Windows Security: An Oxymoron

Even as a Linux/BSD bigot, I was shocked by the following quote from the New York Times article “Protecting Yourself From Keylogging Thieves“:

The network security firm Sophos estimates that an unprotected computer has a 40 percent chance of being infected by a malicious worm within 10 minutes of being connected to the Internet. After an hour, the odds rise to 94 percent.

Of course, implicit in the above statement is unprotected windows computer. An unprotected linux machine will eventually be hacked too but not so quickly. A properly configured OpenBSD machine may remain uncompromised for quite a long time. The big difference seems to be that even if you do all the right things regarding anti-virus, anti-spyware, anti-trojan and firewall software, your windows machine security is still swiss cheese (albeit with less holes) while with a locked-down *nix machine a cracker is really going to have to work and know his business if he’s going to gain unauthorized access. I think it is safe to say, however, that as cross-platform browsers like Mozilla Firefox and Opera become more popular then more attacks will be aimed their way exposing a greater number of linux and BSD users to the type of exploits that only windows users have had to deal with in the past. Time will tell.

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