[clug] My windows box got rooted last week... how at risk is Linux?

David david at tulloh.id.au
Wed Jun 11 02:04:00 GMT 2008

Grant Baldwin wrote:
> Try `grep Failed /var/log/auth/log` on an internet exposed box.
> I would say there is enough activity out there that doing something stupid can get you in trouble. As with windows boxes though, hiding behind NAT and not executing untrustworthy files as a privileged user will eliminate practically all problems for a home user.
> (Windows just has the unfortunate situation of making the default user account sufficiently privileged to be troublesome)

I'd just like to mention that in my opinion my user account on my Linux
PC is sufficiently privileged to be troublesome.

I don't run as root and any exploited application can't get right across
my file system.  If I'm dumb enough to run a trojan it won't be able to
modify my boot scripts or anything like that.

However I don't care about any of that, I can reinstall a system in a
few hours if I have to.  What I care about is my data, my documents, my
source code etc.  All of that is in my home directory, all of that can
be deleted (or worse, corrupted) by a compromised browser extension or

Please don't misunderstand me.  I think security is better on Linux than
Windows, I think a transparent box is more secure than a black one.  I
just don't believe that an unprivileged user account makes a home PC safer.


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