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

From: Denis Dimick dgdimick at gmail.com
Date: Thu Mar 12 17:35:54 EET 2009
While I hate OS wars; it's like taking to your cat. This was a well thought
out response and worth reading.


sik vis paw kem, para bellum
oderint dum metuant
"Our Country won't go on forever, if we stay soft as we are now. There won't
be any AMERICA because some foreign soldiery will invade us and take our
women and breed a hardier race!" -LT. GEN. LEWIS "CHESTY" PULLER, USMC

On Wed, Mar 11, 2009 at 11:24 PM, Farrell J. McGovern <
farrell.mcgovern at gmail.com> 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.
> Face: Unix was designed for a mult-user, multi-processing environment,
> Windows was designed for a single user, single application  at a time
> environment, it has  had mult-user and multi-processing added on to it.
> Thus, most everything that can affect Windows today was probably seen
> and corrected on the architectural level decades ago in Unix. Even the
> simplest thing of making the user work in a non-privileged workspace is
> one of the basic things that Unix has done for decades, while it is a
> relatively new idea in Windows.  Thus, if you compromise the workspace,
> you don't compromise the system.
> Next, you have the fact that to make things really fast in Windows, you
> have graphics primitives in the kernel. This means that to compromise
> the entire system, all you need to do is compromise a graphics
> routine...and as almost everything is graphical in Windows...compromise
> the Browser, you can own the system...compromise the mail reader, you
> can own the system...compromise  an editor you can own the
> system...compromise an ERROR MESSAGE, and you can own the system.
> With Unix, very few things can access the kernel. If you compromise the
> Browser, you may compromise the user's workspace, but the system remains
> compromised.
> Generally, in Windows  it's a single  set to compromise the entire
> system...on Unix, it takes usually two more more steps, first you must
> compromise the userspace, then you must compromise the kernel.
> Ultimately, it takes a lot more work to compromise a Unix system than a
> Windows system. And that makes Unix and systems derived from Unix
> inherently more secure than Windows.
> ttyl
>     Farrell McGovern
> --
> Computers make very fast, very accurate mistaeks.
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