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

From: George Farris farrisg at shaw.ca
Date: Fri Mar 13 07:16:59 EET 2009
On Thu, 2009-03-12 at 22:15 -0600, Mark Haury wrote:
> James Knott wrote:
> Windows doesn't need (never has, and never will) to have the capability for 
> simultaneous users. What would be the point? As PCs continue to shrink in size 
> as they increase in power, it makes a lot more sense for everybody to have their 
> own separate computer and not share someone else's. Home networking is a 
> no-brainer if they want or need to share anything.

The point my friend, would be to separate the different processes such
as apache, postfix, desktop apps etc into different user ids thus
gaining a logical, built in, separation of security boundaries.

> The fact remains that in spite of theories and claims, actual unaided attacks on 
> Windows boxes that are successful are actually quite rare. The ones that are 
> successful are usually because of the gaping security hole between the keyboard 
> and the chair. The so-called holes are exploited in contrived circumstances 
> which are much more difficult to find in the wild.

As evident by the HUGH number of patches we see coming down the pipe for
Windows.  And yes, there are lots of patches for Linux but by far and
wide most of those are for applications not the kernel.

> >>>     
> >> Again, Linux is *NOT* Unix. Regardless, since no one is putting
> >> serious effort into developing viruses and such for it (there's
> >> exactly zero payoff)

No what would be the advantage to getting into such small sites as say
oh Google, Youtube, Facebook, Wikipedia all of which run Linux, not
Windows or Unix for a reason.

Face it Windows is like stacking up books one on top of the other and
standing on the top, after adding about 5 or 6 services it gets pretty
wobbly and fragile.

> >>   
> > There's a lot more in common than different.  You can generally take
> > source code and compile it to run on either.

Way more common and Linux is pulling major market share from Unix.

> As time goes on, Linux becomes more like Windows than like Unix as far as the 
> user experience. There are very compelling reasons for that.

This is just plain not true.  Such as running Linux with only a console,
nothing like Windows.  Look at Linux running on big iron and it's a
different story.

> >> ...and you make it sound so easy to compromise Windows, and so hard to
> >> compromise *Linux* (you keep saying Unix when what you really mean is
> >> Linux...). The reality is somewhat different, and the ease of security
> >> breach is directly related to the operator/owner's actions and
> >> settings rather than the OS.

No the design of the systems are completely different, maybe have a go
at reading Operating Systems, Design and Implementation by Andrew
Tanenbaum, it laid out rather nicely in there.

> I hate Micro$oft and Windows as much as anybody (as much because they've trained 
> society to accept bugs as "normal" than anything else), but I hate even more the 
> fact that I *still* have to waste a significant amount of space on my hard 
> drives for dual-booting into Windows to do the things that Linux can't do. The 
> fact remains that the reason Linux hasn't taken over the world is because it 
> just doesn't meet the needs of most users, especially the less techie ones.

Hmm, first, try running VirtualBox or something similar and forget dual
booting, and second the rest of the computing world seems to be heading
towards the, Yes Linux is good and does meet the needs of most users as
evident by the growing number of users.

90,000 Ubuntu workstations for the French police force tell a different
story, and this is just one of many.

Cheers and great discussion

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