Linked by David Adams on Mon 6th Oct 2003 19:34 UTC
Bugs & Viruses It's an oft-repeated maxim that one of the reasons that Windows operating systems are plagued by so many viruses, worms, and security exploits is because they are so popular. Extrapolating on this, many have remarked that if Linux, MacOS, or other OSes become more popular, they will attract the attention of virus writers. That may be true, but the increased attention will not necessarily yield the same quantity of viruses and other exploits, says a Register article. Update: Rebuttal article.
Permalink for comment
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
rebuttal and virii
by mp on Tue 7th Oct 2003 17:16 UTC

brando (IP: ---.labs.win.psu.edu)
MS does have the most viri because there are so many computers, that is what makes it hit so hard everytime there is a virus, but that isn't why they write them.
Translation: MS does have the most men because there are so many computers
marc (IP: ---.triad.rr.com)
Writing Virii for Windows is so much easyer that writing for Linux or MacOS X. Windows is more exploitable than anything else, everyone knows that.
Translation: Writing men for Windows is so much easyer that writing for Linux
Virus and viruses either DNA or RNA: the causative agent of an infectious disease. Programming: a computer program usually hidden within another seemingly innocuous program that produces copies of itself and inserts them into other programs and that usually performs a malicious action (as destroying data) - Webster on line

Vir and viri from latin man and men. brando one point for correct spelling of the word. marc zero points

Bascule (IP: ---.atmos.colostate.edu)
"No, the above assertion is certainly correct, even if your interpretation of it is not. Compare the number of hosts infected by the Slammer worm to the number of home users compromised by other worms such as MSBlast and Welchia, neither of which are problems if DCOM has been disabled, but of course no home users are likely to have done that."
Disabling DCOM is not enough, and completely closing port 445 works only on W2k. Besides I would lke to see faces of Exchange/MS SQL admins when one shut down DCOM. In case of Winxp closing 445 will stop lan browsing. Under Winxp using tcp filtering does not work. Trying to close any port will shut down all ports (like ICF). Tcp filtering worked fine under win2k. patching is not good enough as msblaster example shows as soon another hole in RPC was found. In other words one need to close all unused ports and this is not possible under winxp. Firewall is not the best option: One can bring infected laptop and connect to LAN behind firewall.

Marshall (IP: 202.7.32.---)
"Pretty much no game will run without being admin on windows (BF1942 popular example if memory serves which often it doesn't)."
That is not true. Install regmon from sysinternals, check for access denied while running game as a user then modify game rights to access/write to registry

Will (IP: ---.oc.oc.cox.net)
"don't recall the product. Among the assorted products, I've had some that simply say "Must be admin to install" and abort, and I had one that asked me for the Admin password, but the install failed.
On a single user machine, I think that Windows (or even Unixen here) can use an ACL trick (or simply changing the owner) to open up /dev/video to the logged in user as part of the login process. Thus making this nominally root owned system device (the display) usable by the logged in user vs just making it, essentially, world writable/readable."
Win or unix (like) while installing (compling/installing) you have to have admin rights so use su for root under unix or Run as in case of windows. People are complaining about run as, but n general it should work.


Peter Besenbruch (IP: ---.hawaii.rr.com)
"I wonder whether my Windows 2000 system is
any less secure than my Linux systems.

As a home user, I tend to shut down non-essential
services. I regularly restrict what programs I allow
to start at boot. I scan regularly for viruses and
spyware. I use a firewall that allows program by
program access to the LAN and the Internet (Internet
Explorer gets no permission to do anything)."

You are happy man: ever checked last IE security hole? Not need to run IE to exploit it.

ACL s not a cure for everything as long as programs with security holes are running with root priviledges

The article mixes for unknown reason several things: bad administration which is OS unrelated, security holes in programs (OS unrelated too) and viruses (MS specific security issue as number shows). But linux is not very secure either (but better than MS) Quick look at windows and RH advisories shows that both are even it terms of security. Even hardened distros like immunix or engarde can not be considered really secure when compared to OpenBSD. Least secure BSD (Free) has less security problems that above distros. However fixing security under any disto of linux is easier than in windows case because of modular character of OS.
Unless MS completely re-write the code and change atitude towards security, I dont belive that windows will ever be secure and because it is imposible to re-write windows then it will allways be insecure.