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Business Wire: More Than 90% of Linux Systems Have Never Been Infected

Jul 29, 2004, 19:35 (21 Talkback[s])

Ninety two percent of survey respondents indicated that their Linux systems have never been infected with a virus, according to Evans Data's new Summer 2004 Linux Development Survey. Further, 78% of Linux developers say that their Linux systems have never been hacked and less than 7% were hacked three or more times. Of the 22% that have been hacked, 23% of the intrusions were by internal users with valid login ID's. The main ways that Linux machines can be compromised are: Inadequately configured security settings, vulnerability in internet service and Web server flaws.

Contrast those findings with data from Evans' Spring 2004 North American Development Survey where 3 in 5 non-Linux developers reported a security breach and 32% experienced 3 or more breaches.

"It's not surprising that Linux systems aren't hacked to the degree that Windows-based machines can be exploited. The reasons for the greater inherent security of the Linux OS are simple, more eyes on the code means that less slips by and the OS is naturally going to be better secured," said Nicholas Petreley, Evans Data's Linux analyst. "As also found in Evans' recently released Security Development Survey, the mechanism by which a Linux machine can be compromised is by users inadequately configuring security settings. Ironically, the other flaws that crackers use to compromise Linux servers are flaws in applications which run on competing operating systems, so those vulnerabilities are not specific to Linux."

Evans Data Corp: Security Development Issues, Summer 2004

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