Secure or insecure, that is the question

There seems to have been quite a lot of debate in the security

arena over the past few day on the topic of Windows vs. Linux as a secure platform.  As you can guess it’s a hot topic with many

heated opinions on either side.


state that Linux/Unix bugs outnumbered Windows flaws three-to-one with 45%

of all vulnerabilities.  These figures

were provided by CERT, from browsing their

website it isn’t clear if they are funded by any party which may sway their independence.

An article on Slashdot,

the security research group, mentions a story from the Globe and Mail.  This states that "During August, 67

per cent of all successful and verifiable digital attacks against on-line

servers targeted Linux, followed by Microsoft Windows at 23.2 per cent. A total

of 12,892 Linux on-line servers running e-business and information sites were

successfully breached in that month, followed by 4,626 Windows servers." The reactions to this have been ongoing and

with some passion.  The biggest concerns

over this article were firstly that the research was funded by Microsoft, the

second being that the context in which these breaches are used or recorded can

pervert the reality.  The number of Linux

servers running e-business and information sites is much greater than that of

Windows, also if taken in a broader context, each Windows machine (be that a

server or home user) which is infected by an internet worm like SLAMMER.

NIMDA. CODE RED. BUGBEAR. BLASTER etc is actually fully breached and

potentially much more of a concern than a defaced or broken website.

I think as with any statistics these will always show what

the organisation behind the collection and processing of them wants to

show.  I don’t think there will ever be

universal agreement on which system is better, which is more secure etc.  Having worked with both I would personally go

for Linix/BSD, however I’m sure many readers would go the other way.


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