When it comes to control systems, a common question has long been: Is Linux inherently more secure than Windows? Being a fan of Linux/Unix systems, I desperately want to answer “yes” to this question. During the 1980s and 1990s, so much of the work I was involved in ran under Unix. These days I run Linux on my home computer, and once a year I boot up a Windows XP virtual machine running under Virtual Box, to run my tax software. In the office, I rant about the lousy Windows operating system (OS) and ask why the world doesn’t switch to Linux. And as much as I hate to admit it, as a system integrator I am mostly locked into dealing with Microsoft’s flavor of the month operating system because of customer standards and the tools available.
From the appearance of “Brain,” which is recognized as the first computer virus, in 1986, to Stuxnet to the Zotob worm (the virus that knocked 13 of DaimlerChrysler’s U.S. automobile manufacturing plants offline), one thing all these viruses have in common is that they were directed at Microsoft’s operating systems. However, according to Zone-H (an archive of defaced websites), in a statistics report for the period 2005-2007: “In the past the most attacked operating system was Windows, but many servers were migrated from Windows to Linux… Therefore the attacks migrated as well, as Linux is now the most attacked operating system with 1, 485,280 defacements against 815,119 in Windows systems (numbers calculated since 2000).”
Every year, heck...every month, Linux is adopted by more companies and organizations as an important if not primary component of their enterprise platform. And the more serious the hardware platform, the more likely it is to be running Linux. 60% of servers, 70% of Web servers and 95% of all supercomputers are Linux-based!
Even if they're not "Linux shops", companies realize certain benefits from bringing Linux in for specific purposes. Its reliability, flexibility, scalability and cost of ownership offer huge advantages over other OSes...but I don't have to tell you that, do I? You probably earn your keep because of these statistics!
Mozilla's website dedicated to developers has suffered from a database error that has exposed email addresses and encrypted passwords of registered users for about a month, the company announced.
About 76,000 Mozilla Development Network (MDN) users had their email addresses exposed, along with around 4,000 encrypted passwords, said Stormy Peters, director of development relations, and Joe Stevensen, operations security manager. Many of those affected have already been notified.
The Tor encryption service is a high-profile bastion of computer security, but the project appears to have been compromised earlier this year. Today, the Tor Project blog announced that an unknown party likely managed to gather information about people who were looking up hidden services — websites that users can operate and visit anonymously, like Silk Road — and could theoretically have compromised other parts of the network.