Torvalds criticises the 'security circus'

Linux creator Linus Torvalds has labelled makers of the rival OpenBSD operating system a "bunch of masturbating monkeys" in a wider critique of what he said was self-centred behaviour in the IT security industry.

Linux creator Linus Torvalds has labelled makers of the rival OpenBSD operating system a "bunch of masturbating monkeys" in a wider critique of what he said was self-centred behaviour in the IT security industry.

Linus Torvalds

In an email to the Linux kernel developer mailing list, Torvalds criticised the section of the security industry that he said only dedicated itself to finding bugs in software solely to publicise their findings to gain notoriety.

Torvalds said that disclosing the bug itself was enough, without the pursuant circus that followed when a major problem has been discovered.

Torvalds said that taking the bugs to the "security circus" level only glorified the wrong kind of behaviour. "It makes heroes out of security people, as if the people who don't just fix normal bugs aren't as important," he said.

What was left behind for the developers were all the boring bugs, which he considered more important due to their volume.

"Boring normal bugs are way more important, just because there's a lot more of them.

"I don't think some spectacular security hole should be glorified or cared about as being any more 'special' than a random spectacular crash due to bad locking," he said.

The Linux leader went even further, claiming that security people are "often the black-and-white kind of people that I can't stand".

However, he reserved his most impassioned vitriol for the creators of the OpenBSD operating system, who have put security before any other feature when developing their variant of Unix. OpenBSD is known to be used in high security environments such as the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"I think the OpenBSD crowd is a bunch of masturbating monkeys, in that they make such a big deal about concentrating on security to the point where they pretty much admit that nothing else matters to them.

"To me, security is important. But it's no less important than everything *else* that is also important!" Torvalds concluded.

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