In an interview with Australian publication Computerworld and ahead of his appearance as a keynote speaker at the Australian Linux Conference 2008, renowned security expert Bruce Schneier has compared Linux to Star Wars and suggests fanboys feel the force a bit more.
Schneier will give a presentation entitled "Reconceptualising Security" which will focus on the need for Linux technologists to remember the human aspect of security issues, and asks what Linux has done for security as a whole as far as the IT world is concerned. Schneier argues that while most people have a natural tendency to focus on the reality of security issues within the development process, they also ignore the ‘feeling’ which should be considered as an important factor also.
“Security is both a feeling and a reality” he says “you can feel secure even if you’re not and you can be secure even if you don’t feel it.”
Addressing Linux specifically, and Schneier does tend to wander down the esoteric inevitability of cyber-war path a tad during the interview it has to be said, Bruce says that the most important thing Linux has done to improve security is simply being a competitive force against Windows in the market. “Monopolies are complacent, and by being an alternative, Linux forces Microsoft to improve its own operating system” he argues.
Overall, it is an interesting interview with the man who is now CTO of BT Counterpane, was the creator of the Blowfish symmetric block cipher which he made freely available to anyone, and remains a driving force as far as both the concept and practicality of IT security is concerned. Certainly if I can find an excuse to be at the University of Melbourne at the end of January for Linux.Conf.Au I suspect it will be worth the journey.