From Internet Product News:
Microsoft Gets Defensive About Open Source Software. According to a report in The Washington Post, Microsoft is “aggressively” trying to convince the Pentagon to abandon its use of freely distributed software, claiming open source software threatens Department of Defense security.
What’s wrong with this picture? In his testimony for the Microsoft anti-trust trial, MS bigwig Jim Allchin said that revealing Windows’s source code — one of the possibly remedies sought by the non-settling states — would let hackers find the operating system’s security holes, thereby jeopardizing national security. As eWeek put it:
A senior Microsoft Corp. executive told a federal court last week that sharing information with competitors could damage national security and even threaten the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan. He later acknowledged that some Microsoft code was so flawed it could not be safely disclosed.
So, Microsoft is saying that closed-source software isn’t secure, and open-source software isn’t secure either. MS seems to have missed the bulletin that says opening source code to public scrutiny allows vulnerabilities to be found and plugged. It’s that last part that Microsoft never seems to get around to talking about.