Linux security

Eric Dunbar eric.dunbar at
Sun Apr 30 13:09:01 UTC 2006

On 30/04/06, Chanchao <custom at> wrote:
> On Sun, 2006-04-30 at 09:05 +0800, Michael T. Richter wrote:
> > Using DOS/Windows does not make viruses automatic by any stretch of
> > the imagination.
> It doesn't, but the current most clear & present danger (& annoyance)
> comes from adware/spyware/malware.  This I think is currently a bigger
> problem than viruses.  Indeed better and better software exists to fight
> it, but it's yet one more chore you need to do & be aware of to keep
> using your computer, because without it, adware WILL completely render a
> Windows computer completely locked up and unusable.

I know this isn't going to be a popular statement but...

In a few years malware/adware/spyware will be a historical footnote,
only really affecting those who continue to run older Windows
operating systems.

The cynic in me sees one major reason for MS to continue making
consumer OSes that are susceptible (to a degree) to malware/viruses:

The modern consumer OS is more than stable enough for most users'
needs and, since computer hardware is now fast enough that it can last
for a long time before it becomes useless[1] there aren't really huge
pressures on people to upgrade their OS!

[1] _Useful_ applications continue to be available care of OSS (e.g.
FireFox, OpenOffice), regardless of whether that OSS runs on *nix (Mac
OS X-GNU/Linux) or Windows 98 (for e.g.)

But, that cynical statement aside, I do suspect that MS is pushing
hard to build in protection into Vista against viruses, malware,
spyware, highjackware (whatever they're called) since they will
undoubtedly be facing some PR problems in that realm in the
not-so-distant future (as OEMs become comfortable putting free (€€€,
$$$, £££, etc) AND community supported GNU/Linux on their machines to
save on licencing costs).

And, I suspect they'll succeed! Microsoft may not exactly produce
jawdropping products(Office sucks the big one of late... Apple has
come out with an amazing competitor... Pages (and, it's only a year
old!!!... the interface still needs a bit of work but it does what it
needs to without all the bells and whistles of Word or but
they do have an army of programmers that can hack together a
half-assed, semi-functional solution.

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