Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

Linux lags Windows in new security report

Filed under
Linux
Microsoft
Security

A report released today indicates Windows Server 2003 may actually be more secure than its most popular Linux competitor when it comes to vulnerabilities and the time it takes to patch them.

"The fact that Security Innovations [which produced the paper] retained 'editorial control' doesn't help; if Microsoft is paying the bills, there can be all sorts of nonverbal pressure behind the scenes. It isn't like it was 'co-funded' by both Microsoft and Red Hat," said Michael D. "Mick" Bauer, senior editor of Linux Journal and director of value-subtracted services for Wiremonkeys.org.

He also questioned the narrow focus. "This study appears to be more concerned with vulnerability counts and patch-release cycles than in actual security or securability. Certainly, if Microsoft has reduced the amounts of bugs in [its] software and gotten faster at patching bugs, that's great. But the bug-patch rat race is only one part of a much more complicated security picture, and the way I see it, Linux still has compelling advantages from a security standpoint."

Such a reaction was anticipated by authors Richard Ford, Herbert H. Thompson and Fabien Casteran. They intentionally ignored threat profiles in favor of inherent vulnerabilities in Windows Server 2003 and two versions of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.0. The goal, they said, is to provide a security metric for IT professionals to apply to their own software shopping.

"I don't think people should make adoption decisions purely based on the results, but I think it does at the very least give decision makers and diehards on either side, or even the neutral people, a chance to look beyond hype and speculation and look at hard numbers," said Thompson, director of research at Melbourne, Fla.-based Security Innovation Inc., the application security provider that produced the report.

Thompson denies Microsoft's money influenced results but admits that's a source of contention for a lot of people. "We've gotten funding from Microsoft and as a result of that people have come back and said this automatically must not be relevant and fair and balanced. That's one reason our mission has been to be completely transparent in the methodology."

Full Story.

More in Tux Machines

Korora 21

My install went quite well, I had no problems and the install itself was relatively speedy. Bear in mind, however, that I have used the Anaconda installer often in the past. So I’m quite familiar with how it is laid out and what it has to offer. Use the Fedora install guide for Anaconda I linked to above if you’re new to it as it might save you some time when installing Korora 21. Read more

How to run Linux and Chrome OS on your Chromebook

Chromebooks are pretty darn handy. Even some hardcore Windows users now acknowledge that a Chromebook might be just what you need for work. But, as great as Chromebooks are, and as much progress as Google has made in getting "Web-only" apps such as Google Docs to work offline, there are still times that you want an application that's only available off-line such as the LibreOffice office suite or the GIMP photo editor. For those times, it's darn handy to be able to run a Linux desktop on a Chromebook. Read more

Developing Linux Is Essential To Intel's Success

The dominant position of Intel in the server processor market is likely helped by the company's consistent strong support for Linux. Based on the W3Techs chart below, Linux is almost as popular as Windows-based servers are. Read more