Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 15th Apr 2009 09:54 UTC
Bugs & Viruses Whenever the Conficker worm comes up here on OSNews (or any other site for that matter) there are always a number of people who point their fingers towards Redmond, stating that it's their fault Conifcker got out. While Microsoft has had some pretty lax responses to security threats in the past, it handled the whole Conficker thing perfectly, releasing a patch even before Conficker existed, and pushing it through Windows Update. In any case, this made me wonder about Linux distributions and security. What if a big security hole pops up in a Linux distribution - who will the Redmond-finger-pointing people hold responsible?
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Do I have to add a repository? Or Is this source code we need to compile and install ourselves? But seriously, most exploits on Linux are by nature less damaging than Windows exploits, because of the design principles of Linux and Unix systems. But if a worm did hit Linux, or even referring to the worms that have hit Windows, I fail to understand why we wouldn't want to at least attempt to blame the author of the worm, rather than the author of the code that was exploited? Anyway, who's responsible for the fix in the open source world is the one who steps up to the plate and fixes it, which generally happens pretty quickly. Who's responsible for the Windows fix has to be Microsoft, because they are the keepers of the closed proprietary code. Only if they were willing to open up their code could someone else share responsibility, and they're just not going to do that.

So a criminal obtains a gun illegally, then robs a convenience store and shoots the clerk. Obviously we need to blame the gun manufacturer, right? NO!!! The criminal shot the clerk. We need more gun laws, right? NO!!! As I stated, the criminal obtained the gun illegally. If he already broke the law, what good is another law? Suppose the criminal instead busted the clerks head with a Craftsman claw hammer? Do we then blame Sears? Again, NO!!! Now, instead lets say the criminal wrote a worm to steal the clerk's identity and credit card info on his Windows based computer. Do we blame Microsoft? NO!!! How about blaming the criminal? But a responsible convenience store owner will train the clerk how to handle robbers, possibly provide the clerk with a gun or a taser, a panic button to set off an alarm, and perhaps even build in a panic room in the store. A responsible Windows user will install patches, and a firewall, purchase antivirus and antispyware, and refrain from visiting questionable web sites. A responsible Linux user will do much the same. But for goodness sake, don't waste your time trying to lay blame here and there for malware! Blame the criminal who wrote it.

Edited 2009-04-15 17:19 UTC

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