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October 2016, Volume 4, Number 5

Mark Curphey just gave you the tools to make safe apps -- for free?

Security expert and cryptographer Mark Curphey was just doing his job as head of the information security tools team at Microsoft when he got a firsthand view of open source code and its potential for security breaches. The vast majority of software is developed using at least some open source code, which is widely available and free of charge. Yet there's no way of knowing if the code has a back door that could be infiltrated by the "bad guys," the moniker security people apply to hackers. The so-called Panama Papers containing millions of files on offshore tax shelters used by the rich were hacked due to a weak spot in a piece of open source code, Curphey said. And it happened because the security industry is still doing what it has always done -- chasing hackers after the fact. "A lightbulb went off for me," he said. "If you look at the security industry, very little has changed over the last 10 years. People are still hacked in very similar ways to how they were hacked before." Tired of hackers always being one step ahead, ...

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