Virus and OS popularity.

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by T.N.O., Oct 7, 2003.

  1. T.N.O.

    T.N.O. Guest

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/56/33226.html

    "We've all heard it many times when a new Microsoft virus comes out. In
    fact, I've heard it a couple of times this week already. Someone on a
    mailing list or discussion forum complains about the latest in a long line
    of Microsoft email viruses or worms and recommends others consider Mac OS X
    or Linux as a somewhat safer computing platform. In response, another person
    named, oh, let's call him "Bill," says, basically, "How ridiculous! The only
    reason Microsoft software is the target of so many viruses is because it is
    so widely used! Why, if Linux or Mac OS X was as popular as Windows, there
    would be just as many viruses written for those platforms!" "
     
    T.N.O., Oct 7, 2003
    #1
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  2. T.N.O.

    Howhard Guest

    It should be a criminal offence to intentionally quote someone out of
    context to misrepresent their views. SCO is the current worst perpetrator
    but TNO must be a contender.

    The author of the article you linked to is trying to make the opposite point
    from that which reading your extract implies - he is trying to explain why
    your quoted text is a commonly held, but nevertheless incorrect, view.

    The best point the author makes is that Windows has been dumbed down to
    ensure ease of use, at the expense of security. While Linux is normally
    better, Linux can be made as insecure as Windows - the example of Lindows
    being given in the article.

    The article has been given good attention at /. here:
    http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=...d=106&tid=126&tid=172&tid=185&tid=190&tid=201
     
    Howhard, Oct 7, 2003
    #2
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  3. T.N.O.

    T.N.O. Guest

    "Howhard" wrote
    > but TNO must be a contender.


    Actually, that was as far as I had read at the time, I was just going to
    correct my quote... never mind.

    > The best point the author makes is that Windows has been dumbed down to
    > ensure ease of use, at the expense of security. While Linux is normally
    > better, Linux can be made as insecure as Windows - the example of Lindows
    > being given in the article.


    yeah... thats what I was going to say.
    Windows can be made secure, Linux can be made insecure... it's just a
    mattrer of how they are setup.
     
    T.N.O., Oct 7, 2003
    #3
  4. T.N.O.

    Mainlander Guest

    In article <eSogb.170229$>, howhard1309
    @hotmail.com says...

    > The best point the author makes is that Windows has been dumbed down to
    > ensure ease of use, at the expense of security. While Linux is normally
    > better, Linux can be made as insecure as Windows - the example of Lindows
    > being given in the article.
    >
    > The article has been given good attention at /. here:
    > http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=...d=106&tid=126&tid=172&tid=185&tid=190&tid=201


    The first contradicts the second - you say Windows is as insecure as
    Linux (potentially) yet the second idea defends the notion that Linux is
    superior.

    A lot of the Register article is anti-MS FUD.
     
    Mainlander, Oct 7, 2003
    #4
  5. In article <blt8il$fua9i$-berlin.de>, "T.N.O." <> wrote:
    >"Howhard" wrote
    >> but TNO must be a contender.

    >Actually, that was as far as I had read at the time, I was just going to
    >correct my quote... never mind.
    >
    >> The best point the author makes is that Windows has been dumbed down to
    >> ensure ease of use, at the expense of security. While Linux is normally
    >> better, Linux can be made as insecure as Windows - the example of Lindows
    >> being given in the article.

    >
    >yeah... thats what I was going to say.
    >Windows can be made secure, Linux can be made insecure... it's just a
    >mattrer of how they are setup.


    .. but surely one of those defaults is clever and the other ... not ?
    Why make something available then insist that joe user know enough to turn on
    something that, in my opinion, should be on unless you turn it off ?
    Clear enuff ? :)

    Bruce



    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to
    think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone´s fault.
    If it was Us, what did that make Me ? After all, I´m one of Us. I must be.
    I´ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No-one ever thinks
    of themselves as one of Them. We´re always one of Us. It´s Them that do
    the bad things. <=> Terry Pratchett. Jingo.
     
