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LinuxWorld: The back door to Frontpage – Meet two open source offerings — without back doors

“It’s getting pretty easy to defend the choice of open source
software for corporate projects these days. It is common knowledge
that the Internet runs mostly on open source software. If you are
among the few who aren’t aware of just how much of the Internet is
open source, I urge you to visit the Netcraft Web survey (see
Resources). You’ll see that the market share for the open source
Apache Web server is currently at about 58 percent, and has been
increasing steadily for more than four years. In contrast,
Microsoft Internet Information Server’s market share was about 24
percent in 1998, saw a small favorable blip in late 1999, and is
now in decline at about 22 percent. iPlanet, a.k.a. Netscape, is at
a measly 8 percent and is also in decline.”

“But open source got one of its biggest boosts last week with
the news that Microsoft may have installed a back door into the
server extensions for its Web authoring software, Front Page. A
back door is a secret entrance programmers create so that they can
find their way into customers’ installations of their software
without having to know the administrator’s password.”

First, Microsoft recommended to its customers that they
remove the offending DLL file. Now there is some doubt as to
whether this back door really exists. It hardly matters. What
matters is that you may never know for sure.


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