Reflecting On Linux Security In 2003
by Mirko Zorz - Wednesday, 24 December 2003.
"Do Linux users need an anti-virus program? The short answer is no. Until such a time as someone can demonstrate that Linux represents as great a danger to the networked world as Windows (even on a 'per capita' basis), then it's pointless for Linux users to waste their money. Both Windows and Linux systems should be running a firewall -- that will protect you from service exploits. Linux systems, however, they do not need anti-virus programs." Gagne added.

Windows viruses have an impact on most of Linux users since they get them by e-mail. On this topic Gagne noted: "Despite the fact that I do not run a Microsoft computer in this office, my network is constantly bombarded by Windows viruses of one form or another. Lately, I've taken to sending anything with a .pif, .bat, .exe, .scr, .vbs, and .com extention directly to /dev/null with a simple procmail filter so that has cut down the amount of garbage email. At the height of Sobig and Blaster, my network was being bombarded with a few thousand emails per day. My point, I guess, is that Windows viruses are a real problem. Scratch that. They are a disgrace when you consider that this is what the world has inherited by selling its IT soul to one company."

"Windows' track record for viruses and worms is appalling. The costs in terms of data loss, damage, and lost productivity in the last three years alone runs into the billions of dollars. This is documented fact. Considering how many open source web servers (and servers in general) there are out there, you'd expect some kind of equivalent tally for Linux. But it isn't there. That pretty much speaks for itself." he added.

What can we expect in 2004? The Linux community is growing and just at the end of 2003 we have the long-awaited 2.6.0 kernel to upgrade to. With every year since the birth of Linux we've only seen improvements so I think there's only a bright future ahead.

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