Ubuntu Boot Up Logo: re malware

Peter Garrett peter.garrett at optusnet.com.au
Thu Jun 23 13:31:15 UTC 2005

On Thu, 23 Jun 2005 14:03:35 +0300
Iosif Chatzimichail <afonic at altecnet.gr> wrote:

> john levin wrote:

> >
> I don't think you understand. If tomorrow ALL windows users started 
> using Linux in 6 months Linux would be FULL of viruses, spyware and 
> security problems. 

I think this is one of the more common misconceptions. It would be *much* more difficult to have Linux machines infested with the problems you cite, because Linux is designed intelligently for networking from the ground up. Windows effectively runs by default as root, unless configured specially by someone knowledgeable, and MS were late to the networking party - jumping on the internet bandwagon before the OS was even remotely ready. 

Linux and other *nix operating systems don't run by default as root. You might notice that Mac OS-X also is pretty much immune from most problems for similar reasons - it is built on a BSD base.

Writing effective malware for *nix is not trivial; writing it for Windows, by comparison, is much easier. Even "script kiddies" can do nasty things with it. This doesn't mean we should be smug - but the idea that it is only the size of the user base that stops Linux being infested is, simply, wrong.

Another example: though about two-thirds of the web servers on the net are Apache running on *nix, Microsoft IIS has a far worse record for security.


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