Mailbag: Red Hat Security
Readers share their thoughts on open source security in general, and the recent
I think that Red Hat getting hacked was a good thing. I am a die-hard
Linux user, but I do not go with the crowd that thinks that if you are using
any non-Microsoft OS, then you are safe from bad ware. Humans make mistakes;
the software that we create will have bugs, and bugs lead to holes, and holes
are how the bad boys get in. The sooner everyone starts thinking about security,
I have to admit that I do feel safer using Linux and Firefox while I
am surfing the Web, just as the people in the Twin Towers felt safe on Sept.
11, 2001, just before the planes hit.
I have countered for years that Mac and open source operating systems
are not targets -- not because they are so secure, but because there were
so few of them. The more that are out there, the more they will be hacked.
The hackers want quantity. It only makes sense that they will concentrate
their efforts where they will get the most results for the least amount of
It is Microsoft's licensing that really burns me up, not so much whether
it has a better product than others. I'm not sure why those who clamor around
Microsoft don't get that. While there have been some who have made silly claims
about open source and its security, at least a company that uses FOSS or OSS
can hire someone (if they don't possess in-house talent) to review code to
ensure that everything is up to snuff. I have a few clients who have done
just that with Internet-facing Linux systems -- and it is one thing you cannot
do with closed source, no matter who it is. And that is the difference and
is why I will always look for an open source alternative for anything I use
And Doug's dad gets the final word on professors teaching
students how to hack:
Interesting comments on the hackers. Although I consider hackers and
scammers the enemy, you do have to understand the enemy if you want to have
a chance to defeat him. However, one area which seemed to be ignored was the
use of information gained by hacking. Helping riders get free lifetime transportation
on the T is certainly not an appropriate use. When we discovered weaknesses
in military installation security, we went to the responsible organization
so they could correct them.
Check in tomorrow for more reader letters! And if you want to share some of
your own comments, fill out the form below or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
Posted by Doug Barney on August 27, 2008 at 11:52 AM