    Bruce Sinclair, Oct 7, 2003
    #5
  6. T.N.O.

    T.N.O. Guest

    "Bruce Sinclair" wrote
    > . but surely one of those defaults is clever and the other ... not ?
    > Why make something available then insist that joe user know enough to turn

    on
    > something that, in my opinion, should be on unless you turn it off ?
    > Clear enuff ? :)


    actually no, you lost me, but I know what you meant(it may well be correct,
    but lack of water is stopping my brain from functioning at the moment)
     
    T.N.O., Oct 7, 2003
    #6
  7. T.N.O.

    Rider Guest

    "T.N.O." <> wrote in message
    news:blta2a$g8ao7$-berlin.de...
    > "Bruce Sinclair" wrote
    > > . but surely one of those defaults is clever and the other ... not ?
    > > Why make something available then insist that joe user know enough to

    turn
    > on
    > > something that, in my opinion, should be on unless you turn it off ?
    > > Clear enuff ? :)

    >
    > actually no, you lost me, but I know what you meant(it may well be

    correct,
    > but lack of water is stopping my brain from functioning at the moment)
    >
    >


    Do you keep your brain in a jug of water like old people do with their
    dentures next to their bed at night??
    :p

    Rider
     
    Rider, Oct 7, 2003
    #7
  8. T.N.O.

    T.N.O. Guest

    "Rider" wrote
    > > actually no, you lost me, but I know what you meant(it may well be

    > correct,
    > > but lack of water is stopping my brain from functioning at the moment)
    > >
    > >

    >
    > Do you keep your brain in a jug of water like old people do with their
    > dentures next to their bed at night??


    nah... broken AC in the office, and no cold water close by to drink.
     
    T.N.O., Oct 7, 2003
    #8
  9. In article <blta2a$g8ao7$-berlin.de>, "T.N.O." <> wrote:
    >"Bruce Sinclair" wrote
    >> . but surely one of those defaults is clever and the other ... not ?
    >> Why make something available then insist that joe user know enough to turn

    >on
    >> something that, in my opinion, should be on unless you turn it off ?
    >> Clear enuff ? :)

    >
    >actually no, you lost me, but I know what you meant(it may well be correct,
    >but lack of water is stopping my brain from functioning at the moment)


    LOL :)

    Bruce

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to
    think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone´s fault.
    If it was Us, what did that make Me ? After all, I´m one of Us. I must be.
    I´ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No-one ever thinks
    of themselves as one of Them. We´re always one of Us. It´s Them that do
    the bad things. <=> Terry Pratchett. Jingo.
     
    Bruce Sinclair, Oct 7, 2003
    #9
  10. T.N.O.

    Peter Guest

    Peter, Oct 7, 2003
    #10
  11. T.N.O.

    steve Guest

    T.N.O. allegedly said:

    > http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/56/33226.html
    >
    > "We've all heard it many times when a new Microsoft virus comes out. In
    > fact, I've heard it a couple of times this week already. Someone on a
    > mailing list or discussion forum complains about the latest in a long line
    > of Microsoft email viruses or worms and recommends others consider Mac OS
    > X or Linux as a somewhat safer computing platform. In response, another
    > person named, oh, let's call him "Bill," says, basically, "How ridiculous!
    > The only reason Microsoft software is the target of so many viruses is
    > because it is so widely used! Why, if Linux or Mac OS X was as popular as
    > Windows, there would be just as many viruses written for those platforms!"
    > "


    I think we will see this tested over the next couple of years as Linux
    becomes ever more popular.

    But they can't do as much damage even if they were written for Linux.
    A virus infecting user space on a Linux system can't wreck the system.
     
    steve, Oct 7, 2003
    #11
  12. T.N.O.

    Joe Citizen Guest

    Why oh why drag this shit up all the time.
    I think its fair to say that Loonix users are more skilled (on average) than
    Windoze users. Windoze users make more 'mistakes' on their machines.
    It would not be PC for Bill to say so, and offend his customers.

    There are also many other 'confounding' variables that make comparisons very
    difficult.

