8.04 still a fine version

Robert Holtzman holtzm at cox.net
Thu Apr 8 22:21:00 UTC 2010

On Thu, 8 Apr 2010, Basil Chupin wrote:

> On 08/04/10 05:07, Robert Holtzman wrote:
>> On Wed, 7 Apr 2010, Basil Chupin wrote:
>>> On 07/04/10 16:58, Robert Holtzman wrote:
>>>> I don't pretend to be an authority on security but from what I
>>>> understand malware can take advantage of holes in applications without
>>>> having to crack the system password. Anyone want to correct me?
>>> I am not a security expert either but what makes Linux 99.9999% more
>>> secure than the "other" [ugh!] is that to do any damage to the system
>>> one has to execute a program as ROOT - this is what the OP really meant
>>> by the reference to 'password and name'. If some malware does get thru
>>> and somehow gets activated then the only damage it may be able to do is
>>> only to whatever is the user's HOME directory; want to do anything
>>> outside your own HOME directory you need become root (using sudo for
>>> example) and then also provide a password.
>> That's the standard story when speaking of linux security
> But, but.....
>>   and it's
>> correct as far as it goes. The problem for a home user is that if your
>> home directory where you keep personal data gets corrupted/trashed by
>> malware and you don't have a ***recent*** backup you have a big problem.
> ...this applies to every operating system and not just a Linux distro.
> Nevertheless, your chances of being 'hacked' by using a Linux distro are
> negligible so you are already way ahead on points :-)

I never claimed otherwise.

>> It's not a big deal to reload the OS and software but unbacked up
>> personal data can be lost.
> Firstly, you shouldn't have sensitive data sitting on your computer -
> your computer doesn't have to be hacked for you to lose your data: the
> computer could be stolen. And secondly, do backups of your data - the
> only "sensitive data" which I have is my Thunderbird mail so I backup
> this up at least daily (as well as the Firefox directory).

All very true. Care to take a guess about how many *average home users* 
do this? Also, all this came about because Karl was of the opinion that 
he didn't need no stinkin' security updates because his name (username?) 
and password kept him safe. Then someone (you?) agreed with him saying 
that *only* his home user account would be affected by malware. I was 
pointing out that the average user's user account was the most 
important one to him.

Bob Holtzman
Key ID: 8D549279
"If you think you're getting free lunch,
  check the price of the beer"

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