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  1. #1
    Immoderator
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    How secure is Linux?

    I keep encountering people talking about Linux, and how secure it is from both getting viruses/Trojan horses/bombs as well as remote attacks. I can't get a straight answer on how secure it is compared to other operating systems. Is it just slightly better than Windows and the OS getting infected even with the latest and greatest AV software installed, or is it 100% secure like MacOS?

    Thanks for any information. I just can't seem to get any usable answers on this anywhere.

  2. #2
    Senior Member hos13's Avatar
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    Linux is as security as you make it. Like any other OS you need to make sure that your packages are updated, you aren't running any insecure deamons, you don't have open ports that aren't being used.
    There are root kits that can exploit your Linux box if you don't take the time to harden it.

    Security is more about practices and policies then it is about the OS.
    "Don't give up, don't ever give up" jimmyv

  3. #3
    Squirrelly Member trsidn's Avatar
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    If you wish to get a picture of how secure you are currently, go here:

    https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2

    This site will tell you exactly what ports are open, and ideas on how to secure them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Nicodemus View Post
    Yet more proof that I'm.. well, pretty much right about everything.

  4. #4
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hos13 View Post
    Linux is as security as you make it. Like any other OS you need to make sure that your packages are updated, you aren't running any insecure deamons, you don't have open ports that aren't being used.
    There are root kits that can exploit your Linux box if you don't take the time to harden it.

    Security is more about practices and policies then it is about the OS.
    couldn't have said it better

  5. #5
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    No operating system is 100% secure, however Linux is far more secure than Windows because of its general design. To answer your specific question, Linux is roughly equivalent to MacOS and most other Unix variants in regards to security - far better than Windows.

    I've been a Linux user for ~10 years and have never had a problem with viruses, malware, etc. Of course, like anything else, Linux cannot protect itself from stupid users who don't know/care about security.

  6. #6
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    Boot-sector viruses that wipe out your entire hard-drive are a pain. I haven't run across a Linux version yet.

  7. #7
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maelstrom View Post
    couldn't have said it better
    The grammar in the first sentence could be improved. However, the point that security is about behavior and practices is spot on.

    It's not a good idea to select a desktop OS on the basis of which is theoretically more secure. Better to get the OS that runs what you need. Besides, it's hard to lock down an OS you're unfamiliar with.

  8. #8
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DannoXYZ View Post
    Boot-sector viruses that wipe out your entire hard-drive are a pain. I haven't run across a Linux version yet.
    The easiest way to break security is to write a useful program that contains malware because the user will install it. The reason Windows gets hit as often as it does is it still accounts for 90% of the machines out there. If the idea is to compromise machines, it seems like the incentive would be to write something that targets 90% of what is out there rather than 10%. This has nothing to do with the inherent security of a system.

  9. #9
    Tiocfáidh ár Lá jfmckenna's Avatar
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    Script kiddies hate Bill Gates so they always write malicious code for Windows. I've had a Linux box compromised do to an insecure PHP setting and lax permissions on a tmp directory but it was easily fixed. Linux is secure out of the box. Super users for example don't run SSH or Telnet.

    For most things web related though, like malware, nix systems are great. You never have to run Spybot or Adaware as far as I know.

  10. #10
    Portland Fred banerjek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
    For most things web related though, like malware, nix systems are great. You never have to run Spybot or Adaware as far as I know.
    You don't have to on Windows either. Just don't install crap, keep things up to date, and your system will be fine

  11. #11
    Senior Member hos13's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jfmckenna View Post
    Linux is secure out of the box.

    This is not the case for servers.
    "Don't give up, don't ever give up" jimmyv

  12. #12
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    I just tested my XP Box, as well as my Vista box at the site above, and apparently, I'm invisible and don't exist on the net at all according to the attempts to port scan me. I appear to have my security down tight.
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  13. #13
    somewhere in the ether spoketacular's Avatar
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    You can make it really secure by simply never turning your computer on!
    You rise, you fall, you down, then you rise again
    What don't kill you make you more strong
    You rise, you fall, you down, then you rise again
    What don't kill you make you more strong

    Trek 2200 / Schwinn Madison / K2 Firebird

  14. #14
    Grizzled Curmudgeon keithm0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    I just tested my XP Box, as well as my Vista box at the site above, and apparently, I'm invisible and don't exist on the net at all according to the attempts to port scan me. I appear to have my security down tight.
    Either that, or you're using a well-configured firewall.

  15. #15
    Nookular Free Since '03 kingofchimps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nilrim1980 View Post
    or is it 100% secure like MacOS?


    now that's a gooden...

  16. #16
    carbon positive lifestyle carbonlife's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nilrim1980 View Post
    Is it just slightly better than Windows and the OS getting infected even with the latest and greatest AV software installed, or is it 100% secure like MacOS?
    Troll.

    He already went there.

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