[opensource] Linux vs. Windows

Nick Hurley hurley at todesschaf.org
Wed Oct 25 16:35:49 EDT 2006

Charlie Hayes <hayes.465 at osu.edu> writes:
> I have read many independent studies claiming that Windows security  is
> just as good as GNU/Linux. There are also many studies showing  that
> Windows Defender is one of the if not the best antispyware
> application. Plus Microsoft basically has their whole business riding
> on it.

I'm not saying Microsoft isn't trying, but it certainly is NOT their
first priority, nor is "their whole business riding on it". You can read
things that say that Microsoft's security is as good as (or even better
than) security in Linux, and you can read things that say that security
in Linux is better than Microsoft's security, but, at the end of the
day, the fact is that there are more security problems that plague
windows than plague the various distributions of Linux. Yes, some of
this can be attributed to the fact that windows is just more popular,
but it really is at least just as attributable to the fact that
Microsoft had an ABYSMAL attitude towards security up until about a year
or a year and a half ago. And, 1-1.5 years is NOT enough time to make up
the difference.

> There is no way you can claim that the Linux kernel (or things that  run
> in kernel land) are bug-free. I'm sure Microsoft is doing their  part in
> keeping things out of kernel land that shouldn't be there. In-
> fact they have gone so far as to prevent anti-virus software from  third
> parties (which they have given in to and wont be doing).

Where did I ever claim that the Linux kernel is bug free? I
didn't. Let's take a look at what I wrote one more time:

> > The only thing about a similar vulnerability "in Linux" is that it
> > would
> > likely be in a userland daemon, not in the Linux kernel itself

See the word "likely" in there? "Likely" is not the same as
"definitely". Yes, there may be (and, in fact, HAVE been) kernel-level
exploits for linux. Yes, there WILL be some in the future. That's a fact
of software development. Just as it is a fact that there WILL be
kernel-level exploits in Windows in the future, even with windows
defender running. I never spoke in absolutes about "linux doesn't have
bugs, windows always has bugs". You were the one who initially said that
malware "is no longer an issue" now that windows defender exists. With
this email, I'm done spamming everyone else on the list going back and
forth with you. If you want to discuss this more with me, it will be in
private email.

   "Who can fathom the feminine mind?" -Calvin "I like `em anyway" -Hobbes

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