Unpatched Linux getting more secure

By Derek Sooman on December 22, 2004, 6:05 PM
More good news for Linux. Not only is it incredibly bug free when compared to other software of its class, it has now been revealed that it is lasting longer and longer against net attacks. Unpatched Linux systems are surviving longer on the Internet before being compromised, with the average Linux system lasting three months before being finally beaten. This is a great improvement from the measurement of 72 hours back in 2001.

The results are probably due to two trends. The default installations of new Linux systems are much more secure than previous versions of the open-source operating system. Secondly, attackers seem to be much more concentrated on Windows systems than on Linux systems, and on attempting to fool desktop users, of which the vast majority use Windows.

So things are going well for Linux on the security front. Itís a shame that not the same thing can be said for Windows, which is apparently getting easier and easier to crack into. Unpatched Windows systems continue to be compromised more quickly, sometimes within minutes.

User Comments: 6

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Per Hansson said:
For completeness sake I can let you know that on averge windows now suvvives 20 minutes unpatched, this data is from the SANS institute which keeps a daily updating graph with this data...[url]http://isc.sans.org/survivalhistory.php?isc=1ebb
filthy_mcnasty said:
i love the security linux has and have it myself but come on let's be honest here when we say it's more secure. it's far less common in terms of an OS and in terms of the amount of stuff directed to attack it (which that quote even mentions). then consider that linux has a far less, how should i say....stupid....user base (i dont think i'm being judgemental in saying that either, it takes more computer knowledge to run linux than it does for windows even with the newer more friendly distros).not to knock linux or the post but to drop the windows bashing in there..... come on, if linux had a 50% market share you better believe it would be no different.
Per Hansson said:
Well, Apache owns 67% of the market yet more serious security flaws are found in IIS which only account for 21% of the market, source: [url]http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.htm
Crazy said:
If a more advanced user uses windows, it can be secure enough.I have always used windows, indeed there are allot of security issues with it. BUT, if you have a firewall (router) run anti virus, and update once in a while. You won't get into trouble, I for one have had a virus only once, thatís because of my sister bringing a floppy back from school. I've had (to my knowing) never had a hacker or anything. And when you tweak winXP a little it runs very stable.I agree on the fact, if Linux had the biggest number of users, allot more virus's would exist to target it and allot more security risks would be found within Linux.But Linux will indeed stay the most secure because it's open source and bugs/security holes will be found allot faster.
Phantasm66 said:
I am sure from your posts that your computer knowledge is great and that under your care your machine does indeed run very well and smoothly, but your home machine is far removed from the kinds of machines being used as production servers by large organisations.If you try to compare Windows XP or even Windows 2003 with Linux and how secure it is, there is no comparison, even if you know how to configure Windows well or not.Linux has even matured to the extent that Fedora Core and some others come with SELinux, or Security enhanced Linux. This contains some features found in the kinds of "trusted operating systems" used by governmental organisations, and proactively stops security issues on the kernel level. Windows can't compete with that, no matter how hard Microsoft's PR machine tries to convince people otherwise. Microsoft are working hard right now to ditch a great deal of the old Windows codebase and bring in new stuff because its so buggy and security hole ridden.[Edited by Phantasm66 on 2004-12-23 04:54:22][Edited by Phantasm66 on 2004-12-23 04:57:30][Edited by Phantasm66 on 2004-12-23 04:58:48]
Crazy said:
I must agree with you, servers running windows are very unsecure. For servers you should run everything but windows. [quote]Last week, students found dozens of flaws in software that runs on Linux systems, and a research report stated that a thorough analysis of the Linux kernel turned up hundreds of flaws. However, in relative terms, those numbers are low compared to commercial applications.[/quote]Linux has it's security flaws aswel, but they arn't targetted that much. I beleave the article is about home users?, unless i misunderstood.So using windows xp for home use, then with little effort you can make it secure enough. But most ppl do not have the know how to do it.Also, the article does not state what version of windows was used. Was it a Windows XP without SP1?, or SP2? or with SP2?. At the end of the day linux will be much more secure, but you have to look at the cons & pro's of both operating systems. And windows just stands very strong in that area.
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