Linked by Amjith Ramanujam on Sat 19th Jul 2008 19:01 UTC, submitted by cypress
Linux Linux and UNIX-like operating systems in general are regarded as being more secure for the common user, in contrast with operating systems that have "Windows" as part of their name. Why is that? When entering a dispute on the subject with a Windows user, the most common argument he tries to feed me is that Windows is more widespread, and therefore, more vulnerable. Apart from amusing myths like "Linux is only for servers" or "does it have a word processor?", the issue of Linux desktop security is still seriously misunderstood.
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RE[2]: Wrong assumptions...
by -oblio- on Sun 20th Jul 2008 14:16 UTC in reply to "RE: Wrong assumptions..."
-oblio-
Member since:
2008-05-27

"..and, ran as regular users, they will be totally harmless to the system :-). All they can do is probably some nasty stuff to the user's home directory, which is easily solved with a regular batch of backups. "

Sorry, but this is: LOL!

Regulars users do backups, right? (WRONG!) The average user is more afraid of "user land" viruses, than of "root land" viruses. The deadlies virus could be sent via social engineering, and look as harmless as this:
#!/bin/sh
rm -rf /home/`whoami`
You'd only have to fool the user into making it executable (which isn't necessarily hard to do).

Edited 2008-07-20 14:18 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Wrong assumptions...
by ichi on Sun 20th Jul 2008 14:41 in reply to "RE[2]: Wrong assumptions..."
ichi Member since:
2007-03-06

Sure, and you could just tell the user to type rm -rf /home/`whoami` on the console himself, or better yet tell him to pick a hammer and smash his box to pieces.

The point of linux security is not protecting the user from his ignorance, but protecting the system and all the other users from whatever that user might do.
You have every right to delete your /home directory, so the system won't stop you when doing so, no matter if you do it yourself or someone tricks you to run some malicious script.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: Wrong assumptions...
by alexandru_lz on Sun 20th Jul 2008 19:42 in reply to "RE[2]: Wrong assumptions..."
alexandru_lz Member since:
2007-02-11

Regulars users do backups, right? (WRONG!) The average user is more afraid of "user land" viruses, than of "root land" viruses. The deadlies virus could be sent via social engineering, and look as harmless as this:
#!/bin/sh
rm -rf /home/`whoami`
You'd only have to fool the user into making it executable (which isn't necessarily hard to do).


Perfectly true -- yet this applies to any operating system. Unfortunately, users need not pass an examination to use a computer, like they do with cars.

Edit -- I wanted to say this in a separate post, but got carried away.

I think the likes of us have a certain... affinity towards not-exactly-essential points. From an engineering perspective, the exact reason and technical merits of why a solution is safer than another aren't that relevant in the short-term.

Quite frankly, given the average life cycle of computers in a production environment, I wouldn't need too many days to think about switching from Windows to OS X or Linux. Regardless of why *X is more secure, the reality simply belongs to the fact that, right ow, and in the foreseeable future, there are fewer viruses and the such.

Really now, seeing that Windows implements a complex and tested system that's still not efficient doesn't really make malware less harmful.

Edited 2008-07-20 19:47 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2