    Joe.

    "T.N.O." <> wrote in message
    news:blt2sf$gdvg3$-berlin.de...
    > http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/56/33226.html
    >
    > "We've all heard it many times when a new Microsoft virus comes out. In
    > fact, I've heard it a couple of times this week already. Someone on a
    > mailing list or discussion forum complains about the latest in a long line
    > of Microsoft email viruses or worms and recommends others consider Mac OS

    X
    > or Linux as a somewhat safer computing platform. In response, another

    person
    > named, oh, let's call him "Bill," says, basically, "How ridiculous! The

    only
    > reason Microsoft software is the target of so many viruses is because it

    is
    > so widely used! Why, if Linux or Mac OS X was as popular as Windows, there
    > would be just as many viruses written for those platforms!" "
    >
    >
     
    Joe Citizen, Oct 7, 2003
    #12
  13. T.N.O.

    The Flash Guest

    More truth to that than you think, If you are going to steal cars people
    best to go to supermarket rather than the local dairy.

    Linux really has yet to have the heat turned on it, how would it do when
    deployed on home pc desktops, remember people are still running windows 95
    and first edition 98, so what does that equate to? a deployment of Red hat 5
    , 6 , 7 , 8 and 9 all with different apps hanging off them, most with modems
    some with broadband and you expect that they would be any more secure the ms
    offering?

    I saw some data a while ago now trying to disprove that linux was propeller
    head choice, it failed the average MS desktop user scored ~30% the average
    Linux user scored ~90%. The end result is that anybody using Linux is way
    above the average MS desktop user and really cannot advise them in
    meaningful manner.

    The average MS user calls the helpdesk to setup there email, and cannot
    remove a virus from their PC nor can the convert a Bitmap into a JPG.

    If you are using Linux good, but don't try converting those that are
    stumbling under the load already.

    "T.N.O." <> wrote in message
    news:blt2sf$gdvg3$-berlin.de...
    > http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/56/33226.html
    >
    > "We've all heard it many times when a new Microsoft virus comes out. In
    > fact, I've heard it a couple of times this week already. Someone on a
    > mailing list or discussion forum complains about the latest in a long line
    > of Microsoft email viruses or worms and recommends others consider Mac OS

    X
    > or Linux as a somewhat safer computing platform. In response, another

    person
    > named, oh, let's call him "Bill," says, basically, "How ridiculous! The

    only
    > reason Microsoft software is the target of so many viruses is because it

    is
    > so widely used! Why, if Linux or Mac OS X was as popular as Windows, there
    > would be just as many viruses written for those platforms!" "
    >
    >
     
    The Flash, Oct 7, 2003
    #13
  14. T.N.O.

    T.N.O. Guest

    "steve" wrote
    > A virus infecting user space on a Linux system can't wreck the system.


    ask a user what the most important files are?
     
    T.N.O., Oct 7, 2003
    #14
  15. T.N.O.

    Lennier Guest

    On Wed, 08 Oct 2003 07:43:49 +1300, T.N.O. wrote:

    >> A virus infecting user space on a Linux system can't wreck the system.

    >
    > ask a user what the most important files are?


    A user's opinion as to what are the "most important" files is irrelevant.

    The Sysadmin's opinion is the only important opinion when securing a
    system - so long as users are able to work effectively.

    Of course users should also be doing regular backups of their directories.

    Lennier
     
    Lennier, Oct 7, 2003
    #15
  16. T.N.O.

    T.N.O. Guest

    "Lennier" wrote
    > > ask a user what the most important files are?


    > A user's opinion as to what are the "most important" files is irrelevant.


    Are you sure of that...

    > The Sysadmin's opinion is the only important opinion when securing a
    > system - so long as users are able to work effectively.


    And the admin of the standard Windows box is who, the owner of the machine,
    so if they switch to Linux, they will be the admin...

    > Of course users should also be doing regular backups of their directories.


    yeah, they should, but how many do, I'd suspect it would be under 50%
     
    T.N.O., Oct 7, 2003
    #16
  17. T.N.O.

