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October 26, 2006

Linux and FOSS gain additional support from a major proprietary software giant

by @ 9:34 am. Filed under General Linux, Linux News

I absolutely cannot pass this one up:

Zombies Control Half of Windows PCs – http://www.internetnews.com/stats/article.php/3640216

This article outlines what Microsoft has discovered from their OWN Windows Malicious Software Removal Tool.

Favorite quotes:

“Of the many forms of attacks uncovered during the first half of 2006, the company said backdoor Trojans which take control of infected computers can be found in almost one out of every two Windows-based systems.”

What a surprise this wasn’t.

“Of the 4 million Windows machines that used the MSRT, nearly 2 million contained at least one backdoor Trojan.”

This is a statistic that I have always dreamed of actually believing, and now I can. Again, this info comes directly from M$.

“While 50 percent seems high, the results are actually an improvement over last year, when 68 percent of computers had a backdoor Trojan.”

And what percentage of Linux machines have these types of problems?

* looks around *

No hands, huh? Wait, I’ve never heard of ANY Linux box having this type of plague raging through it.

Moral to the story: Use Linux. Be happy.

6 Responses to “Linux and FOSS gain additional support from a major proprietary software giant”

  1. Stuart Jansen Says:

    Scott, don’t be a fan boy. If you don’t remember any raging plague of Linux worms or trojans, it’s just because you haven’t been around long enough.

    Don’t get me wrong. Linux _is_ more secure for now. But we can’t afford to be fat, happy and complacent.

  2. Scott Morris Says:

    Thanks for the reality check, bro. 🙂 Fat, happy complacence isn’t a good thing.
    If you have links to any information about viruses/trojans/etc. ravaging half of the computers connected to the Internet, please send them to me. That must be something I totally missed. I would really be interested in any information that you can provide that was before my time. I do periodically ask users for such links or information or news stories or whatnot. I haven’t received any as of yet. If anyone has some info on this, leave a comment so that we can all benefit!

  3. Stuart Jansen Says:

    Here’s a few I remember:

    http://news.com.com/2009-1001-251311.html
    http://www.viruslist.com/en/viruslist.html?id=52071
    http://www.viruslist.com/en/viruses/encyclopedia?virusid=23856

    I can’t remember which it was, either Slapper or Ramen, but one of those compromised about 3/4ths of my Linux using co-worker’s computers. That was a fun day, a real wake up call for several people.

    http://www.viruslist.com/en/find?words=linux&search_mode=virus&search=Search&described_only=on&kl_only=on

  4. tinus Says:

    In reality, Microsoft has no way of knowing this. The tool reports back to them if you are infected, but not if you are not infected.

    Lies, Damn Lies or Statistics?

    Oh, and the vulnerability of Windows is mostly due to the clueless users and the monoculture, not because the OS is that much less secure. If you just install everything you find on the ‘net, you’ll get your Linux infected too.

  5. Gestahl Says:

    Well, you could start your research here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_computer_viruses 😉
    Though I guess these don’t really qualify as “ravaging half of the computers connected to the Internet”. Which _is_ rather difficult considering the very diverse nature of Linux.

  6. Scott Morris Says:

    Sweet….. well, there are a handful of 5 links provided. When I worked at Novell, I contacted Symantec, asking them how many virus definitions they had in their databases. They said that there were about 120,000. Note that their software runs only on Windows. In my research, I’ve actually uncovered around 500 viruses that affected the Linux operating system. My point is obviously that, though there may be a very small handful of things that have affected Linux, there is an overwhelmingly huge amount of difference in the numbers and in the impact level. So yeah, Linux is not absolutely 100% bullet-proof. That is in no way new information. The challenge was not whether or not there were viruses that existed, it is the mind-boggling difference in the number that exist for Windows versus the number that exist for Linux. The other challenge was to find an example of the widespread ownage of the Linux platform that the Windows platform enjoys. It’s quite apparent that neither of these challenges were met. So, I will just rest my case on this one.

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