If Linux ruled the world how secure would it be?

Summary:How secure would Linux be if everyone were using it?Given the popularity of Linux as a server OS, especially among Internet servers, I think it would be pretty secure.

Kerberos logoHow secure would Linux be if everyone were using it?

Given the popularity of Linux as a server OS, especially among Internet servers, I think it would be pretty secure.

But would it really be more secure than Windows?

The question occurs because of this story from ZDNet's Joris Evans, posted yesterday. It's about two security alerts on Kerberos (logo at right), the wildly popular network authentication protocol.

MIT published both alerts Tuesday, and publishers of three major Linux distributions --  Red Hat, Turbolinux and Gentoo -- had fixes up by the time Evans wrote the story.

My problem is there are many other Linux vendors out there, and many people running Linux don't have a tight a relationship with their supplier that would enable quick bug fixes.

Oh, and while Microsoft uses Kerberos, Evans notes it's a homegrown version unaffected by the flaws.

What this tells me is that a comparison of open source security and that of proprietary security should not be based entirely on the software, but on the distributors' patch creation speed, and the users' patch implementation speed.

This will not give me pleasant dreams tonight.

Topics: Security

About

Dana Blankenhorn has been a business journalist since 1978, and has covered technology since 1982. He launched the Interactive Age Daily, the first daily coverage of the Internet to launch with a magazine, in September 1994.

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