Linux holds out against attackers
Source: Robert Lemos - Posted by Joe Shakespeare   
Security A recent 'honeynet' experiment showed that unpatched Linux systems held up for an average of three months before succumbing to Internet-based attacks.

Unpatched Linux systems are surviving longer on the Internet before being compromised, according to a report from the Honeynet Project released this week.

The data, from a dozen networks, showed that the average Linux system lasts three months before being compromised, a significant increase from the 72 hours life span of a Linux system in 2001. Unpatched Windows systems continue to be compromised more quickly, sometimes within minutes, the Honeynet Project report stated.

The results are probably due to two trends, said Lance Spitzner, president of Honeynet, which develops software for deploying computer systems as bait for online attackers. The default installations of new Linux systems are much more secure than previous versions of the open-source operating system, he said. Secondly, attackers seem to be much more concentrated on Windows systems than on Linux systems, and on attempting to fool desktop users, of which the vast majority use Windows.

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