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Thread: OS-related security

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2004

    Question OS-related security

    I'm still a little new where security's concerned, and the only OSes I've ever used are Windows 95, 98se, and XP. I'm interested in installing Linux, and I've heard that Linux (and Unix) are more secure than Windows. Is this so? If yes, why?

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Oh, cool..there hasn't been a "windows is better than linux" flamefest here for a while now... (ok, just kidding...I left my asbestos underwear at the office )

    I am pretty much a Linux novice, so take what I say with a grain of salt....

    Linux is not necessarily more secure than Windows (I'm talking about windows NT and above... 98 and ME were essentially 'toys' ).

    IMO, what gives Linux a leg up on Windows is that Linux users are a little more "sophisticated", if that is the proper term. Bill Gates has made his fortune by providing a system that is super friendly to the novice user, Linux is more for people that are not afraid to experiment and become more familiar with their OS. Almost by default, learning your way around a Linux system is going to make you more aware of how it works, or else you won't get very far. Windows does pretty much what you want it to do right out of the box.

    Generally, Linux users know better than to run as Root, where as Windows users (often) run on the Admin account. Also, some versions of Linux ship in a more secure state than does Windows.

    Windows is a very secure system...somewhere on AO, there are posts by catch that deal with securing'll have to search for them...I'm too tired to do it right now. I remember one thread in particular (IIRC) that said Windows conforms to government standards, where Linux doesn't.

    I've been investigating capabilities of NT for work purposes, and I've come to find it does a hell of a lot more than I thought it did.

    Also, do some searches on posts by Gore and BSD...he knows his way around it pretty well.

    Of all the arguments (excuse me, discussions ) concerning which OS is better, I have pretty much concluded that it all comes down to the person running the box.

    There's actually a lot more to this discussion, but I'm hoping others will pitch in with valid discussions why they prefer one OS over another. Simply stated, they all have their strong and weak points. I haven't even toched on the closed soure VS open source debate.


  3. #3
    Yes, that's my CC number! 576869746568617's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Linux, by default, isn't any more secure than any other OS, IMHO. (That is...out of the box.)

    With that said, I'd have to say that some distributions of Linux (or BSD) can be more secure than Windows, provided the OS is properly hardened. By the same token, The reverse is also true. This is probably a little confusing so I'll sum my thought up with this:

    Comparing an OS to another based upon the premise that one is more secure than the other, as many variables play a part in determining the security of the system. The security of (or how secure is) a certain operating system is relative to the purpose or use of the system, the services provided by the system, and the knowledge and perseverance of the administrator of that system.

    Hell, I can configure a Windows system to be compliant with the NSA's C2 guidelines, but if I do this, I've effectively crippled the OS from a networking standpoint, so what good is it in a networked environment, yet it makes for one hell of a secure stand-alone system.

    Like I said....It's all relative.
    Windows 9x: n. A collection of 32 bit extensions and a graphical shell for a 16 bit patch to an 8 bit operating system originally coded for a 4 bit microprocessor. Written by a 2 bit company that can\'t stand 1 bit of competition.

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