In 2014, open source technology came under a heavy barrage of criticism as a result of high-profile security vulnerabilities. Mark Shuttleworth, the founder of Ubuntu Linux and its lead commercial sponsor Canonical, has a very different view and remains a stalwart defender of the open source model for software development and security.
In a video interview with Datamation, Shuttleworth details his view on open-source security as Ubuntu Linux celebrates its 10th anniversary.
In 2014, the Heartbleed vulnerability in the open source OpenSSL cryptographic library had wide ranging impact. OpenSSL is widely deployed on servers, VPNs and even mobile devices and it took some time for vendors and users to get systems and devices patched.
“We have a big responsibility to proactively make sure that the system is as robust in the face of inevitable flaws as it can be,” Shuttleworth said.
He added that by leveraging capabilities in silicon it’s possible to limit the risk of vulnerabilities and contain threats.
As to why the Heartbleed vulnerability became a headline in 2014, Shuttleworth noted that a key reason is because the open source OpenSSL software has been successful. He noted that there is a risk if one piece of software is in too many places and as such any one vulnerability can become a larger event.
“The great thing about open source is that it’s so dynamic and has so much innovation, that we have much more diversity in our ecosystem than there has ever been in the proprietary ecosystem,” Shuttleworth said. “You’ll never stop security issues from occurring in either open source or proprietary software but you deal with issues faster in open source.”
2014 was a particularly noteworthy year for Shuttleworth in that it marked the 10th anniversary of Ubuntu. Reflecting on the first decade of Ubuntu, Shuttleworth remarked that it was a privilege to be doing what he loved.
“I feel like we’re making the platform better, we’re setting the pace — what a privilege,” Shuttleworth said.
Watch the full video interview with Mark Shuttleworth below:
Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist
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