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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 1st September, 2012, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel ~ View Post
So your saying MS never used Linux it contracted with a company to serve updates and that company used Linux...

I don't know why a rumor so vicious would persist so long...

The cynically inclined might say MS unable to configure Linux , for what ever reason, hired a company that could provide Linux security for MS Downloads...
Right, first, and you're probably not going to like this, but...
My opinion of those who seriously think that kind of thing is pretty close to my opinion of those who think it's a good idea to claim that the earthquake in Haiti was God's punishment for Haiti.

While it might be a nice little picture to think of MS scratching their head over configuring Linux, it's patently untrue. In fact, anyone who thinks that really knows nothing about MS or Linux at all. MS have demonstrated that they're quite able to contribute to the Linux kernel which takes a bunch more smarts than simply configuring a system. Sorry, but the truth is that Open Source software tends to be less secure than closed source software. (see my last paragraph for more)

No, what I'm saying is that MS contracted a company that's a well known leader in providing distributed content and caching globally to provide them a service. Akamai handle somewhere around 15-30% of the all web traffic. Why wouldn't MS go to someone who's a real specialist in this? Akamai's clients include people like IBM, Facebook, BBC, Apple, McAfee, Blizzard, github and AMD. I'm pretty sure that they can all configure Linux.

The reason such a rumour would persist is that people are willing to jump at something that's not true, because it suits their ideology. It has nothing to do with the ability to configure Linux. It's all to do with the network, and hence the ability to provide a service even when under heavy attack.

Akamai have an infrastructure that's large enough that it can protect against distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. Let me put it this way - Akamai have the bandwidth and servers that they can take a direct hit from Anonymous's LOIC and continue to provide service without blinking (and they have done so several times). Akamai have protected customers against peak levels of traffic that would wipe out the entire datacentre that AOA's hosted in.

Open Source vs Closed Source and security... Everyone talks about how anyone can review the source code Open Source software and therefore it must be more secure. However, how many people actually review the source code? (Hint, it might be close to zero based on how basic some of the bugs found have been) What drive is there to write secure code? Do you get praised if you write secure code? Do you get trained if you write insecure code? I know from my experience as a code reviewer that we're more likely to get burnt by open source than our own code.
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 1st September, 2012, 07:21 PM
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I have read your post with care, I have.

But I don't see it changes anything, it explains, in what I accept as a completely factual way How MS came to hire a company, better equiped to run aspects of the MS site. A company that ignored MS product and set up Linux for the MS site.

Something I can't believe MS was unaware of.

MS does in fact , though it's proxy, use Linux to run part of its site. This is not rumour as you attest to it.

It's never been easy for me to argue with my teachers, I am aware they know more than I , usually why they are my teachers... but not always...

You don't often make that any easier! LOL
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 1st September, 2012, 08:59 PM
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Talking

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Originally Posted by Daniel ~ View Post
Some very good news for Linux Graphics
Finally there is hope on the horizon dear linux users, if for some reason Windows 7 wasn't your favorite, Windows 8 is knocking at the door! Be happy!

P.S. Oh dear MS God thank you, you are so smart, I just wrote windows 7 and windows 8 and you linked what I wrote to amazon, oh how great are Thou!
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I've heard that linux community came up with better implemented security in it's latest Linux Mint Gold version, it's actually preventing the user to log in, thus posing 0 risk in contamining the computer with malware! Well done to the open source community!


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Old 1st September, 2012, 11:06 PM
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...enjoy Chris.":O}
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2012, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by Daniel ~ View Post
Something I can't believe MS was unaware of.
If you want to look at it from that perspective, then fair enough. However, if Akamai only ran on Linux, it would cease to work. Linux simply isn't heavyweight enough to deal with that kind of traffic. Hence, a lot of network lifting is done with Cisco kit, running IOS and NX-OS. That kit isn't running Linux OR Windows, but it's doing stuff with your web requests before they ever get anywhere close to the caching layer.

But, if you're going down that road, you'll also need to look at every device between you and MS.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2012, 11:38 AM
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There is more than meets the eye!
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I've heard that linux community came up with better implemented security in it's latest Linux Mint Gold version, it's actually preventing the user to log in, thus posing 0 risk in contamining the computer with malware! Well done to the open source community!

