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LINUX: OS Popularity = Insecurity

by HutchTech In reply to LINUX: OS Popularity = In ...

<p>No, no, no.  I didn't say multiple versions, kernels, software packages made Linux less secure.  I said it made such vulnerabilities harder to track.  Believe me, I love the Linux ideal, and I love open source, but you have to admit it's quite a quagmire to wade through if you're not a true geek.  I can't imagine putting Linux on grandma's PC and hoping it would stay patched and secure.</p>
<p>And what's with the "we're faster than Bill" line?  Zealots don't do themselves any good when they whine like this.  I've seen MS put out patches faster than Mozilla for Firefox--who cares.  I'm not looking to dissuade anyone from any OS, I was commenting on the fact that just because certain OSes get more press doesn't mean that less popular OSes are by default more secure.</p>
<p>Thanks for the comments.  I'm glad to know someone's reading.</p>
<p>- Hutch</p>

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LINUX: OS Popularity = Insecurity

by Jaqui In reply to LINUX: OS Popularity = In ...

I think what was meant about the speed of patching was more of:<br />
since the source is available to anyone who wants it, when a flaw /
breach is found there are programmers with that version of the source
working on it within minutes, unlike a commercial house, where if a
flaw is found friday afternoon, they don't even look at it until monday
at the earliest.<br />
( after all that's why they are getting paid )<br />
the open source programmer is doing it on his own time, for fun. ( more often than not )<br />
<br />
<br />
in respect to patching, if you are using a brebuilt distro, like
debian, fedora, red hat, madriva, linspire..... you can set a cron job
to update weekly, no interaction required.<br />
( just like windows automatic update )<br />
the more recent version of linux distros leave very little to distinguish from windows in look / feel.<br />
Xandros is probably the closest to windows, as they are focussed on being a first step from windows to linux.<br />
( might not think they are, but after people see linux, and find out
about the other flavours, they start looking at the other flavours.
moving into less windows like distros over time if they wish )<br />

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LINUX: OS Popularity = Insecurity

by DoubleBeat In reply to LINUX: OS Popularity = In ...

I see your point. Viruses and worms are designed to steal information
or destroy it, and do as much of that is possible.  It IS true
that there are more <strong><em>EXPLOITED</em></strong>
vulnerabilities in Microsoft software simply because it is the most
widely used.  Notice the bold 'exploited'.  I'm not saying
Microsoft has any more or less vulnerabilities than Linux, or anything
else like that.  Hackers want to do the most damage
possible.  If the most popular product is Windows, they will
tailor their viruses to destroy Windows machines.  If it's Linux,
they'll tailor them to Linux machines.<br />
<br />
Windows, Linux, or any operating system...They all have
vulnerabilities.  Linux has less (it's true) because any "true
geek" can wade through the REAL CODE and find them, and fix them. 
Windows is limited to as fast as Microsoft can find them.<br />
<br />
It all goes around in a circle.  Vulnerabilities are exploited,
then patched.  The hackers find new vulnerabilities.  It's
all a part of the ever evolving world of technology we live in!<br />

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LINUX: OS Popularity = Insecurity

by HutchTech In reply to LINUX: OS Popularity = In ...

<p>You're still missing the point.  Okay, so a "true geek" will cron or keep his Linux distro updated, sure.  But do we really believe that there are fewer published vulnerabilities for non-MS OSes?  I've seen the stats--check it out at sans.org and you'll see that there are plenty of vulnerabilities to go around.</p>
<p>Let me just simply restate my point: MS has issues (no doubt), but so does everyone else.  </p>
<p>Let's quit bickering about who's better, that's all I ask.  Otherwise it becomes personal and people get defensive, and then, no one communicates they only banter back and forth...I'm just tired of it.  I'm tired of the Linux/Open Source and (probably the biggest offender) Mac zealots thinking that wasting time demeaning MS equals proving the value of their favorite systems.  I'm a Mac user (iBook G4 1.33 GHz) and a PC user, and I've dabbled with Linux off and on since 2000 and so I've seen what they all have to offer--believe me, no one has the corner on "perfect" security.  To deny this simple fact is to betray your bias.</p>
<p>P.S. Thanks to everyone who's commenting, I've really enjoyed the conversation.</p>

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LINUX: OS Popularity = Insecurity

by lordshipmayhem In reply to LINUX: OS Popularity = In ...

The thing about the statistics is:<br />
 - The WIndows stats count the vulnerabilities in Windows<br />
 - The Open Source stats tend to count the vulnerabilities in all
Open Source programs, including GUI's and applications, not just in the
Linux kernel itself.<br />
(Lies, damned lies and statistics...)<br />
<br />
The big advantage that Linux has over Windows can be summed up in one
word: "Monoculture".  With Windows you have a monoculture: if an
exploit will work on XP SP2, it'll probably work on all XP
installations, and Win2K, and Win98, and WInNT, and WinME.  With
Linux, you don't need to use Gnome as your desktop - you can use KDE,
or iceWM, or one of the others.  You don't need to use FireFox as
your browser - there's many other alternatives.   Rather than
OpenOffice, you could use one of the alternatives.  If a flaw
shows up in most common applications, there's another open-source
alternative that you can use at least for the time being while you're
waiting for the development team to finish testing the patch.<br />
<br />
Plus that, you don't need to install any other software than you REALLY
need.  The servers don't need office productivity software,
browsers, e-mail clients, games, etc. (even GUI's, if your server staff
know their BASH shell command lines).  The secretary's machine
doesn't need all the server maintenance software, and can live fine
with an office productivity suite like OpenOffice and an e-mail client
like Evolution or Kontact, or even Thunderbird.  You can leave the
web browsers off the machines if they're not required for work, keeping
your staff from browsing the Web.<br />
<br />
And to install new software - including malware - requires the password of someone with Root-level access.<br />
<br />
You've already mentioned how fast new patches become available.<br />
<br />
Add all that up, and with Linux you're handing all those crackers out
there quite the challenge - they need to get root access, through
something that enough Linux users use to make the effort worthwhile,
and in a very short window of opportunity before the patches come out
and slam the door on that exploit.  They basically have to know
about it and get their virus/worm/whatever out there before anybody
else finds out it exists.  As long as you use smart security
protocols (for example passwords, patches, access) in your procedures,
you should be relatively secure from most troubles.<br />

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LINUX: OS Popularity = Insecurity

by jcwuerfl In reply to LINUX: OS Popularity = In ...

