Insecurity

I have read on this blog and elsewhere fans of that other OS claiming you are pretty well protected from malware if:

  1. you think before you click,
  2. patch regularly, and
  3. don’t browse porn-sites.

Thinking is helpful in the “social engineering” attack which is a huge proportion of attacks but many vulnerabilities over the network do not require action by the user and 51% of attacks are not associated with porn.

These three tactics are imperfect layers in a defence against malware and intruders. Patching regularly is a good idea for many reasons other than security but it can be too late or bring in additional vulnerabilities.

see ArsTechnica

Using GNU/Linux is a good layer of defence. Most malware is aimed at that other OS and GNU/Linux is simple and modular, much more easily and quickly patched. Being open source means many more people, also in layers, are testing/examining the code, and being Free Software, many more people, also in layers, are in a position to fix the problems.

About Robert Pogson

I am a retired teacher in Canada. I taught in the subject areas where I have worked for almost forty years: maths, physics, chemistry and computers. I love hunting, fishing, picking berries and mushrooms, too.
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8 Responses to Insecurity

  1. Ray says:

    “Please don’t insult me with that popular crap.”

    It hurts because it’s the truth 😀

    “Why go after the end points when you could take down a server?”

    They did, in the case of HBGary.

  2. I have actually seen that epoxy trick in schools. What a waste of an important resource for PCs. The floppy has been dead awhile. The last time I seriously used one to distribute data in a lab of 24 machines, the floppy would wear out after 12 reads or so…

  3. oe says:

    The simple rules for using that other OS safely.

    1. Remove the ethernet/LAN cable and pull the card or fill the port with epoxy. Ditto with the modem.

    2. Remove the floppy drive (if you still have one)

    3. Pull all the USB port headers off of the motherboard and/or fill them with epoxy.

    Resume use.

  4. Richard Chapman says:

    Everybody has to follow a few simple rules. So why are the poor souls who use Microsoft’s products getting hammered. Please don’t insult me with that popular crap. All software is not endowed with the same number of security holes. Malware writers do not create security holes, they exploit them. Why go after the end points when you could take down a server?

    If we were talking about boats, one of your rules would be: “Don’t stop baling!”. Yet this is the equivalent of using a Microsoft OS. And having been one of those poor souls myself, I would add: “Don’t stop worrying about getting infected”. It’s not worth it and it wasn’t worth it. I live in peace now with my computer and the world it’s connected to.

  5. Ray says:

    You left out not using illegal torrents. 😀

  6. oldman says:

    The flip side to this is I’ve followed some simple rules and Have been rewarded with ZERO viruses across all of my systems, period.

    Obviously, YMMV.

  7. Richard Chapman says:

    If you use Microsoft’s OS you are safe if you:

    1. Think before you use it.
    2. Only use it on the second Tuesday of the month.
    3. Don’t visit 90% of the Internet’s Web sites.

  8. Mats Hagglund says:

    I remember that Saturday in Spring 2008. I was downloading professional boxing videos from a site far from porno. I had to go my garden doing some job. One hour late i came back and found Symantec Norton AV alert small windows about trojan. Tried to prevent it but it was too late. That’s it. But that’s not all. Before that (perhaps Feb 2008) there must have been pdf-malware which was able to disable Windows firewall (after every reboot).

    Both cases are “good” examples why avoiding porno-sites don’t guarantee safety – when you have Windows. Couple of weeks later i installed Ubuntu Hardy Heron and since that i’ve used mostly Linux. Little bit later when i found how great Linux really is, i kicked out Windows Xp from my computer.

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