In this paper, we examine the security of open source software versus that of closed source software. Facets examined include a brief history of the growing need for security in software, a comparison of the different philosophies driving the development of security in open and closed source software, arguments for obscurity in closed source versus the “many eyeballs” theory in open source, and the pros and cons involved with both development processes. We also look at the two approaches in practice, focusing on competing software like Linux and Windows, OpenOffice.org and Microsoft Office, and Apache and Windows IIS Server. Finally, we examine the impacts on society from software security, as well as who is responsible for maintaining secure software.
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