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Puppy fam
February 3rd, 2007, 10:22 PM
One of the reasons why I went to Linux was because of this web site:
www.whylinuxisbetter.net and particularly:
http://www.whylinuxisbetter.net/items/viruses/index.php

But I now found an article that conflicts with it:
http://www.ebcvg.com/articles.php?id=296

This study said that Linux is less safe than windows.

I am confused. Could some one help me?

bastiegast
February 3rd, 2007, 10:36 PM
It is the first time I see something like that and the article is from 2004.
The bottom line is, linux does not suffer from spyware and virusses the way Windows does, by far. You can bring up as much studies as you want but this is just a fact for now and probably the next few years it will remain true.
I think you should not worry about that article, it's about web servers being attacked not desktops.

The Noble
February 3rd, 2007, 10:41 PM
I really don't know where they get those statistics, but they don't tell the whole story. Even the person writing the article points out that the statistics leave out how successful the attacks are. Anyways, a system is only as safe as the user running it. Just get a good firewall, and don't run too many things as root and you will be fine.

bodhi.zazen
February 3rd, 2007, 10:43 PM
I have never heard a credible source claim windows is more secure then Linux, period.

This is not the same as saying Linux is fool proof.

Any vulnerability in Linux is rapidly solved, just keep your system up to date. Use caution if you configure a server.

Windows safer then Linux is pure FUD.

shak
February 3rd, 2007, 10:45 PM
regarding


The report does not include the number of failed attacks versus successful attacks, so we don't really know how secure or insecure the OS's are on their own. It also doesn't include any details on what types of organizations the penetrations happened in or how experienced the server administrators are.

i have to admit:

This report deals with the server-market. The fact that the attacks aimed at linux-servers can be seen in the importance of this server OS. All the Big run Linux. (Have a look on Wikipedia and Google)

In fact the market share for MAC-OSX servers is pretty small :) . The BSD OS's are thats clear - they are uni*-systems - very stable and secure - like linux.

And of course the server-cracking market , as i call it, lives from supply and demand.
Thats why most crackers don't come up with unix hacks for the masses.
The game is not worth the candle.


I can asure you, as a desktop OS linux is very secure because the OS is very very stable. Distros like Debian (Ubuntu) have an eye on stabillity. Most exploits get patched in no time.

And of course you are no target for hackers. As of now most desktop users who get in the way of hackers are people with almost know or small computing experience.
Most Linux users are way more up to date compared to these. Hackers just think it is really not worth the work.
Comparing an unsecure win-box to a linux-systems they say:
Don't look a gift horse in the mouth and bother with the linux enduser. :)

PurplePenguin
February 3rd, 2007, 10:50 PM
How many viruses are out there right now in the wild that can mess up a system running linux? It was 0 the last I checked.

If you're talking about security vulnerabilities that can be taken advantage of by a hacker, that's a different story... pretty much any system will be vulnerable to some extent.

The thing that I didn't like about windows was that I'd have a firewall, anti-spyware and antivirus running in the background, but I'd still get viruses because they were too new to be recognized by the antivirus software. :(

melancholeric
February 3rd, 2007, 11:01 PM
How to read that article: Since OS X isn't really used on servers, there weren't many successful or failed attacks against OS X servers, therefore it must be secure.

Since linux dominates the server space there were more attacks on it, therefore it must be insecure.

Amusing.

Gerard Barberi
February 3rd, 2007, 11:13 PM
As some already pointed out, that article doesn't do a very good statistical analysis. It doesn't account for each OS's market share, the severity of the attacks, percentage of successful attacks, the overall security of the server (like ok, so you have a linux server, did you secure it as much as it could be?)

Also it doesn't even say what was attacked. For instance, Apache. It has it's own flaws independent of linux. Not right to blame the OS for the failures of what is running on it. Unlike say IIS, which would be MS's fault.

jlbrown23
February 3rd, 2007, 11:17 PM
As someone who is probably pretty objective on this(I have Windows, Linux & Mac OS all running on my home computers), my main observation here is that BOTH of the links don't really provide any meaningful data.

But the second link(attacking Linux) appears to me to be intentionally deceitful. It give stats on frequency of attack, but NOT stats on what portion of servers use each OS. The fact that cites Mac OS servers as suffering the fewest attacks doesn't mean much because it is rare for Mac OS to be used on a server. So if they only have 1.5% of the server market, suffering from 1.7% of the attacks would actually be a pretty poor performance.

And I lean towards the Mac OS as my favorite to use, so I don't have a bone to pick. If you ask me, Mac OS PR folks wrote the second link.

What I will say is that my Mac OS and Kubuntu Linux rarely show the sort of buggyness that my Windows does, and that I seem to need to reinstall Windows a couple of times a year or the collective "infection" causes things to crash or grind to a halt.

Puppy fam
February 3rd, 2007, 11:18 PM
Thanks everyone for abating my fears. :-D