Linus Vs. The Security Circus

1 comment July 17th, 2008at 10:16pm Posted by Eli

The creator of Linux is fed up with the obsession over security:

In an email to the Linux kernel developer mailing list, Torvalds said a section of the security industry was dedicated to finding bugs in software only to publicize their findings and gain notoriety.

The row erupted in the Gmane mailing list after a developer for the PaX Team, which patches the Linux kernel, accused Torvalds and other top Linux kernel developers of “covering up [the] security impact of bugs” by not clearly labeling them as security flaws.

Torvalds wrote that disclosing the bug itself was enough, without having to label each individual security flaw. He added that taking the bugs to the “security circus” level only glorified the wrong kind of behavior. “It makes heroes out of security people, as if the people who […] fix normal bugs aren’t as important,” wrote Torvalds.

(…)

“Boring normal bugs are way more important, just because there’s a lot more of them,” wrote Torvalds. “I don’t think some spectacular security hole should be glorified or cared about as being any more ‘special’ than a random spectacular crash due to bad locking,” he said.

The Linux leader went on to state that “security people are often the black-and-white kind of people that I can’t stand”.

(…)

“I think the OpenBSD crowd is a bunch of masturbating monkeys, in that they make such a big deal about concentrating on security to the point where they pretty much admit that nothing else matters to them. To me, security is important. But it’s no less important than everything else that is also important!” Torvalds concluded.

By a remarkable coincidence, “Masturbating Monkey” is actually the title of an upcoming Ubuntu Linux release.

Entry Filed under: Technology

1 Comment

  • 1. Karin  |  July 19th, 2008 at 11:14 am

    I heard Torvalds speak once at a tech convention. Very cool guy.


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