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Thread: Is Linux Really More Secure Than Windows?

  1. #1
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Beverwijk Netherlands

    Is Linux Really More Secure Than Windows?

    Ik know this has been covered a million times. But this article is IMHO realy good and I'd like for y'all to read it and express your oppinions.

    Is Linux Really More Secure Than Windows?
    Newer operating environments like Windows and Linux, on the other hand, tend to have more flaws than those that have been thoroughly dissected. A large number of Windows problems are surfacing, in part because of the program's age and in part because of the number of people using Windows.

    Linux, which is even newer than Windows and is not controlled by a single commercial entity, can be expected to have even more vulnerabilities than Windows. Hemmendinger commented, "I see a lot more stuff coming across BugTraq [about Linux] than any flavor of Unix or any Microsoft operating system." BugTraq is a popular forum for discussion of computer security vulnerabilities. It is moderated by SecurityFocus, now a division of security firm Symantec.
    That IMO is the reason why linux is improving faster then Windows..
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  2. #2
    Senior Member roswell1329's Avatar
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    Jan 2002
    I feel that the open-source nature of Linux adds to it's potential to be a secure operating system. Bugs are discovered and patched very quickly, instead of getting swept under the carpet as a "PR nightmare". However, because of the complexity of Linux and the sheer volume of independent software designers for it, there are numerous more ways that the system could possibly be breached. It takes a skillful user to understand those risks, and maintain their system accordingly. Windows attempts to provide a modicum of security for the casual computer user which aids it's popularity, but Windows also requires a skillful user to understand the current risks and maintain the system accordingly. I feel both systems are inherently insecure, but have the potential for being fairly well protected.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member
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    Jan 2002
    I agree with roswell

    Windows OS's have a stigma that they are insecure, and that *nix machines are far better with their security.

    IMHO, I think that "out-of-the-box" installations of both flavours of OS are insecure, and both require hardening in order to make them secure.

    So, basically what it comes down to is, the security of your OS, no matter what you are using all depends on how it has been hardened, and the strength you harden it.

    I often get critised for my opinion, but I pretty much guarentee that a properley hardened Win2K machine, is just as secure as a properley hardened Unix/Linux server.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member cwk9's Avatar
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    Feb 2002
    This is almost the same as the witch firewall is the best argument. All comes down the person setting everything up. Linux may be more secure in general but I bet my xp partition is much more secure then my mandrake one simply because I have a better understanding of windows.
    Its not software piracy. Iím just making multiple off site backups.

  5. #5
    Senior Member
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    Sep 2001
    How secure your OS is is all depending on how the person sets it up. If it is straight out of the box and no patches or anything then any OS is vulnerable. Whether it is Linux or Windows it really depends on the person that sets it up no the OS it self.
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  6. #6
    bleh its mainly because the geeks that wrote the OS, or helped improve upon it, continue to spread to where thousands upon thousands of people look for bug fixes etc like said above. Another is linux's ability to run many many daemons etc without having hardly any system resource trouble, that is more than windows as i have noticed. it allocates the cpu better imo. For another, every bloody program for linux basically is completely open source and written for the people, by the people. I guarendamntee you alot of the open-source programmers out there are as good or better than anyone working for M$ or something to that extent, and all of them combined own it entirely .

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Ok here is my opinion... Windows BLOWZ as a server, im sorry but in wouldnt use windows as a server for anything..... Linux/BSD and other *nix operating systems are the best to run services...

    as far as bugs go, well its obvious that an open source OS will have more things listed on BugTraq, it doesnt take a rocket genius to figure that out... but becasue its open source you can also patch it up alot quicker rather then waiting for a damn patch from MicroSoft... correct me if im wrong but that Support Center XP exploit still doesnt have have patch does it? i mean i know u can turn it off, but thast not solving the problem thats just making it go away....

    you can also code things streight into the Kernal with Linux wich is something you CANT do with an OS like Winblows, permissions are alot more efficiant in Linux and also are an added security feature if you know how to play with them the right way.

    all in all Linux CAN BE MADE to be ALOT more secure then Windows... i mean let me give you an excelent example, in order for a virus to actualy cause harm on a Linux machien it has to be run as root, and most smart linux admins know better then to run just anything as root.... so that should reduce ALL viruses for linux.

    my 10 cents.

  8. #8
    AntiOnline Senior Member souleman's Avatar
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    Oct 2001
    Flint, MI
    I see one of the main differences in the amount of time it takes to release a patch, and the quality of the patch. Linux is normally patched for a security problem within 24 hours. And it is patched right. Where as MS may take a week, and within 24 hours, there will be another 1/2 dozend vulns in that patch.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2002
    I think when you make an OS user friendly like windows is, your exposing yourself to more security holes. I disagree when you say linux hasn't been dissected ... its open source. Issues are discovered and solved faster.

    I agree with SoggyBottom that both OS need to be locked down out of the box. If you want to discuss linux security history, then your going to have to look at sendmail and bind. Both have a long history of exploits.

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