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Old 08-19-08, 12:36 PM   #1
nilrim1980
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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.
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Old 08-19-08, 12:46 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 08-19-08, 12:50 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 08-19-08, 12:55 PM   #4
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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.
couldn't have said it better
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Old 08-19-08, 01:43 PM   #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.
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Old 08-19-08, 02:09 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 08-19-08, 02:57 PM   #7
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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.
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Old 08-19-08, 03:00 PM   #8
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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.
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.
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Old 08-19-08, 03:00 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 08-19-08, 03:23 PM   #10
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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
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Old 08-19-08, 03:28 PM   #11
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Linux is secure out of the box.

This is not the case for servers.
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Old 08-19-08, 04:00 PM   #12
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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.
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Old 08-19-08, 04:12 PM   #13
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You can make it really secure by simply never turning your computer on!
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Old 08-19-08, 05:49 PM   #14
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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.
Either that, or you're using a well-configured firewall.
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Old 08-19-08, 08:00 PM   #15
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or is it 100% secure like MacOS?


now that's a gooden...
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Old 08-19-08, 08:25 PM   #16
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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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