots of eyes can look at it and find the bugs.' Those who favor 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 organization with responsibility for the software is a better custodian than the many eyes of the open-source community.

"There is probably some truth to the notion that giving programmers access to a piece of software doesn't guarantee they will study it carefully. But there is a group of programmers who can be expected to care deeply: Those who either use the software personally or work for an enterprise that depends on it...."

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