It's easy for people to pick at Windows for being prone to virus and malware attacks. It's almost a given belief that if you're running a PC with a Windows operating system, you're much more susceptible to attacks than users with other operating systems.
But let's quickly look at the reasons for this. First, it isn't really Microsoft's fault. It isn't that Windows is technically inferior, it's that the majority of the world runs on Windows. This fact alone is very attractive for any virus coder or exploiter. As a virus writer, you'd want to attack the majority, not the minority.
Secondly, because the vast majority of the world's computers runs on Windows, everyone from very tech savvy users to the greenest of novices is included in this pool. There are many who are just not as educated--for various reasons--about software and Internet safety. So here we have a huge pool of people, many of which aren't informed. These are two main reasons why a Windows desktop is the prime target for attacks.
Despite its strong underpinnings, Linux has become too popular to ignore. Now, a blogger by the name of "foobar" has written a guide on how to efficiently infect a Linux user's system, stating even not to "underestimate the ignorance of a Linux user." A snippet from foobar's guide:
There is this rumor going around that Linux is virus free. It is said that the old-fashioned multi-user heritage of Linux (and other *nix OSs) prevents malware, since users are not normally running their programs in admin mode (as root user). We are reminded that execute bits are needed to run anything – contrary to Windows – and that execute bits aren't set on any attachments or files saved from emails or from a web-browser.Therefore, we are told, the very architecture of Linux is so much more superior to Windows that it's just not possible to successfully spread malware. Of course – it is acknowledged – a low-level bug, a buffer overflow or other issue is exploitable. But nevertheless, users can't just catch a virus by email or downloading malware from the Internet, contrary to “those Windows users”. Linux will protect them from their own stupidity.
foobar is setting out to prove that Linux is no more secure to malware than Windows is. Despite writing up the how-to guide on writing a virus for Linux, foobar doesn't actually point out the actual malware coding part, and instead instructs a would-be malware coder on how to infect a Linux system.
In a related playing field, Apple is famous for claiming that its computers are bullet proof from malware and viruses too, often indicating so in advertisements that show how "sick" a PC can get versus a Mac. Because of its relatively low usage rate compared to Windows computers, Macs have traditionally been more secure only because no one really wanted to spend time to attack a small minority group. The landscape however, is changing too for Macs. With popularity increasing, viruses and attacks are becoming more popular, with the most recent infection spreading through a torrent of Apple's iWork '09 office suite.
Do you believe that the security of a system lies on the technical aspects of the operating system in use? Or do you firmly believe that the security lies soley on the sholders of the user? Do you think foobar's claims are correct?
lol, more typo's.
I have read for the past decade about all of these threats that will show linux to be just as vulnerable as windows to viruses.
Did I miss some news?
I don't remember hearing about the massive virus attack that took down thousands of linux servers and turned linux workstations into spambot networks numbering in the hundreds of thousands.
I look at this the same as I look at the annual threat of an attack that will completely lock down the internet.
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This type of malware doesn't exploit the OS so much as it does the user's intelligence. As we all know, no matter how id10t-proof we make systems, someone just builds a better id10t.
Ofcourse, maybe the reason for Linux's reputation of security comes as much from the min IQ requirement of using 'ye olde Linux arcane distros as it is in the OS design. Recent distros are becoming more and more user friendly and therefore lowering aforementioned requirement.
I suppose it is a necessary evil if it ever hopes to appeal to as broad an audience as Windows. I just hope the dev guys can keep up to prevent it from being a cesspool. =/
My 2 cents.
Splitting Microsoft wouldn't change anything. Besides, by having it together, it would actually offer them better interoperability and releases on schedules.
Besides, the any OS is just as vulnerable as the other. They're simply lines of codes, some better implemented than others. They still can be brought down to its knees.
Even if some one writes a virus for Linux that some how runs automatically or by users action the worst damage would be to the users profile, not the core of the system. You need to spend really great time and effort to misconfigure the Linux in order to have the same level of problems like Windows. I think MS is taking notice of that and the new Windows Server 2008 is much better. Who is going to take on the task to teach the users?!
And there are many things in a Linux system that keeps it safe, sometimes by being overly simplistic even. I don't think any OS is bullet-proof: if it can be built, it can be torn down, if torn down, it can be built. Still, I do believe their are varying degrees of difficulty. This is what keeps people strong in the belief of Linux.
Besides, if Linux were so easy to crack, then I'd imagine we'd here much, much more often about how servers at major companies and institutions are being taken over by crackers.