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Upside: OpenBSD perfects security by one-upmanship

May 17, 2000, 07:51 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Sam Williams)

"Perfection" and "software" are two words that rarely appear on the same cosmic plane, much less the same sentence."

"Still, when it comes to OpenBSD, the open-source operating system that for the last three years has built up a near-perfect track record for software security, it shouldn't be too surprising that project leader Theo de Raadt espouses a similarly reductionist design philosophy...."

"In a year that has seen software security jump from the back room to the front page, OpenBSD is getting a lot of attention. Although open-source advocates have long held up the community development model as superior to the "security by obscurity" approach, recent episodes such as the Red Hat (RHAT) "back door" controversy (see "French law would increase code accessibility") have demonstrated that time-to-market pressures can still produce slip-ups, even in the world of open-source development."

"To remedy this situation, a growing number of security-conscious software vendors and consumers are turning to projects such as OpenBSD, projects that home in on security with a craftsman's zeal, disregarding the market as much as possible."

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