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Is Ubuntu safer than Windows against hacking/viruses?

post #1 of 24
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The Ubuntu site claims that Ubuntu is really safe and that it never gets viruses or malware and other crap like that. How true is that? Just how safe is Ubuntu from that?

What about the Apple OS? Is it safer than Windows and Ubuntu?
post #2 of 24
Basically what it boils down to is 1) Virus' are written to target specific OS's. From a hacker's point of view it makes more sense to target the millions of Windows machines. 2) Yes there are getting to be more virus and trojans and rootkits written to attack OSX as well, but still not as much as windows. 3) Recently there has been more and more reports of virus' and the like being written for Android which when you boil it down is Linux based. The more popular the operating system, the more people will try to find exploits for it. If only 3 people in the world use a specific OS then it is hardly worth it to spend the time to write a virus for it.
Open source has one great benefit, bwing that the code is open for anyone to look at. Meaning that anyone can take a look, find a security flaw and fix that flaw whenever they want to. You just don't have that in Windows or OSX.
From a strictly professional point of view I see it as being something we in the business call PEBCAK - problem exists between chair and keyboard. If you use good security habits you will be fine. If not....
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post #3 of 24
There ARE viruses for Linux, but there's far less than there are for Windows. The way Linux is set up, it's harder to program a virus for it. Apple has more than Linux, but still less than Windows.

It kind of depends on how you define secure. There's no security method that can't be circumvented, but Windows and Mac have a larger market share than Linux, which means hackers will focus more on those. If Linux had the market share that Windows does, there would be far more viruses for Linux than there are now. Not as many that Windows has, because of the security in Linux, but still.
post #4 of 24
Why are so many people on OCN so worried about this stuff.

And what z3r0 said.
post #5 of 24
You have to think about this one lol.
Ubuntu:
Can you manipulate anything in ubuntu? Yes.
Is it hackable? Yes.
Could I randomly write a virus just for you? Yes.

Windows:
Are you safer? Yes. *safer than others*
Is it prefered than most? Yes.

Apple:

dont do it
dont do it
dont do it
dont do it you will regret it

Lol its not a good idea, most things are not compatible either with others besides windows. Unless you can find the driver for them.

Just dont surf to random sites such as.... Pr0n or sites that you are not familiar like frostwire type stuff and you'll be oke! Or download anything free or free Anti viruses cause they mainly dont work! THEN you'll be oke smile.gif
Edited by Cloudforever - 3/12/12 at 5:02pm
post #6 of 24
The real question is: Can you be trusted to use a computer without getting it infected, or not?
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post #7 of 24
Quote:
The real question is: Can you be trusted to use a computer without getting it infected, or not?
+1 to this
post #8 of 24
Linux in nature is safer. Need elevated privelages to do anything regarding system files. Windows tried to copy that by implementing the UAC, which failed miserably as it was completely intrusive, and most people turned it off because it was so annoying. And also, there are much much less viruses written for it since the userbase is so small. In fact there was a recent bug in one of sudo's files that could be abused and used to elevate your user privelages. But the good thing about most Linux distro's is they fix these bugs almost as instantly as they are found.

But I also agree with the above. A dumb user on any OS can bring down any system. Just be smart about what you do and use common sense. And while there are more viruses for Windows, if you're smart about what you're doing you really don't need an anti-virus program. It's really hard to get viruses unless you're being a complete idiot.
post #9 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Buka The Earthworm View Post

The Ubuntu site claims that Ubuntu is really safe and that it never gets viruses or malware and other crap like that. How true is that? Just how safe is Ubuntu from that?
What about the Apple OS? Is it safer than Windows and Ubuntu?
Safer against malware, yes. Safer against hacking, not really.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shadowrunner340 View Post

There ARE viruses for Linux,
No there aren't - at least not in the wild. There's malware for Linux but not all malware are viruses.

Linux does have a few key defences against malware that Windows does not:
  • executables are not defined by extension: which means you can't get tricked into running "steal ur dataz.vbs" on Linux like you could on Windows. In Linux, you need to expressly define an executable via a file permission (much like readonly, etc permissions)
  • programs are generally installed from trusted sources: ie the old "google the application you want and be smart enough to avoid the dodgy sites" vs "install from a trusted repository". Obviously this isn't a flawless solution as package maintainers can push dodgy code downstream (as has happened on Ubuntu before). But it certainly does significantly reduce the chance of nabbing dodgy executables
  • lower market share means less attractive target: specifically I mean drive by download attacked (aka booby trapped sites which secretly download and install dodgy programs to the PC). Linux is a bigger target for attacks against web servers. Web servers are usually attacked to either server booby trapped content on apparently harmless sites (eg when mysql.com got hacked) or because crackers are trying to harvest company data (usually e-mail addresses, passwords and bank details. Sometimes they want something more personal to the business -source code, e-mails, etc- which means the web server is just used as web-facing node to penetrate the corporate network)

In terms of desktop usage, a desktop is only as stable as the idiot behind the monitor. If you find a very special idiot, then not even Slackware would survive. However if the user has some smarts about them, then even XP can be stable and secured.
post #10 of 24
less user base = less viri written due to less targets so it equals to a smaller "impact". if you know what I just said then you understand the demographics of computer viruses. With that said and done, yes it's safer but only for 2 reasons. 1) less people use it... 2) we don't have ACLs as default so it's either you can mod the system or you can't. The best advice is to set up a separate "admin" (root) with an advanced password and use sudo (with a decent/advanced pass) to install/modify anything. That way a standard user process can't go rouge and make system changes.
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