Feeds

Open source review would aid Windows security: Gartner

Aargh... Not the garlic

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Microsoft should dump security via obscurity, and submit its software to open source review, according to Gartner.

The open source review bit is something so utterly alien, communist and horrible to the mind of Bill Gates that it's almost worth us running a competition to find what he'd rather do (Sacrifice of firstborn? Auction wife on eBay? Tell Steve Jobs he was right?) - but actually, Gartner is perpetrating a small piece of sensationalism by saying it agrees with Gates about security, "and believes that open source review of Microsoft's code is necessary to meet security goals."

Which is not the same as saying this is what Bill believes, but they had us going for a moment there.

Gartner contrasts the assertion by Jim Allchin, Microsoft's senior vice president for Windows, that Windows boxes would be more vulnerable to attack if the company had to disclose technical information to rivals with previous pronouncements by his Billness.

But computer hackers have had little difficulty breaking into Microsoft's closed-source software, it notes.

Gartner analyst John Pescatore writes : "a strategy of relying on security through obscurity (hiding source code) has already proven a failure for Microsoft. To make future products more trustworthy, Microsoft will have to become more expert at developing code that can withstand external review."

Over the long term open documentation and public review of program interfaces between OSs and applications will lead to better security for Microsoft, Gartner believes, even though it notes some short term problems.

"Attackers may exploit the exposed interfaces in the short term as the process brings to light existing yet undiscovered vulnerabilities. But this approach simply means that insecure code will become secure more rapidly," Pescatore writes.

Allchin's belief that security offers a valid reason to reject making source code visible is misplaced, the analysts conclude.

The disclosure by Microsoft of technical information to rivals, which would allow them to make sure their software works better with Windows, is among the remedies put forward by the nine dissenting states during the current anti-trust trial. ®

Related stories

Eight new IIS security holes exposed
MS taunted with 'trustworthy computing' Web page
MS' highest priority must be security - Billg
MS asks time-out to re-consider states' demands
Ballmer weeps for Windows - video clip
MS opponents may testify
Little comfort for MS in dissenting states' memo

SANS - Survey on application security programs

More from The Register

next story
This time it's 'Personal': new Office 365 sub covers just two devices
Redmond also brings Office into Google's back yard
Oh no, Joe: WinPhone users already griping over 8.1 mega-update
Hang on. Which bit of Developer Preview don't you understand?
Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare
App makers can load it before anyone else, but if they do they're stuck with it
Half of Twitter's 'active users' are SILENT STALKERS
Nearly 50% have NEVER tweeted a word
Internet-of-stuff startup dumps NoSQL for ... SQL?
NoSQL taste great at first but lacks proper nutrients, says startup cloud whiz
IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'
Plus: Condoleezza Rice at Dropbox 'maybe she can find ... weapons of mass destruction'
Ditch the sync, paddle in the Streem: Upstart offers syncless sharing
Upload, delete and carry on sharing afterwards?
New Facebook phone app allows you to stalk your mates
Nearby Friends feature goes live in a few weeks
Microsoft TIER SMEAR changes app prices whether devs ask or not
Some go up, some go down, Redmond goes silent
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.