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« Do you think I'm a bully?Victoria's dirty secret »

If you can read this, then your computer is at risk


    • Currently 4.6/5 Stars.
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    Rated 4.6/5 stars (80 votes cast)

    Yes, you, reading this. Right now. Your computer has a 98.5% chance of having one vulnerability (or more) as the sobering statistical numbers from the amazing folks at Secunia indicate.

    Earlier this week, Apple announced that they "recommend" installing anti-virus software on their computers (a first), of course running an updated anti-virus is a good idea regardless of which operating system you're running. Mac, Linux or whatever. It might be worth mentioning that Apple has actually retracted this statement, claiming that it's "old news".

    The total number of PCs/users included in these numbers are 20,000, out of these 98.09% have 1 or more insecure programs installed on their PC, hence: 98 out of 100 PCs that are connected to the Internet have insecure programs installed!

    read more here

    Get the Secunia Personal Software Inspector here

    I'm starting to sound like a broken record. But in the world of security, it doesn't hurt to keep reminding people over  and over of the importance of online security. The risks are getting worse with every passing day.

    Read my recent related articles on safety and security.

    Stop urging people to run Firefox
    Why don't you people listen?
    I was right!! AGAIN...
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    Other Memories Documented on December 05
    « Do you think I'm a bully?Victoria's dirty secret »

    Memories....

    • #1
    • za3tar
    • Suse OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/5/2008 3:00:23 AM
    • SpamScore=[-1.51]
    I used to be a salesman in a computer store for a couple of semesters in undergrad, and Apple did, in fact, recommend (and asked us to sell) special anti-virus software with all new macs .. so yeah it is a bit of old news i think.
    • #2
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 12/5/2008 3:12:18 AM
    • SpamScore=[-37.98]
    I'll take your word for it. :)
    how can you make your pc more secure ?
    Easy, turn it off, and remove the power supply :)
    • #4
    • Jad
    • Ubuntu OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/5/2008 9:16:38 PM
    • SpamScore=[0.34]
    I hate to disappoint you but we don't have anti-virus in Linux and the ones that work under linux is meant to clean windows machines over the network.
    • #5
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 12/6/2008 1:51:26 AM
    • SpamScore=[-47.65]
    I hate to disappoint you but it look like Apple has just started making enough presence that Linux never managed to get in the many more years and the deafening noise it makes.

    What a shame, I sincerely though Linux would win against Apple. But sadly .. it's losing there too

    Oh and by the way, don't fool yourself, even Linux has it's vulnerabilities and security issues. So ... you know
    • #6
    • Jad
    • Ubuntu OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/6/2008 8:16:26 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.18]
    Don't fool yourself 7aj, your first two paragraphs can't be an answer to my comment, I don't even understand why you had to mention them but maybe jealousy is the answer here.

    Answering your third, of course as all of software that human has ever made, Linux has its vulnerabilities and security issues which happens once in blue moon and gets fixed in less than 72 hours and that's considerable time compared to month to month update in some other OSs not to mention that WE DO NOT have viruses, again :-)

    • #7
    • za3tar
    • Suse OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/6/2008 8:31:01 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.54]

    Jad: ooh .. you should not have made this claim. Certainly Linux has viruses: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Linux_computer_viruses  . They are much less than other OSs, but they do exist. Actually, there was a recent article about a software that successfully manages to install a rootkit on linux .. that is also very scary.

    Yes linux is regularly updated against vulnerabilities, but the threat is still there. Don't get me wrong, i use linux daily, and i love it, and i trust it. But the threat is still there.

    • #8
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 12/6/2008 9:03:00 AM
    • SpamScore=[-46.39]

    This comment was deleted...
    You know, I'm not going to argue.. Use whatever you like to use

    • #9
    • za3tar
    • Suse OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/6/2008 9:20:46 AM
    • SpamScore=[-1.61]
    take it easy Qwaider why so upset ?
    I think all OSes have their advantages and unique features, and each person chooses whatever he/she feels comfortable with.
    • #10
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 12/6/2008 9:34:40 AM
    • SpamScore=[-46.41]
    Totally Za3tar, every OS has advantages and disadvantages. I don't disagree with that.
    I want to continue to stress that there's no such a thing as secure, not on Windows, Not on Linux and not on Apple. Anyone who thinks they are, is only delusional.
    Now if an OS isn't really a worthy target on the internet, that's not because it's "secure" but rather because they're not a big a target
    But let's take some statistics from our friends at
    Zone ]-[ (don't want to put their name here)
    This is last week statistics for exploits, hacks, defacements and site take over:
    Last week attacks  
    O.S.  Defs.  %
    Linux  5725  71.10%  
    Win 2003  1559  19.36%
    Solaris 9/10  301  3.74%
    FreeBSD  193  2.40%
    Win 2000  150  1.86%
    Other  124  1.54%

    Total attacks: 8052 of which 3023 single ip and 5029 mass defacements  

    I guess, few admins forgot to apply the 72 hour patch ...
    At work, the only Linux servers that were problematic were the ones where samba was turned on to allow windows machines to access them through shares.

    I think it takes much more effort to compromise a Linux server in general than it does a windows one, yet at the same time it also takes more expertise to properly secure a Linux server than a windows one, so it balances out!
    • #12
    • Jad
    • Ubuntu OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/6/2008 2:27:51 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.2]
    Za3tar,
    In Linux history we only had about 70 virus and to be technically specific most of them were trojans.

    Another thing, on linux you have to implicitly run the virus yourself, it wont run by itself so I can safely say that even if we have huge number of viruses it wont effect us unless we decide to see what would happen.


