Symantec Study Mischaracterizes Linux Spam
May 10, 2010, 14:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Tony Bradley)
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"The latest MessageLabs Intelligence Report from Symantec Hosted
Services is filled with interesting and useful information
regarding the current state of malware and e-mail borne threats as
well as the trends over time. Of particular interest to me is the
assertion in the report that "any given Linux machine is five times
more likely to be sending spam than any given Windows machine.
"I am generally one of the first to point out that the security
risks associated with the Windows operating system are often
exaggerated, or at least that the relative threat level is a
function of market share, and that if Linux or Mac OS X had 90
percent market share those systems would be at least as vulnerable,
and at least as targeted by malicious attack as Windows is now.
That said, saying that Linux is five times more likely to
distribute spam than Windows seemed like skewed math for the sake
"I checked with other malware security experts to gather some
additional insight on the issue of Linux as a purveyor of spam.
What I found was a consensus regarding the root cause behind the
metrics, and ultimately that Linux may, in fact, be an inordinate
source of spam messages."