<p>It is what it is folks.</p>
<p>If my mom tried to run linux she'd be using the root account just because its easy and she can do enough to get into the internet and get on her email and you all know that's going to have the same security issues as windows.  If you can't get your Mom or Dad to use Linux correctly then how do you think your going to get the masses to switch from windows/mac to RedHat/Suse/Linspire etc. 
<p>You can't compare "open source" to Windows I don't think.   You could compare Redhat, SUSE, and the various other big OS distro's to Windows.  And those I have seen compariable security alerts to windows.  You have to compare apples to apples here people using a general term such as "Open Source" does nothing.  So compare  RedHat, SUSE to Windows, Compare OpenOffice to Office etc.  but don't compare "open source" to Windows its just not the same.  To compare "Open Source" you would have to compare it to its opposite which is "Closed Source" 
<p>In the end, its developers writing software.  There are pro's and cons to both however they will both have there problems.  I'd be willing to be 10-15 years from now computers will turn into sort of a mesh between a computer and something as simple as turning on a light switch.  You turn it on, you use it you can change the faceplate, or add a different knob but that'll be about it.  But for now I think your only seeing the top of the iceberg of security issues with linux because the majority of users are still on windows.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>

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LINUX: OS Popularity = Insecurity

by markand In reply to LINUX: OS Popularity = In ...

If security is your penultimate concern Install <a href="http://www.freebsd.org">FreeBSD</a> and be done with it.  If you favor Linux, look in to <a href="http://www.bastille-linux.org/">Bastille Linux</a>.<br />
<br />
Mark<br />
<br />

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FREE: Sound Off, Get Software? Really?

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">Yeah, you've got opinions. Sure, they must be right. If only they'd asked you before they:<br />
<blockquote>(a) added that stupid tab at the top<br />(b) moved that option to another menu<br />(c) called that bug a feature<br />
</blockquote>
<br />Well, your opinions do matter, and now you can sound off...and get free software! It's going to be free Microsoft software, but hey, that's not a bad deal (especially since you're still using that less-than-legitimate license key you got from a friend of a friend of a friend). The Microsoft Usability Group is looking for people to enroll in their program and get free software--with the caveat that you'll fill out their usability reports.<br />
<br />I recently participated in two of this team's projects related to the update of the MS Partner website and scored $250 in compensation (for about 5-7 hours of work). If they're offering free software in lieu of a check, that's works too. Check it out for yourself at the link below.<br />
<br />- Hutch<br />
<br />
<a href="http://www.microsoft.com/usability/enroll.mspx">Usability Enrollment Form</a>
</div><p><div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/free-sound-off-get-software-really.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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MILITARY: The Tech of War

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">Regardless of your political views on current military actions around the globe, an eye opening two-part series on the technology of warfare is currently airing on the Discovery Times channel (I'm viewing it via Comcast's On-Demand menu). The program is entitled <em>The Perfect War</em>.<br /><br />One comment made by a military commander was quite telling; here's my best paraphrase: "We fought to beat the sound barrier during the cold war--now we're fighting to beat the time barrier." The show, which I believe is part of a larger series on Discovery Times, gives a very up-to-date inside look at the air, sea, ground, and space technologies being used by the U.S. and its allies. I remember being impressed at the technology we used during the first Gulf War, but this next generation military tech is something else entirely. Take a look at it if for no other reason than to know what's coming to a PC near you in the not-to-distant future.<br /><br />- Hutch</div>
<p>
<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/military-tech-of-war.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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ETHICS: The Tech Giveth, the Tech Taketh Away

by HutchTech In reply to HutchTech Blog

<div xmlns="http://www.w3.org/1999/xhtml">Technology can be an awesome thing. It can also cause us to lose perspective. These wonderful time-saving devices often eat up more time than we like. Our ability to communicate with anyone, anywhere, anytime leads to unrealistic expectations of our availability. Our world grows smaller, like an ill-fitting pair of pants. Something's gotta give.<br /><br />So is the answer to turn tech on its head and make it work to secure your time? Well, perhaps, but I certainly can't take it as far as our friends at eWeek. In a recent article (see link below) recalling tips and tricks for the "White Collar Slacker", Marc Saltzman says it's time to make technology work for you. What surprises me is <span>not</span> that someone has come up with a way to defraud their employers of productivity, but that they're publicizing it with such boldness.<br /><br />There are changes coming to the American workplace, and technology will play a role, but please tell me we're not going to engage in a employer vs. employee cyberwar.<br /><br />- Hutch<br /><br /><a href="http://www.eweek.com/print_article2/0,1217,a=156117,00.asp">White Lies Help Stressed Computer Users</a> </div>
<p>
<div class="blogdisclaim"><a href="http://hutchtech.blogspot.com/2005/07/ethics-tech-giveth-tech-taketh-away.html">This post originally appeared on an external website</a></div>

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