    Again, we should distinguish between vulnerabilities, worms, trojans and viruses.
    Virus has totally different mechanism compared to others and due to GNU/Linux system design it cant run unless you decide to run it.


    Qwaider,
    I'm highly interested in your deleted comment :p

    Qwaider again, you are right, OSs will always be vulnerable but lets not mix that with having a virus ;)

    Although you forgot to mention the source of your statistic but I can guess that the sponsor is microsoft.

    Hani Obaid,
    I totally agree with you but its hard to secure Linux machines due to lack of expertise between system admins, unfortunately companies tend to hire certified people rather than real linux admin and now I can share what I hate most about Linux geeks, they hate to take certs ;)
    • #13
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 12/6/2008 7:36:12 PM
    • SpamScore=[-46.45]
    Jad, I did mention where that statistic is from, it's called Eitch-dash-zone dot Org. Go check them out

    But let me draw your attention to a little factoid
    Most people who actually run Linux are not the Average user of a PC (in other words, the 99% of the users of the world) therefore, they know better what to run, and what not to run. Had Linux been ever widely accepted for use, those numbers would be MUCH MUCH greater.

    Man, it's enough insult that EVEN CRIMINALS writing viruses are NOT INTERESTED in the 3 people running Linux. So Go ahead, enjoy your false sense of security.

    PS, Viruses are only one in a huge array of security problems. There is is no immune system out there. And vulnerabilities exist in Linux just like any OS out there. But NO BODY CARES!

    PPS, Will you ever Stop the usual Linux fanboy "propaganda" and ENJOY running your Linux along with your 2 other friends? And let people keep their machines safe(er) and maybe benefit a little bit from these techniques

    PPPS, Security is an illusion, those who KNOW, understand how serious the issues are on ALL OSes. Anyone who thinks he's secure, is sadly a mistaken fool
    • #14
    • Jad
    • Ubuntu OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/6/2008 11:48:10 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.22]
    They do better what to run because they are the majority of non-average users? or because they really know what to run and what not to run?


    I didn't insult anyone, at least in my book and even if you consider it false sense of security its still secure system whatever you would ever claim and to be more specific you claims are null because you've never been a Linux user at least according to my knowledge.

    I'll share you with my own statistics instead of referring to anyone else, I've been using Linux as the only OS install on my computer for at least four or five years and I've never had to defrag the system, run anti-virus to clean up my OS mess or one of my apps (including my GUI Windows) because of a virus or any other vulnerability you are claiming.

    I'm saying that although at some point I was so interested in image processing and was trying to get a code that can identify porno images from clean ones which means I had to visit plenty of porno sites to do my tests, I failed in my project I guess I wasn't capable enough to achieve me but moral of the porno story is that I my system was intact even after visiting the most dangerous sites that a windows user would ever visit.


    PPS, I'm not just a fan boy, I'm a believer not just in the code of GNU/Linux but in the ideology behind both and btw I don't hate windows, I just know the differences.
    • #15
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 12/7/2008 4:34:07 AM
    • SpamScore=[-46.47]
    Jad, I use Linux on a daily bases my friend. I also use windows and sorry to admit this Macs too. I come from a long list of Unix based systems stating with Irix, AIX and HP-UX. I've recompiled the kernel way more than I like to admit. And after doing all of this, I tell you with great authority, nothing is secure.

    Oh andif you have any such sites, please pass them alone, I will test my own personal machines against them. And let you know how it goes.

    The difference is clear Jad, we have two different operating systems with different ideologies behind them. Each side claims to be "cheaper" and each one claims to be better. What we see in the real world. 99% of the desktop is Windows or Mac (another closed system). Not that Linux (and friends) are not good, but people don't trust them. Can't figure them out, and simply can't use them. Rendering all other points.... moot!
    (and with that, I conclude with "to2 moot" :) to humor you a bit)
    • #16
    • Jad
    • Ubuntu OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/7/2008 9:23:16 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.24]
    Yeah of course, this is the typical answer by any windows fan, "I compiled kernels, I did this and that, bla bla bla" just to get in position of "authority" dude there is no authority there is a logic.

    Keep it simple man, 1 + 1 = 2. try browsing 100 of porno sites with you IE and then do the same with any browser on linux and see the differences.


    thanks for taking your mask off. I thought we were having a serious discussion but now you are making things up.
    • #18
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 12/7/2008 8:07:06 PM
    • SpamScore=[-46.48]
    Yep, you got me all figured out.. can you get over it now?
    • #19
    • Jad
    • Ubuntu OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/7/2008 11:39:24 PM
    • SpamScore=[-0.26]
    Eid Mubarak although you might spend your eid cleaning your system ;)
    • #20
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 12/8/2008 12:29:34 AM
    • SpamScore=[-37.52]
    Why? You think I'm running Linux?
    • #21
    • Jad
    • Ubuntu OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/8/2008 12:44:24 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.28]
    No but Based on a deep understanding of what you are running.
    • #22
    • Qwaider
    • Windows Internet Explorer
    • Said
    • On: 12/8/2008 2:17:25 AM
    • SpamScore=[-37.53]
    Deep? Don't make me laugh any more. My sides are hurting..
    • #23
    • Jad
    • Ubuntu OS Firefox Browser
    • Said
    • On: 12/8/2008 2:19:03 AM
    • SpamScore=[-0.3]
    Save the laugh for later time, I'm sure you'll need it
    Hmm. . .,i can read too. . .,must i worry about it?
    You too can have your Memories Documented

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