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Re: Call to participate: GNessUs security scanner
From: MadHat <madhat () unspecific com>
Date: Tue, 11 Oct 2005 10:25:06 -0500

On Oct 11, 2005, at 12:34 AM, Valdis.Kletnieks () vt edu wrote:
On Mon, 10 Oct 2005 22:07:19 EDT, security curmudgeon said
Nessus has been open source for a long time. Despite that, the majority of
contributions have come from a very small amount of people. Even with
plugins, some 95% (i think) were written by the Nessus team, not outside
contributors.


At least for some people (including myself), software verifiability and transparency is important. I've never contributed code to the Nessus tree, but the availability of the source so we can tell what it's *really* doing has been important more than once. And there's philosophical appeal in the idea of a product being open-source, and software company business models organized around consulting/support contracts (see Sendmail Inc or Red Hat for example).

Having said that, I don't particularly insist that it need be a *GPL* license. Most of the OSI "Open Source" licenses would be acceptable (and in fact, I've dealt successfully with more than one project where the source was "available but closed" - Dan Bernstein isn't the only guy with his style of licensing).

Of course, the fact that the Nessus 2.2.5 tree is *already* GPL means 2 things:

1) Tim is totally in his rights to start a fork - if anything, the right to
fork the tree is one of the primary rights under the GPL.

Not all of 2.2 is GPL. Many of the NASL scripts are not, and this includes ALL of the SMB stuff. Only the engine is GPL. All of the SMB stuff (meaning the functions to connect to Windows shares and query the registry and check SMB specific "stuff") is implemented in NASL code, not in the engine. When 2.2 came out, the shift to non- GPL scripts changed more than just the checks, some of the inner workings of NASL through include scripts and dependancies also became non-GPL, though I don't think most people noticed this.

--
MadHat (at) Unspecific.com, CĀ²ISSP
E786 7B30 7534 DCC2 94D5  91DE E922 0B21 9DDC 3E98
gpg --keyserver wwwkeys.us.pgp.net --recv-keys 9DDC3E98

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