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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2012, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Daniel ~ View Post
But I don't see it changes anything, it explains, in what I accept as a completely factual way How MS came to hire a company, better equiped to run aspects of the MS site. A company that ignored MS product and set up Linux for the MS site.

Something I can't believe MS was unaware of.
MS hired Akami to provide a service. That's all. What infrastructure Akami chooses to use to provide that service is of no consequence to MS (nor should it be). What IS of consequence is whether Akami provide the service they are contracted to provide.

I had a similar debate back when I was with Medquist and we had a customer demanding that we use MS SQL server for the database in our system, because they were 'an all Microsoft house'. They didn't like the fact that we used Pervasive, rather than MS SQL.

The fact was, that FOR OUR APPLICATION, Pervasive's Btrieve engine was an order of magnitude faster, easier to manage, and less resource intensive, while providing all of the capability that we needed. Thus, it was a better choice, and since our system was a 'black box' to the rest of the network, the choice of database was of ZERO relevance, EXCEPT in the context of how it affected the operation of OUR system.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2012, 04:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
Dan, sorry, this simply isn't true. It's a myth created by those who think they can do harm to MS by not bothering to check their facts.

MS use IIS on Windows and has always done so. MS use a company called Akamai to do content caching and distribution. Akamai use Linux. When you connect to MS's website, you're actually connecting to Akamai (think of it as a proxy server), who then serve you content from the real MS website. That way MS can prevent all the downloads from slowing their website down.
Actually, when MS took over HotMail, they ran OpenBSD servers, and continued to do so for something like two years after IIRC. Also (again, IIRC), their first attempt to migrate HotMail to IIS ended rather badly. The good news was that it forced the MS engineers to really re-evaluate how they were doing a great number of things, both in the OS and the HTTP server, and that led to many of the improvements in Windows Server 2003 and IIS 6. Today, HotMail still runs some OpenBSD servers, but it is more Windows than OpenBSD, and they continue the migration.

In Microsoft's defense, though, part of the migration issues they faced had less to do with the capability of Windows than with the fact that a significant portion of the code being run was pretty tightly wedded to OpenBSD; even migrating to another Unix would likely have been rather painful.

Anyway, I suspect that the HotMail thing is probably where the whole "MS runs Linux" thing got started. I know that MS have been running microsoft.com pretty much since the beginning on Windows.
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2012, 05:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
That kit isn't running Linux OR Windows, but it's doing stuff with your web requests before they ever get anywhere close to the caching layer
Careful here, Aidan.

IOS is Cisco's own creation, but last I checked NX-OS is based on the MontaVista embedded linux distro. In addition, the ASR family of routers run IOS XE virtualized on top of a linux core. Juniper uses OpenBSD, I believe.

I DO believe, however, that Cisco are also flirting with an SMB router/server that runs on Windows and provides file and print services as well as routing functionality. In that case, however, they are running Windows on top of IOS, rather than running IOS on top of Linux.
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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2012, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
I know from my experience as a code reviewer that we're more likely to get burnt by open source than our own code.
I know from my own experience that I'm more likely to get burnt by external code that my own code. Full Stop.

The whole 'Open Source is more secure than Closed Source' argument is, at best, murky.

Your argument is that an Open Source programmer isn't going to get anything for writing secure code, except maybe an 'attaboy'. Fair enough, and it's a valid point.

But to assert that the same is not true in the Closed Source world is patently absurd. Writing secure code is HARD, because secure code is GOOD code, and writing GOOD code is HARD. You know this. You also know that companies tend to be FAR more concerned with time-to-market than with code quality. The only time this dynamic changes is when the company's reputation DEPENDS on the quality of its code (e.g. a security company), or when it simply becomes too painful (e.g. embarassing) for a company to maintain the status quo. Remember that MS didn't 'get religion' on code security until it became a public embarassment. MS have made ENOURMOUS strides in the last 7 years with respect to the quality of their code base, but that was a direct result of people getting tired of their 'patch and pray' approach to security, and even that arguably wouldn't have happened were it not for Linux and Open Source finally starting to pose a credible alternative.

