Windows more secure than Linux?

Windows suffered fewer security vulnerabilities than Linux last year, according to figures released by vulnerability tracker SecurityFocus.
Although the statistics so far only go up to August 2001, aggregated distributions of the Linux operating system suffered 96 vulnerabilities while Windows NT/2000 suffered only 42.

Breaking the figures down by distribution, Mandrake Linux 7.2 notched up 33 vulnerabilities, Red Hat 7.0 suffered 28, Mandrake 7.1 had 27 and Debian 2.2 had 26.

Windows, on the other hand, shared fourth most vulnerable position with 24, alongside Sun Solaris 7.0 and 8.0.

Although in previous years Windows has suffered the most vulnerabilities when compared to individual distributions, against the Linux aggregate the Microsoft operating system has consistently come out looking better off than its open source brethren.

For five years straight, in fact, Windows has come out less scathed than Linux, with 2000 pinpointed as the most significant year when Linux suffered over 150 vulnerabilities and Windows fell just short of 100.

But when looking at the bigger picture, the number of vulnerabilities discovered has rocketed since the start of last year and now peaks 150 new security discoveries a month, revealing a lot of bug-hunting activity poking holes in the security of operating systems in general.