October 18, 2001

Net security: An oxymoron

Author: JT Smith

CNET News.com interviews SRI International principal scientist Peter Neumann on computer security issues, past work projects, and other events: "COTS--commercial off the shelf. That was a meeting ostensibly trying to see how you could take
off-the-shelf software and plug it into an environment that was mission critical and still have the
system be robust. My conclusion was that this was the wrong solution to the wrong problem. The
correct solution is to have robust solutions to begin with... One of the conclusions is that the open-source program could be a
wonderful driving force on the commercial developers. That's already happening with the network
routers and servers, which are already over 50 percent nonproprietary products--Linux and
various BSD systems. That's a foot in the door for the open-source movement."

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