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Which is better, Windows or Linux security?

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Security

The IT industry's obsession with comparing Windows and Linux security is a waste of time, according to top Linux bod Alan Cox. Operating system security is, he says, simply awful right across the board.

Kernel developer and Red Hat fellow Cox made the remarks in an interview with IT book publisher O'Reilly ahead of a security-themed speech planned for an open source conference next month. The bigger picture, he said, is that today's security systems are "totally inadequate".

He described security tools as "basic" and "mostly reactive", failing absolutely rather than degrading. Currently most Linux vendors distribute patches on an almost daily basis, a situation Cox described as unsustainable, particularly as the time shrinks between the appearance of a vulnerability and the creation of an exploit.

While Linux's security is better than some other operating systems, comparisons are missing the more important issue, Cox said. "Even the best systems today are totally inadequate," he said.

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