This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
TheStreet Open House

Open Source Is Becoming a Military Necessity

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- One of the biggest lies told about open source is that it's insecure.

In letting just anyone use your code, that has to include the bad guys. They're bound to find a way to compromise it, the thinking goes.

But that's not the way it works in real life. Having every potential victim working on your neighborhood code watch turns out to deliver more security, not less.

Having everyone who might be the victim of an online break-in organized, finding bugs, writing and testing fixes, constantly improving security tools, works.

Don't believe me? Well, maybe you'll believe the National Security Agency or the Department of Homeland Security. The open source process works for them, too.

For a decade, one of the most popular intrusion prevention and detection systems has been Snort, created by Martin Roesch. But the company he built around that software, Sourcefire, only gives away the basic package. If you need extensions, if you want a more complete system, you have to pay. That code is controlled by Sourcefire.

There is nothing unusual in that. Many open-source businesses create free community and paid "enterprise" editions of their software. This is what Red Hat (RHT) is all about -- you can download Fedora Linux free or buy Red Hat Enterprise Linux. In both cases you get to see the code, but with the paid version you get the support needed to run it professionally.

But this model didn't work with Snort. The Department of Homeland Security, the military, and the NSA could not be "held hostage" to Sourcefire for improvements to the code, or for the specialized suite needed to protect the nation.

So the Department of Homeland Security got together with major contractors and formed their own open source project, the Open Information Security Foundation. OISF has its own intrusion system, called Suricata, whose syntax is based on Snort, so if you are accustomed to one you can use the other.

But Suricata will be a complete system, not just a "sniffer," as intrusion detection products are colloquially known. The whole Suricata suite will be open source.

1 of 2

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Try it NOW
Only $9.95
Try it NOW
14-Days Free
Try it NOW

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Dividend Stock Advisor

David Peltier identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Trifecta Stocks

Every recommendation goes through 3 layers of intense scrutiny—quantitative, fundamental and technical analysis—to maximize profit potential and minimize risk.

Product Features:
  • Model Portfolio
  • Intra Day Trade alerts
  • Access to Quant Ratings
Options Profits

Our options trading pros provide over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • Actionable options commentary and news
  • Real-time trading community
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
Try it NOW
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
AAPL $123.25 0.00%
FB $83.30 0.00%
GOOG $548.34 0.00%
TSLA $185.00 0.00%
YHOO $45.10 0.00%


DOW 17,712.66 +34.43 0.19%
S&P 500 2,061.02 +4.87 0.24%
NASDAQ 4,891.2190 +27.8570 0.57%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs