edited….

Post A few reasons I prefer open source

A few months ago, I wrote up an article on why I use open source software. It may be of interest here. It’s kind of lengthy to post in its entirety here, but a teaser follows.
Quote:
While I am not opposed to closed source or proprietary software, as others may be, I very much appreciate software that is open source. I view it as a feature: a very attractive feature that can be implemented in any piece of software.

And the short list is

* No malware
* Clean uninstalls
* Good learning tool for early programmers
_________________

Sun Nov 01, 2009 5:02 am

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:30 am
Posts: 82

Post Re: A few reasons I prefer open source
f wrote:
A few months ago, I wrote up an article on why I use open source software. It may be of interest here. It’s kind of lengthy to post in its entirety here, but a teaser follows.
Quote:
While I am not opposed to closed source or proprietary software, as others may be, I very much appreciate software that is open source. I view it as a feature: a very attractive feature that can be implemented in any piece of software.

And the short list is

* No malware
* Clean uninstalls
* Good learning tool for early programmers

Open source is just as likely to contain malware if not more lilely than closed source. All it takes is some Dbag getting a hold of it injecting it with nasties then redistributing the program. Where as with closed source only the developer that holds the code can do this.

Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:07 pm

Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 11:34 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Tampa, FL, USA

Post Re: A few reasons I prefer open source
Not true. It is just as easy to add malicious code to a program if you have only a binary or if you have the source. What is difficult, though, is distributing that source with the malware in it. People will see it there plain as day.

_________________

Sun Nov 01, 2009 6:30 pm

Post Re: A few reasons I prefer open source
thatoneguy wrote:
ShawnJGoff wrote:
A few months ago, I wrote up an article on why I use open source software. It may be of interest here. It’s kind of lengthy to post in its entirety here, but a teaser follows.
Quote:
While I am not opposed to closed source or proprietary software, as others may be, I very much appreciate software that is open source. I view it as a feature: a very attractive feature that can be implemented in any piece of software.

And the short list is

* No malware
* Clean uninstalls
* Good learning tool for early programmers

Open source is just as likely to contain malware if not more lilely than closed source. All it takes is some Dbag getting a hold of it injecting it with nasties then redistributing the program. Where as with closed source only the developer that holds the code can do this.

I’ve never heard of malware for Linux. Unless it’s runs in wine. There are plenty for windows though.

I like open source because it’s free as in I don’t have to pay for any of it.

And most bugs get fixed almost instantly in comparison to proprietary which can take years or never be fixed if it’s not supported any longer. That’s one of the bad things about proprietary, once the business is sold or out of business the code is dead and the programs are useless. But with open source it’s always available to be modified and preserved.

I also like how because it’s open there is so much support for it from community and I mean most every project. And proprietary you would have to pay for support or have to wait on the phone or find a post with your question and they want to charge you for the answer. hahahaha

Also, the no viruses thing is pretty great.

I really like how windows machines get really slow as you use them. That’s not a “pro open source” but I think it’s great.

I would also say that Open Source products generally work better than proprietary. At least in my experience. Though I’ve not used proprietary in a very very long time. But I do have LinDVD on my system. Actually, now that I think of it, I’ve never seen “LinDVD update available”. So the update thing is a good reason to use OpenSource. And because they’re usually improvements and not just new ways to force advertising onto the users like in a lot of cases with proprietary.

_________________

Sun Nov 01, 2009 11:08 pm

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:30 am
Posts: 82

Post Re: A few reasons I prefer open source
ShawnJGoff wrote:
Not true. It is just as easy to add malicious code to a program if you have only a binary or if you have the source. What is difficult, though, is distributing that source with the malware in it. People will see it there plain as day.

My point was one is not safer than the other and to think so is pretty ignorant. Its easier to inject a program with nasties when you have the source and know how the program is compiled etc. how could you even argue that? open source is easier to make changes to, thats the freaking point of open source!

Nobody said anything about distributing the source with malware.

Just as a reference it would be 100000x easier to inject malware into pidgin and redistribute it than it would be to use msn messenger or yahoo messenger.

Thinking opensource is inherently more secure than closed source is a flawed idea at the very core.

Quote:
I’ve never heard of malware for Linux. Unless it’s runs in wine. There are plenty for windows though.

I dont seen anybody mentioning platforms here.

Dont get me wrong i prefer open source to closed mostly because of the reasons MattKing mentioned, Faster updates, better support etc. but the “its safer” claim is nonsense that has been thrown aroudn for some time.

Mon Nov 02, 2009 3:35 pm

Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 11:34 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Tampa, FL, USA

Post Re: A few reasons I prefer open source
It is trivial to patch a binary with a loader that executes whatever arbitrary code you produce then jumps to the first instruction of the original program. In fact, there are automated tools out there for doing just that. Any untrusted distributor of software can be serving up trojanized software – it doesn’t matter if it’s closed or open. Having the source doesn’t change that one bit.

Where I’m concerned is with the authors (not necessarily the distributors) of the software. Say someone advertises a cool program that keeps a super-encrypted database of all your passwords that you can carry around on your thumb drive. It lets you use a different arbitrarily complex password on all your websites because you don’t have to remember them. Pretty cool tool, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to use it if the source is not openly published right along with the binary – who knows what the authors of the program actually wrote.

For an open source program, if the software is at all popular, people have read the source code. If there is malware in it, people will know pretty quickly. At that point, either the program dies of obscurity or someone makes a clean version and that becomes the one people know and love. Closed source software takes much more skill and time to analyze.

_________________

Mon Nov 02, 2009 5:50 pm

Joined: Thu May 15, 2008 4:32 am
Posts: 598
Location: Dallas TEXAS

Post Re: A few reasons I prefer open source
Oh sorry, I try to mention platforms any chance I get because windows is terrible and Linux isn’t terrible. That’s all that I was saying. šŸ™‚ But, I’ve never heard of open source malware either. That may be a cool project to start though.

