One might be forgiven for thinking that Windows security is a complete and utter joke, given the kinds of stories that we ran in 2005. Time after time there were reports of security flaws and other problems, which were often then exploited by malware. However, it has now emerged that, during last year, Windows suffered less security vulnerabilities than Linux and UNIX. Yes, it’s true.

In fact, Linux and UNIX experienced more than three times as many reported security vulnerabilities than Windows. That’s the word from US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT), and their annual year-end security index. Last year, Windows experienced 812 reported operating system vulnerabilities. Linux and UNIX, however, experienced 2,328.

CERT found more than 500 multiple vendor vulnerabilities in Linux and Unix spanning old favourites such as denial of service and buffer overflows, while CERT recorded 88 Windows-specific holes and 44 in Internet Explorer (IE).
Still, keep expecting Windows problems to hit the headlines more than UNIX related ones – attacks on the Microsoft OS generate much more concern among the public and tend to be made out to be more terrible.