Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 10th Nov 2009 09:31 UTC
Windows Last week, security vendor Sophos published a blog post in which it said that Windows 7 was vulnerable to 8 our of 10 of the most common viruses. Microsoft has responded to these test results, which are a classic case of "scare 'm and they'll fall in line".
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RE[2]: Comment by satan666
by lemur2 on Tue 10th Nov 2009 22:48 UTC in reply to "RE: Comment by satan666"
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"That's simply not true. I've been using Linux exclusively both at work and at home (at least 10 hours a day in total). I've never installed an antivirus and I haven't had any virus at all.
As much as I would like to agree, having a false sence of security because we run linux is dangerous. Yes, there might not be any (real) virus for linux out there, but I still don't want to be a vector of transmission by giving infected files to other computers. Of course we wont have any threat if we us something nobody else uses, because, well, nobidy care! Now that allows me to surf the web and laugh at attempts to highjack my IE or even Safari, but that does not mean that my 3 years old unpatched firefox is more secure then the sandboxed,firewalled,antivirused IE 8... Often, when advocating linux, I ear people saying that it is more secure and does not need antivirus. This is a dangerous idea of false security. "

Firstly, antivirus isn't security. Antivirus is trying to detect and remove a security breach after it has already compromised your system.

Secondly, the correct method of installing software on Linux is via the package manager. Package managers and the associated online repositories allow for a system where any piece of software can be audited and verified by any person on the planet. Anyone at all, not just the person who wrote the software. If everyone on the planet can see what is in a piece of software BEFORE it gets to end users, this makes it very difficult indeed to hide malware within that software.

Finally, one should examine the record. The record is AFAIK impeccable. AFAIK (and no-one has yet been able to contradict this) ... there has never been an end-user's system compromised with malware via installing open source software from package managers.

PS: On Linux, all programs by default run as a normal user. Running firefox on Linux means running it as a normal user, and hence it has no ability at all to modify or create system files or directories. All programs run as a normal user on Linux are effectively sandboxed.

Edited 2009-11-10 23:07 UTC

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