StarOffice on Government notebooks? Is this really secure?

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StarOffice on Government notebooks? Is this really secure?

Postby unixuser » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:10 pm

Hi,
Im just curious on to why the US Federal Government information systems like the one below in the link, all the US Military and Government from the site below are installed with StarOffice 7.

So, does this prove that this Office Software is secure??
Just please take a look at all thier Government notebooks installed with StarOffice.
http://www.tadpole.com/
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Re: StarOffice on Government notebooks? Is this really secure?

Postby Hagar Delest » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:18 pm

As it is a Sun hardware, rather logical to see StarOffice in the package. If it had been another dealer, I guess it would have been another suite.

But the advantage of the Open Source Software is that since the code is open, everyone can check what's inside. So basically, yes, it's more secure than a proprietary application (closed code).
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Re: StarOffice on Government notebooks? Is this really secure?

Postby unixuser » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:32 pm

WOuld you say its more secure than MS Office?
DOnt get me wrong here, I dont intend to cause a war here between the two vendors...this is just for curiousity.

I mysefl run both of them. StarOffice on Solaris and on Windows, MS Office.
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Re: StarOffice on Government notebooks? Is this really secure?

Postby Villeroy » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:43 pm

"Security" is not the obligation of an office suite. Security is mainly an aspect of the underlying operating system and hardware.
Please, edit this topic's initial post and add "[Solved]" to the subject line if your problem has been solved.
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Re: StarOffice on Government notebooks? Is this really secure?

Postby Hagar Delest » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:50 pm

What I say is that you can check what an application does when you can access the source code. So if there is a malware code, you can spot it (if you've the skills of course). As MS Office code is top secret, nobody knows exactly what's inside (see easter eggs for example). So it could hide a code that send some personal information to someone without you noticing.

Same for the file formats. There are few examples in the web showing that you can check who edited a MS Word document for example. And it can be very perverse when you discover the collusion between a customer and a supplier when a document issued by the former comes from the latter!
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Re: StarOffice on Government notebooks? Is this really secure?

Postby unixuser » Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:58 pm

So its better to stick with StarOffice?
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Re: StarOffice on Government notebooks? Is this really secure?

Postby Hagar Delest » Fri Apr 18, 2008 4:58 pm

Note that StarOffice code is closed since it's a proprietary application. So better use OOo! I was still thinking about OOo in my first post but we're talking about SO here.
But personally, I'm not that paranoid. I wouldn't bother using SO and perhaps MS Office if I had to. But If DoDs and sensitive administrations had to use an office suite, I hope they would be able to screen the code, even closed ones. If the code is open, then, it's far much easier.
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