Last edited by Gizmo; 2nd September, 2012 at 05:34 PM.
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  #31 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2012, 05:44 PM
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If you want to look at it from that perspective, then fair enough. However, if Akamai only ran on Linux, it would cease to work. Linux simply isn't heavyweight enough to deal with that kind of traffic. Hence, a lot of network lifting is done with Cisco kit, running IOS and NX-OS. That kit isn't running Linux OR Windows, but it's doing stuff with your web requests before they ever get anywhere close to the caching layer.

But, if you're going down that road, you'll also need to look at every device between you and MS.
Half of what I think I know, the half I can depend upon, I got from you. I've found that if I annoy you enough, you will teach me something!

It was good for me and God knows I hope it was good for you.":O}
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  #32 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2012, 06:03 PM
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It was good for me and God knows I hope it was good for you.":O}
Maybe.

But that isn't what she told ME she said.

<rimshot> KA-chunk
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  #33 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2012, 06:04 PM
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I just realized that once again we are talking about two very different things when I'm involved in the conversation.

I have Zero opinion as to which tool is better for which job. I can't have, I don't work in software/hardware as you do.

I don't like Corporate America, Corporate the world. I believe that corporations are inherently psychopaths without conscience who are Literately KILLING my planet.

I think Linux is a reasonable alternative to participation in the Corporate product.

Hey! That's great for me, I have a choice. Things are different for those who must go out and actually work in this world.

They need as Aedan says "Tools" to accomplish their work.

It's never been easy "to be in the world, but not part of it."

But this is me trying...":O}
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  #34 (permalink)  
Old 2nd September, 2012, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by ThunderRd View Post
Maybe.

But that isn't what she told ME she said.

<rimshot> KA-chunk
You can't believe her! She's crazy!
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  #35 (permalink)  
Old 3rd September, 2012, 10:45 AM
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But to assert that the same is not true in the Closed Source world is patently absurd. Writing secure code is HARD, because secure code is GOOD code, and writing GOOD code is HARD. You know this. You also know that companies tend to be FAR more concerned with time-to-market than with code quality.
I'm using Veracode's data as support, as it's the only comparison of inhouse/outsourced/opensource that I've come across that is objective. Additionally, knowing some of the Veracode guys means I know that they don't have an axe to grind in any particular direction. However, I would concede that an organisation isn't likely to use Veracode if they didn't care about security in some way. But, for those organisations that do use Veracode, generally inhouse written code ends up being more secure than outsourced code, which is more secure than opensource code.
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Old 3rd September, 2012, 03:10 PM
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We shall conclude today's sermon with Oh Holy Windows how Mighty is Thy Legacy and then we'll pray with brother Daniel...yes you!
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I've heard that linux community came up with better implemented security in it's latest Linux Mint Gold version, it's actually preventing the user to log in, thus posing 0 risk in contamining the computer with malware! Well done to the open source community!


Last edited by chrisbard; 3rd September, 2012 at 03:12 PM.
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Old 3rd September, 2012, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
I'm using Veracode's data as support, as it's the only comparison of inhouse/outsourced/opensource that I've come across that is objective. Additionally, knowing some of the Veracode guys means I know that they don't have an axe to grind in any particular direction. However, I would concede that an organisation isn't likely to use Veracode if they didn't care about security in some way. But, for those organisations that do use Veracode, generally inhouse written code ends up being more secure than outsourced code, which is more secure than opensource code.
Could you post the source of the data? I'd be interested in what their methodology is for arriving at their conclusion, given the fact the question is not nearly as simple as many would have us believe. In addition, this white paper would seem to suggest the exact opposite: in fact it explicitly states "Vulnerabilities that can lead to remote code execution and backdoor functionality are found to be far more prevalent in commercial software".

Commerical software is, ALMOST by definition, closed source.

For example, compare the 'secureness' of code that is maintained vs. code that is not maintained. You'll find a significant disparity regardless of whether you use closed or open source.

Compare the 'secureness' of code written by experienced coders against code written by neophytes and again, you'fl find a significant disparity regardless of whether you use closed or open source.

