On the security of open source software

TitleOn the security of open source software
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsPayne, C
Secondary TitleInformation systems journal
PublisherWiley Online Library

With the rising popularity of so-called ‘open source’ software there has been increasing interest in both its various benefits and disadvantages. In particular, despite its prominent use in providing many aspects of the Internet’s basic infrastructure, many still question the suitability of such software for the commerce-oriented Internet of the future. This paper evaluates the suitability of open source software with respect to one of the key attributes that tomorrow’s Internet will require, namely security. It seeks to present a variety of arguments that have been made, both for and against open source security and analyses in relation to empirical evidence of system security from a previous study. The results represent preliminary quantitative evidence concerning the security issues surrounding the use and development of open source software, in particular relative to traditional proprietary software.

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