Linux lasting longer against Net attacks
Source: news.com - Posted by Vincenzo Ciaglia   
Security 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.
"Everybody is focused on Windows," Spitzner said. "There is more money (for an attacker) to be made on the Windows systems."
The study is the latest data on the relative security of Linux systems versus Microsoft Windows. Last week, students found dozens of flaws in software that runs on Linux systems, and a research report stated that a thorough analysis of the Linux kernel turned up hundreds of flaws. However, in relative terms, those numbers are low compared to commercial applications.

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