What Is FOSS Software? Definition, Usage, and Vulnerabilities

Free Open-Source Software (FOSS) is a software category that incorporates computer programs that are freely licensed and open-source. In essence, FOSS software is free to download, use, modify or study. This article will focus on the major differences between FOSS and OSS (Open-Source Software), applicability, and the various security vulnerabilities associated with this type of software. Enjoy!

About Free Open-Source Software

In common parlance, FOSS and OSS are, at times, regarded as being synonymous if not identical. However, this is not the case; FOSS leans more on the ethical implications of software usage, distribution, and alteration, while OSS focuses heavily on the utilitarian aspects of sharing and allowing community members to alter the (original) source code. To understand these implications, we have to go back in time; to the early ‘80s to be more specific.

In 1983, Richard Stallman, an MIT graduate, and computer software activist sets in motion a plan to bring software closer to the user. Stallman and his community of programmers strongly advocated for the user’s (inalienable) right to freely use, modify, and share code, rights as he saw as having been invalidated by the fast-growing computer industry.

His initiative led to the creation of the GNU

Read More: https://heimdalsecurity.com/blog/foss-software/