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ECT News Community   »   LinuxInsider Talkback   »   Re: On Bugs, Viruses, Malware and Linux

Re: On Bugs, Viruses, Malware and Linux
Posted by: Katherine Noyes 2009-08-10 07:15:32
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Among all the reasons geeks choose Linux, security is often near the top of the list. And no wonder -- personal preferences aside on all the other many relevant issues, there's plenty of evidence to suggest our favorite operating system really is more impervious. A study a few years back, for example, not only concluded that Linux security then was even better than had been thought compared to Windows security, but also went on to label as "myths" and "logical errors" many of the most common arguments to the contrary.

Alternative(s) ....
Posted by: cade 2009-08-12 00:00:30 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
It was mentioned ...

"... only Linux both has capabilities and is a serious contender for the mass market, including laptops, desktops, palm tops, ..."

and after using and developing software for
- DOS/Linux in 1990's
- Microsoft's OSes in 2000's
- OpenSolaris for 2009

I would strongly argue for the mass market potential of OpenSolaris.

I'd choose Linux over Windows any time and I would choose OpenSolaris (real UNIX) over Linux (UNIX-clone) anytime, for desktop/workstation/server systems. The Solaris technology base is a strong base and this is something where the Linux community needs to get a "reality check".

While OpenSolaris has potential for the embedded space, Linux' embedded potential is interesting (e.g. Android platform) and this is where I have no problems selecting Linux as an option.

I have migrated friends laptops/desktops from Windows to Linux (they were happy for a while until "issues" arose) and then to OpenSolaris. This final destination being the best for them.

Posted by: digitalsp 2009-08-10 09:02:52 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
If you are a Ubuntu user, a great way to increase your security is to use a product called Ksplice. It allows you to apply patches to the kernel without rebooting - a must if you run a server 24/7.

Mac OS X
Posted by: Marzhall 2009-08-10 07:25:43 In reply to: Katherine Noyes
"For proof that it's "not just about popularity," Mack cites the fact "that Apple has gone from 60 or so known viruses in OS9 to none in OS X, even though their market share has only gone up since then." "

From my experience, I've had to format Macs using OS X showing the effects of DNS changer Trojans that had brought down entire floors (by attacking the switches) of the college I work for. Macs have viruses - I'm surprised the advertising would be believed and the hype continued on a site this professional.

Difference between a virus and a trojan
Posted by: gmack 2009-08-11 04:00:50 In reply to: Marzhall
There is a difference between a virus and a trojan. The DNS changers require you to click on a link and actually install software while ignoring all of the security prompts OS X will provide you to warn you that what your doing might be dangerous.

A virus can infect you without any user input whatsoever.

I'm also going to point out that no matter how great an OS' security is the machine's owner will still be a very large weak spot in many cases.

Re: Secuurity
Posted by: Marzhall 2009-08-11 18:14:02 In reply to: gmack
Thanks for that clarification, I wasn't aware that trojans were considered distinct from viruses.
The user being the weak spot is certainly apparent where I work; so many users blindly buy rouge anti-spyware. Of course. with the amount of stuff out there, it's no surprise.
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