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WSJ spreads FUD on open source and Google Phone

Anonymous Coward writes | more than 6 years ago

Google 2

An anonymous reader writes "Ben Worthen at the Wall Street Journal shows a laughable grasp of what "open source" means: 'Here's the first thing that will happen when a phone with Google's operating system hits the market: Information-technology departments will ban employees from connecting phones that run Google's operating system to their computers or the corporate network. The reason is that Google's operating system is open, meaning anyone can write software for it. That includes bad guys, who will doubtlessly develop viruses and other malicious code for these phones, which unsuspecting Google phones owners will download. Employees could spread the malicious code to the rest of the company when they synch their phones to their computers or use it to check email. The way to combat this is to develop anti-virus and anti-malware software for phones and to develop security procedures similar to those that have evolved for PCs over the last several years. But that's going to take time and money — neither of which the average IT department has. So until then, expect Google phones to be persona non grata at companies.'"
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What? (2, Insightful)

sltd (1182933) | more than 6 years ago | (#21252103)

The least secure operating system is the most proprietary one that I can think of. IT ought to ban Microsoft Windows from their systems if they are worried about malicious software. As for "open source," the fact that source code is readily available simply means that the person developing it has to go the extra mile to make robust and readable code. Not only that, but security holes can be fixed sooner, because nobody has to wait for the big proprietary software company to come out with the patch. If you fully understand the implications of having an operating system whose source code is available publicly, and which, legally, can be modified, you realize that it is a pretty good model. It isn't perfect - largely because it lacks the kind of backing it needs in order to achieve its full potential - but it is far better than software that you have to trust to work properly. If you find a bug, you are free to submit not only a bug report, but a working patch to the source code, which has the potential to help anyone.

This article misses the mark. Whether software is open source or not is of no consequence when it comes to network security. It tends to be more secure, although a piece of insecure software could be released under an Open Source license (MS-MPL, anyone?). What matters is that the software is well-written, and thoroughly tested. Time will tell if the Google Phone is either. If it is, more power to them. If it isn't, its Open Source nature provides people with the ability to make the necessary modifications to it, and improve it.

Re:What? (1)

CmdrNachos (1156063) | more than 6 years ago | (#21257635)

What happens if you piss and moan about Microsoft all day and nobody listens?
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