Wired Article Focuses On Mac OS X Security & Open Source Relations

Wired has published a report on security issues in OS X, as well as Appleis developer relations with the Open Source community. The article is titled "Mac: Ripe for a Hack?" and covers some important issues. There have been some concerns expressed by the Open Source community about whether or not Apple will be giving back, especially in the form of opening up more Apple technologies to Open Source.

If Apple doesnit give back to the community, then it may not get the communityis assistance in fixing security holes in OS X, developers said. And many also wondered if Apple would continue to work with open-source developers at all, now that OS X has been released.

Mike Radison, a developer who contributed code to the new system, said itis difficult to foresee whether Apple will adopt Microsoftis strategy of "bashing" open-source development, will embrace it as IBM has, or will simply try to ignore the entire issue.

"And many of us have asked Apple to give back by opening the code on two important apple patented products," he added. "Opening the source code to TrueType and QuickTime Streaming video formats would make many open-source operating environments significantly better. But Apple hasnit responded to our requests."

Not everyone feels that way though. Chuck Wade, head of security research at CommerceNet, says that Apple is doing a pretty good job:

"Using Microsoft as an example, hereis the quandary: If the way to improve security is to open up source code to public inspection, then Microsoft is at a disadvantage, since their corporate strategies call for keeping their source code closed and proprietary," Wade said. "But if they opened up Windows source to inspection, then it would be much easier for competitors to emerge."

Wade said companies that use open-source code need to stay in close touch with developers to keep their products secure. He believes Apple intends to behave as a "competent supplier" of an open-source, Unix-based operating system.

There is a lot more in this article, including security issues for the new OS. Itis a very good read, great exposure for Apple from a mainstream piece, and we definitely recommend it. Thanks to Observer Ralph Miranda for drawing our attention to the article.