1998-11-23 - Re: Is Open Source safe? [Linux Weekly News]

Header Data

From: “Frank O’Dwyer” <fod@brd.ie>
To: Martin Minow <minow@pobox.com>
Message Hash: 9ec7d829872154d94e0e63463002791dc0cb1f934a6e59ffaa7ea26e5536b912
Message ID: <3659B025.756B888A@brd.ie>
Reply To: <Pine.SOL.3.96.981122232742.12779A-100000@sparkle>
UTC Datetime: 1998-11-23 19:55:39 UTC
Raw Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 03:55:39 +0800

Raw message

From: "Frank O'Dwyer" <fod@brd.ie>
Date: Tue, 24 Nov 1998 03:55:39 +0800
To: Martin Minow <minow@pobox.com>
Subject: Re: Is Open Source safe? [Linux Weekly News]
In-Reply-To: <Pine.SOL.3.96.981122232742.12779A-100000@sparkle>
Message-ID: <3659B025.756B888A@brd.ie>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Martin Minow wrote:
> Frank O'Dwyer <fod@brd.ie> opines:
> >
> >Yes it does, but not quite in the same way. For example, I believe that
> >in days of yore some attackers managed to insert a back door into some
> >DEC OS by breaking into the coding environment (I don't recall the
> >details, does anyone else?).
> <http://www.acm.org/classics/sep95/> describes how the inventors
> of Unix inserted a backdoor into the Unix login program. It's well
> worth reading. However, there is no indication that this trojan
> horse ever shipped to customers.

No, that is a different incident. These were external attackers who
managed to patch the source, and as far as I know it did ship. Could be
an urban myth I guess, but it's clearly a plausible attack.

> >So in other words, not only _could_ this
> >happen with non-OSS, it _has_ happened, and no doubt it happens
> >reasonably often.
> I doubt it.

OK, "reasonably often" is overstating it, perhaps :) 

Frank O'Dwyer.