_________________

Mon Nov 02, 2009 8:03 pm

Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:30 am
Posts: 82

Post Re: A few reasons I prefer open source
f wrote:
It is trivial to patch a binary with a loader that executes whatever arbitrary code you produce then jumps to the first instruction of the original program. In fact, there are automated tools out there for doing just that. Any untrusted distributor of software can be serving up trojanized software – it doesn’t matter if it’s closed or open. Having the source doesn’t change that one bit.

Where I’m concerned is with the authors (not necessarily the distributors) of the software. Say someone advertises a cool program that keeps a super-encrypted database of all your passwords that you can carry around on your thumb drive. It lets you use a different arbitrarily complex password on all your websites because you don’t have to remember them. Pretty cool tool, but there’s no way in hell I’m going to use it if the source is not openly published right along with the binary – who knows what the authors of the program actually wrote.

For an open source program, if the software is at all popular, people have read the source code. If there is malware in it, people will know pretty quickly. At that point, either the program dies of obscurity or someone makes a clean version and that becomes the one people know and love. Closed source software takes much more skill and time to analyze.

You completely missed the point of everything i said and went right back to the whole malware in the source thing.

Mon Nov 02, 2009 10:22 pm

Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 11:34 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Tampa, FL, USA

Post Re: A few reasons I prefer open source
y wrote:
You completely missed the point of everything i said and went right back to the whole malware in the source thing.

I directly addressed what you said.
y wrote:
All it takes is some Dbag getting a hold of it injecting it with nasties then redistributing the program. Where as with closed source only the developer that holds the code can do this.
I directly addressed this when I said
ShawnJGoff wrote:
It is just as easy to add malicious code to a program if you have only a binary or if you have the source.

You then said the exact same thing again, so I elaborated…
thatoneguy wrote:
Its easier to inject a program with nasties when you have the source and know how the program is compiled etc. how could you even argue that?
My response was that it’s not, and I clarly explained why: there are automated tools for injecting payloads into binary executables.

I might add that because of this, it may actually be even easier to attach something to a binary than to try to mess around with the code. You don’t even have to know how to program: you just get a kit, (they usually come with a virus), and use the tool to attach it to a program. Thus it is just as easy to distribute infected binaries of open source software as it is closed source. Your argument is nullified: it is not more difficult to infect binaries than to infect source.

thatoneguy wrote:
My point was one is not safer than the other and to think so is pretty ignorant.
Now you’re missing my point. I stated in the original article and reiterated here that the security with open source software is with the intentions of the developer of the software. With open source software, everyone can see it and know what it does. With closed source software, the developer can say it does one thing, when it actually does something else, and it’s much harder for people to catch.

Imagine you are a malicious developer. You want to spread your virus out there by including it in a useful tool. Now, are you going to release the code with it? Certainly not! If you do, someone will see the malicious code pretty readily – it is better to conceal it.

_________________

Tue Nov 03, 2009 3:52 am

Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 9:57 pm
Posts: 1200

Post Re: A few reasons I prefer open source
if you know hardware and understand machine code and or assembly, any software can become compromised. Most people do not invest the time to do that anymore except maybe people who work with embedded devices. There are a variety of decompilers which can help in extracting source code for application programs which then can be recompiled for what ever use. That being said I do run a rootkit checker on occasion.

My reasons for running “true” open source are several.
1. With all the systems we have, using a proprietary system would be cost prohibitive via vendor lock-in.
2. Open source so far has done an excellent job in still supporting the older hardware we have. We do not have to upgrade every ten minutes.
3. Linux is reasonably secure when precautions are taken.
4. Except in certain niches, there is a larger variety of software available for open source than in the proprietary world.
5. Having started out as a maintenance programmer, I love that I can acquire source code and modify it for my needs. Everything does not have to be built from scratch though I do have the freedom and tools to do that..
6. There are no limitations on how I setup and or modify my hardware, A proprietary vendor can not limit me to what I attach to a system. (i.e memory in a nettop)
7. No need to have to worry about keeping product key codes. I avoid software that does. I can load the os and most apps on as many machines as I want.
8. No need for the most part have to have a compartmentalized os where I need special software install for a particular purpose. (i;e;You can easily turn a server into a desktop and or a desktop into a server without reinstalling the os).
9. Easier access to applications and operation systems without have to deal with shrink wrapped media available only from a retail establishment.. You can try it before you buy it.

Just a few reasons.

Joined: Sun May 04, 2008 11:34 pm
Posts: 505
Location: Tampa, FL, USA

Post Re: A few reasons I prefer open source
Yeah, anti-piracy efforts are part of the reason I moved full-time to Linux. The stupid XP activation thing pisses me off. The first time I had to call Microsoft to ask them to let me please install the software I payed for on the machine I payed for, I was out.

y wrote:
This is my point…

Take open source program, inject with nasties, redistribute without source.

Doing that is just as easy if not easier than doing the same to a closed source program and just as easy to conceal.

Yes, I understand your point. I still say it is just as easy to infect a closed source as an open source since it’s easier to infect a binary than source. But to only consider the danger from redistributors of software (as you are doing) is foolish. There lies a problem at the origin. Remember the Gator program? It was a tool to automatically fill in website forms. The problem is, it spied on you. This program would never have gotten out (at least without the spyware removed) if it was open source.

Consider Windows – a complex closed-source application. I can download it straight from the developer – not through a 3rd party distributor – and it still could contain spyware. Now imagine Ubuntu tried the same thing – it would be found out immediately: either because the source code showed the malware readily or because people can’t get the code to compile to the binary their serving.

How can you ignore this issue

Advertisements