Compare the 'secureness' of code written to send an email against the 'secureness' of code written to handle a bank transaction, and again you'll find a significant disparity regardless of whether you use closed or open source.

Compare the 'secureness' of code written by a large dedicated team against the 'secureness' of code written by a single person and again you'll likely find a significant disparity regardless of whether you use closed or open source.

However, even that ignores certain realities: comparing the security of closed vs. out- vs. open source code is far less trivial than many would have us believe.

Again, my view is that the argument is, at best, murky.

IMO there are (as you correctly point out) a lot of ideologically orient arguments that actually have no place in the discussion. The heart of this discussion should be what open source is really about; choice.

If I have a closed-source app, my only choice for getting problems resolved is to go back to the company that wrote the application and get them to fix it, when they feel like it, IF they feel like it. I have no other choice, unless there happens to be another application that can do the same job. Even in that case, I will likely incur significant expenses migrating data using incompatible formats, as well as infrastructure. I suppose I could write my own app, but there again I incur significant costs, and at that point I probably have very little advantage over open source anyway.

If I have an open-source app, <I> have the source code. <I> can make the change. <I> have the choice. As a practical matter, I may still chose to migrate to another application, or spend money to have a developer make the change. But now it is <MY> choice.

THAT'S the heart of open source; CHOICE. The rest of this is tilting at windmills, IMO.

Last edited by Gizmo; 3rd September, 2012 at 08:46 PM.
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  #38 (permalink)  
Old 4th September, 2012, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Gizmo View Post
Could you post the source of the data? I'd be interested in what their methodology is for arriving at their conclusion, given the fact the question is not nearly as simple as many would have us believe.
BlackHat Europe 2012 briefings - Weld Pond (Chris Wysopal) presented both the data and provided explanation of what different categories were comprised of. My take on this is on the first pass through, closed source code tended to fair better than open source. Ultimately, through use of a review process, the code quality improved regardless of open/closed source.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizmo
The heart of this discussion should be what open source is really about; choice.

If I have an open-source app, <I> have the source code. <I> can make the change. <I> have the choice. As a practical matter, I may still chose to migrate to another application, or spend money to have a developer make the change. But now it is <MY> choice.
Yeah, along with "The source code is the documentation!" This is one of the places where I have an issue. It's all very well to be able to say "You have a choice, you can change the code!", but who does that really benefit? It's not the "average" (as if there were such a thing) user, but those who can code - the developer elite. So, for those who don't code, how does open-source actually offer them much in the way of choice? They're still shackled to developers who may or may not care about them - who may or may not fix an issue. Users like Dan aren't in a position to pay a developer to fix something for them, and then maintain the code afterwards.

I'm not anti open-source, but I do see a lot of nebulous claims made about how open source is somehow better than closed source. Actually I'd liken it in nature to some of the FUD that comes from MS. I don't for one minute think that closed source is inherently better or worse than open source, but I do question attitudes that seem to think that one is better than the other.
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Old 4th September, 2012, 11:44 AM
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I once heard that the "open source" is as good as the "closed source" when in Rome! I think we should ask the Pope how it feels about this!
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I've heard that linux community came up with better implemented security in it's latest Linux Mint Gold version, it's actually preventing the user to log in, thus posing 0 risk in contamining the computer with malware! Well done to the open source community!

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Old 4th September, 2012, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aedan View Post
BSo, for those who don't code, how does open-source actually offer them much in the way of choice? They're still shackled to developers who may or may not care about them - who may or may not fix an issue. Users like Dan aren't in a position to pay a developer to fix something for them, and then maintain the code afterwards.
Are you then suggesting that we should stop selling motherboards and cpus separately? Or that I should no longer be able to go to the auto parts store to buy a new alternator for my car? After all, the VAST majority of computer users and car owners don't benefit from that; they take their equipment to someone else, or just replace it when it breaks.

I'll agree, though, that there are a lot of claims made with respect to the supposed benefits of open source that are, shall we say, 'over zealous', if not outright prevarications, similar (as you again point out yourself) to the many of the claims made with respect to the supposed benefits of closed source.

I think there's room in the world for both models and in fact, I suspect that if they are done properly they will each benefit greatly from the existence of the other.
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