[maemo-users] Unix vs Windows security (was Re: Nokia device usage)

From: Scott scott at sw41.com
Date: Thu Mar 12 15:53:51 EET 2009
On Mar 12, 2009, at 12:24 AM, Farrell J. McGovern wrote:

> ScottW wrote:
>> The Mac and *nix world needs to stop gloating about their clean  
>> record so far and keep an eye out for what is to come.  Dues to the  
>> learning curve of the OS, the users were more "enlightened" than  
>> the common computer user, but now these are  more wide spread and  
>> the common user will be using them.  The conspiracy theory people  
>> say that Antivirus companies are the ones making most of the  
>> viruses so that they have a product to sell, well there is a market  
>> out there just waiting to be tapped.  Norton AV for Mac is on the  
>> shelves even though there is only really 1 documented virus, and  
>> people buy it.
>> The good ole saying: "The devil's greatest accomplishment was to  
>> convince everyone he does not exist"... well the Linux virus does  
>> not exist.
> You are, of course, making the classic mistake of not understanding
> security on computer operating systems. Popularity has little to do  
> with
> how vulnerable a system is.
> Fact: Windows XP is about 12 years old, Vista/Windows 7  maybe 5. Unix
> is 40+ years old.

I disagree.  I know all about it.  Any time I want to do something on  
my mac, it asks for authorization.  It is very secure.
You are making the new mistake of believing that people know about  
security on their computer.  That 40 year old system was being ran by  
people who know what they were doing and it was not in tens of  
thousands of homes.  Having to rebuild a kernal or using sudo educates  
people to the security built into the OS.  Yes I understand how secure  
it is.  It is not secure because of some mystical higher power.  There  
is a root login.  There is a root password.  Once those are entered,  
destruction is a few key clicks away.  Everyone here is cringing  
because that has been said because we understand what root passwords  
do.  When the "I just want it to work" computer user gets on there  
with their root password set to "password" and written on their case,  
they will be very inclined to type that in any time they are prompted  
for it whether they know why or not.  These are people who will have  
no idea there is a CLI, will think a script is what a movie or play is  
written on, and think that "if the computer is asking me for it, it  
must me safe".

I do agree that the virus will have to take a different tact to get  
into the system and infect it, but the path is there.  The users will  
self infect themselves and then the media will report that the Unix  
virus is wide spread.

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