In 2001, then-Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer famously called Linux a cancer on the IT industry. Now in 2015, Microsoft is changing its tune and is among the sponsors of the Linux Foundation's Core Infrastructure Initiative (CII), which aims to improve open source code security.

At a press event during this week's Linuxcon North America event in Seattle, Mark Cartwright, group program manager at Microsoft, explained why his company is backing CII and how the Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) approach to building software could benefit open source.

"A few years ago we started to adopt open source," Cartwright said. "So the challenge was how can we enable the same degree of security assurance for the open source components we consume and contribute to, as we do with our own proprietary code."

Watch the full video from Cartwright's Linuxcon remarks below:

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at eSecurityPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.