    Lennier Guest

    On Wed, 08 Oct 2003 10:07:36 +1300, T.N.O. wrote:

    >> Of course users should also be doing regular backups of their
    >> directories.

    >
    > yeah, they should, but how many do, I'd suspect it would be under 50%


    The onus has ALWAYS been on users backing-up their own data.

    The fact that many computer-users are morons and do not do what is best
    practise is really beside the point.

    A Linux system is secure from worms and viruses - so long as the Admin is
    careful about what they install and that they keep it fully patched and up
    to date, and so long as daily work is done as a regular user and not as
    the root user.

    The security model on a Windows system, OTOH, is fundamentally flawed, and
    anyone can access and alter the system files - and some software will not
    even run unless it has admin rights.

    Lennier
     
    Lennier, Oct 7, 2003
    #17
  18. T.N.O.

    T.N.O. Guest

    "Lennier" wrote
    > >> Of course users should also be doing regular backups of their
    > >> directories.

    > >
    > > yeah, they should, but how many do, I'd suspect it would be under 50%

    >
    > The onus has ALWAYS been on users backing-up their own data.
    > The fact that many computer-users are morons and do not do what is best
    > practise is really beside the point.


    Beside the point, but still relevant, it leaves end users in exactly the
    same position, they lose their data.

    > A Linux system is secure from worms and viruses - so long as the Admin is
    > careful about what they install and that they keep it fully patched and up
    > to date, and so long as daily work is done as a regular user and not as
    > the root user.


    So are Windows users, even on my own machine, I cant do squat without
    logging in as Admin, but, most users don't keep their machines up to date, I
    dont see how a change ot Linux is going to make users(meaning OS users, not
    users in the admin/users way) suddenly want to update their machines any
    more frequently?

    > The security model on a Windows system, OTOH, is fundamentally flawed, and
    > anyone can access and alter the system files


    Depends on how it is setup, I can't make any changes to system files on my
    machine unless I log in as admin, on my machine, my account has no rights,
    infact, even my administrator account has no rights, it is a dummy account
    with not even login access, I have another account for doing admin work.

    > - and some software will not
    > even run unless it has admin rights.


    What software? only one I know of is ICQ, which is why I stopped using it.
     
    T.N.O., Oct 7, 2003
    #18
  19. In article <>, wrote:
    >this quote is from T.N.O. of Tue, 07 Oct 2003 13:54 :
    >> http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/56/33226.html

    >
    >and this one ...
    >http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/188
    >"To mess up a Linux box, you need to work at it; to mess up your Windows
    >box, you just need to work on it."


    I tell you what scares me the most about windows boxes ... if you have a
    problem, usually the FIRST thing that is suggested is shutting down and
    restarting. Not ... "have you tried this ... does it do that" ... but shut it
    down and see if it still does it. The secondscariest thing ... it often fixes
    the problem !

    Doesn't anyone else find this disturbing at some level ? :)

    Bruce


    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    It was so much easier to blame it on Them. It was bleakly depressing to
    think that They were Us. If it was Them, then nothing was anyone´s fault.
    If it was Us, what did that make Me ? After all, I´m one of Us. I must be.
    I´ve certainly never thought of myself as one of Them. No-one ever thinks
    of themselves as one of Them. We´re always one of Us. It´s Them that do
    the bad things. <=> Terry Pratchett. Jingo.
     
    Bruce Sinclair, Oct 8, 2003
    #19
  20. T.N.O.

    Lennier Guest

    On Wed, 08 Oct 2003 10:58:12 +1300, T.N.O. wrote:

    >> The onus has ALWAYS been on users backing-up their own data. The fact
    >> that many computer-users are morons and do not do what is best practise
    >> is really beside the point.

    >
    > Beside the point, but still relevant, it leaves end users in exactly the
    > same position, they lose their data.


    The onus is on them to do their own backups!

    Backing up one's data has always been something that has been encouraged
    from the very earliest days of using desktop PCs.

    Lennier
     
    Lennier, Oct 8, 2003
    #20
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