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Open Letter to the Linux Security Community Print E-mail
Source: Benjamin D. Thomas - Posted by Benjamin D. Thomas   
Features Welcome to the new LinuxSecurity.com! I must admit, I am really proud of what we have been able to accomplish over the years. LinuxSecurity.com has grown from a small idea that a couple of security geeks had in 1999, to a major and well respected Linux resource. With an all new look & feel, organizational changes, security events, and additions to our staff, we hope to better serve the Linux and open source community. Although there are many aesthetic improvements, a major part of our development has focused on creating a content structure and backend system that is easy to update.

Since the beginning, we have been able to maintain one of the largest, if not the largest and most comprehensive Linux advisory archive on the Internet. Through the years, we have scoured the net for thousands of hours to bring fresh and relevant articles, papers, and resources to you. It wasn't easy in the beginning. We had to create the site from scratch and build a community-wide reputation. The site was started in 1999, the middle of the dot-com boom. Dave Wreski, a Linux security expert and the original founder of LinuxSecurity.com had great foresight. He envisioned the widespread use of Linux as well as many other open source tools. Rather than companies spending thousands of dollars on proprietary tools, he saw a world where open source would be respected and adopted because of its flexibility and greater security through open standards and full disclosure.

Looking back nearly five years, his vision and predictions have been remarkably accurate. Not only has Linux taken off, but open source in general has made remarkable strides. Companies such as Guardian Digital have been able to use an entirely new business model to produce and release software, services, and hardware. No longer is software merely a boxed product on a shelf, but it is now a flexible piece of clay that can be formed to satisfy any business need. As open source provides individuals the freedom to use software in any way they choose, it provides businesses the opportunity to solve real business problems without the hassle of proprietary licenses and/or thousands of hours of consulting fees to make minor system changes. Open source flexibility also can translate to greater security. Administrators now have the ability to apply updates as soon as they are discovered, peer review each other's code, tap the expertise of others, create additional layers of security by using old hardware to create additional firewalls/intrusion detection systems/log servers, etc. Linux and open source enthusiasts have created a community like no other. Projects rise and fall on their own merits, and competition between them only leads to the greater good of the community. People only contribute to projects that they believe in and benefit from. Over the years, I have believed in LinuxSecurity and the EnGarde Secure Linux project. The fire to develop, promote, and stand behind open source projects is still burning in me.

One thing that has fueled my fire is LinuxSecurity.com's growth rate. We went from averaging just a few thousand page views a month to millions. For several years now, LinuxSecurity.com has been self reliant on its own advertising revenue. Also, we have received an amazing level of support from Guardian Digital, Inc. Guardian Digital provides all servers, EnGarde Secure Professional to use as a base operating system, and donates countless staff-hours to keep the site operational. LinuxSecurity.com belongs to the community, but it would not be possible without Guardian Digital. Another promising anecdote is the support and praise from the community. We have received countless emails thanking us for the service that we provide as well as sending us feature articles to share with the rest of the community. I have met complete strangers at Royal Holloway, University of London (UK), people at various security conferences, as well as people at my hometown (Louisville, KY) computer retail store who have all heard of and love LinuxSecurity.com. We're far from famous, but it is heartwarming to know that we are making an impact across the world.

Many of you have grown to love LinuxSecurity.com's constant stream of news, advisory archive, features, newsletters, tips, documentation, and resources. We've tried to keep the new structure consistent to the old site, but some changes were inevitable. Although a major part of the development is complete, additional enhancements are in progress. Some of the new features on LinuxSecurity.com include the ability to post comments on content items, discussion forums, Linux user group & event listings, chat events, an expanded news archive, as well as countless minor changes. In the very near future expect features such as user customizable news & advisory listings, interactive features, education events, new documentation, and more.

How can we give you what you want? You have to tell us! Send us your ideas, articles, or donate your time. Like all open source projects, LinuxSecurity requires hours of work. If you can contribute in any way, we would love to hear from you.

The new site that you see is a result of countless hours of work by many individuals. I wanted to publicly acknowledge the support and commitment from Dave Wreski, the expert programming of Ryan Maple and Joe Shakespeare, the coordination and planning of the project by Nicole Pearson and Marie Macera, graphic design and creative support from Jen Zukowski, and additional support from Alison Parker, Mark Rechler, Pete O'Hara, and Charles Yoo. Your commitment to LinuxSecurity.com is a great service to the community. Thank you all!

Well, it's up! Please enjoy it, and tell all your friends. We're in the middle of an open source revolution. Please come with us and help make a difference.

Best Regards,
Benjamin D. Thomas
ben@linuxsecurity.com

 

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