France Telecom Switches to Communicator
Thursday October 14th, 1999
Jean-Luc Esser writes, "France Telecom - First French Telecom Company - switches to Netscape Communicator in all offices for their mail needs. Until then they were using IE! Way to go!!"
Great news! I'm not surprised they did this, and I would expect more companies (especially European companies) to make a similar move. IE5 is incredibly insecure; I can't imagine *any* company concerned with security wanting to standardize on it.
No URL for this news yet - let us know if you come across an article concerning the switch, and we'll post it here.
What you said makes sense. However I think Mozilla might have an advantage (despite its newness) if the code is of better quality, as newer code may well be. (I haven't looked at Mozilla source though.)
For example, a large proportion of these security holes are caused by simple buffer overrun errors in various parts of the code, and good-quality code should always check buffer size or allocate dynamically.
Of course, there is also the issue of open-source which (though I don't think open source is a panacea by any means, and many products achieve better quality while still being closed-source) does certainly have security advantages because of greater code scrutiny. Holes are likely to be both discovered and fixed more quickly.
By the way, I disagree with your "hacker/cracker" distinction.
I think it's a misguided distinction anyway (as far as I'm concerned, a cracker is somebody who breaks copy protection in computer software, usually games - I used to do this so I should know ;) - but that's a sidetrack...
What I'm trying to say is that the people who find most of these security holes (excepting university researchers) are not doing so for malicious intent. They are hackers, not "crackers" in any sense of the word; they generally publish exploits (so that browser manufacturers etc. can fix problems) rather than keeping them secret and using them for nefarious purposes...