[Linux-aus] Re: [Talk] Media Release: OPEN SOURCE USERS UNAFFECTED BY SASSER WORM - THE INTERNET KEEPS GOING DESPITE FLAWED PROPRIETARY SOFTWARE
Greg 'groggy' Lehey
Greg.Lehey at auug.org.au
Tue May 11 17:18:12 UTC 2004
On Monday, 10 May 2004 at 14:44:38 +1000, David Purdue wrote:
> Just to play devil's advocate...
> Con Zymaris wrote:
>> The first worm, by Robert Morris Junior, son of a senior NSA computer
>> security expert and Unix pioneer, occurred in 1988. Even though it was
>> not malicious and accidentally escaped from a lab, it brought the
>> Internet to its knees for a few days. It directly caused the creation of
>> a number of agencies, primarily CERT - Computer Emergency and Response
>> Team. What the Morris Worm did clearly demonstrate is that there are
>> substantial advantages for any organisation in using operating systems,
>> middleware and applications from more than one codebase. Organisations
>> who had a variety of platforms were able to keep part of their
>> computing infrastructure going.
> This release fails to mention that the Morris Worm propagated by
> exploiting weaknesses in Sendmail, an open source program.
Well, I don't know if "fails" is the correct word. But it could have
made capital of the matter, something along the lines of:
- All software is vulnerable, even UNIX.
- It happened to UNIX first.
- We fixed it. It doesn't happen any more.
> So it could also be said that what the Morris Worm did is clearly
> demonstrate that software being open source does not imply that it
> is immune to virus/worm attack.
Well, this was UNIX, not "Open Source" :-)
> If the real lesson is that I should source my applications from
> multiple code bases, what is the alternate codebase for something
> that does the same job as Apache?
I don't personally think this is the lesson that people should learn.
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