LiveMink: Alan Hargreaves and the telnetd bug

While I was in Australia last month I went to the Sydney OpenSolaris User Group, one of the oldest OSUGs. As part of the evening's casual conversation, I interviewed Alan Hargreaves. Alan was one of the first engineers in the OpenSolaris community to work on the telnetd bug that was zero-dayed onto the Solaris 10 community, and in this interview he describes a frantic day spent working on the defect. Some key quotes:

  • "This bug was a putback to kereberise telnetd"
  • "It didn't exist in OpenSolaris within about six hours of being reported"
  • "The actual fix was submitted by someone on one of the OpenSolaris discussion forums"
  • "It seems to me in this case closed source made the code less secure and open source fixed the problem"

Listen on!

LiveMink—[MP3]—[Ogg]—[iTunes]—(12' 00")

Comments:

SP, Sun has 2 big flaws in the post dot.com era. Your products are great but the strategy is flawed. First flaw is.....Great software but no search engine to distribute it the way Google,Microsoft and Amazon does. Yes Amazon has a great search engine called A9 and Microsoft figured out that they needed a search engine to compete in the Internet world 7 years ago. The second flaw is great hardware but no Database package to go with it like IBM's DB2 (http://biz.yahoo.com/iw/070606/0262866.html). Sun is losing so many big contracts because the customer has to "buy" 2 companies products and services (Sun and Oracle) if they choose Sun over IBM. Easy fix for Sun or Sun is not looking good in the future trying to compete against IBM,HP,Google and Microsoft. The first fix is to "buy not develop" an open source Oracle compatible database such as (EnterpriseDB) and a Microsoft compatible database (MySQL) to sell your hardware, software and support. The second fix is really simple- buy a search engine....Looksmart, Ask.com or whoever... to distribute your software.....Solaris, Java, JavaFx, Grid Software etc. Hope it's not too late before Sun finally figures this out. 2 plus 2 will always be 4 no matter who tells you, me or the Brain Trust at Sun. Lets hope the Brain Trust figures this out some sunny day. Gil

Posted by Gil on June 06, 2007 at 05:49 AM PDT #

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