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Trend Micro Has A Bad Case Of Open Source Foot In The Mouth

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The chairman of security vendor Trend Micro is having a tough time extracting his foot from his mouth after saying that open source software is not as secure as other software because "the hacker can also understand the underlying architecture and source code". Steve Chang was talking about the Android OS versus Apple's iOs. Putting aside for a second the issue of whether Android in indeed truly open, Chang's remarks ignited a firestorm of rebuttals and vitriol from the open source community.

Of course the fact that Chang was making these remarks while marking the release of Trend's new Android anti-malware products gave the whole thing the smell of a cheap suit and a bottle of snake oil. But FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and snake oil are not strangers to the security market. Take it from me, I have been there for 10 years now. FUD is the security salesperson's best friend. But there is FUD and there is FUD. Spreading FUD that open source is not as secure as closed source will always get a knee jerk reaction out of the FOSS community.

In this case the outrage was so great that Trend tried to issue some press releases and follow ups trying to explain away what Chang meant. But it was too little too late.

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