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

jhock jhock at iinet.net.au
Wed Jun 11 09:27:15 GMT 2008

On Wed, 2008-06-11 at 11:00 +0200, Kim Holburn wrote:
> On 2008/Jun/11, at 2:08 AM, Jason Stokes wrote:
> > Appeared to be downloading trojanish stuff over http from urls I  
> > never connect to.  I had to pull the internet connection and spend  
> > the weekend reinstalling everything.  I hate Microsoft.
> >
> > I've heard of Linux getting rooted, but the distros are pretty  
> > secure out of the box these days, right?

I had the same problem.  I was so sick of Windows in general but when I
connected to the internet and had a virus within a week I was determined
to KILL IT OFF!  I joined this list and received fantastic advice.  I
ended up loading UBUNTU. My sons and wife also use the computer and
UBUNTU seemed the easiest solution for them. It is very user friendly.
SOme Linux people may not like that but my family does.

Windows took days to reload.  UBUNTU took just two hours once I got the
free CD and I didn't know what I was doing. I then simply updated to the
latest version using the UBUNTU tools.  It's soooo easy. ;--)

There are regular updates from UBUNTU central regarding security issues.
I have had no problems so far but I will take the advice of all the
other answers regarding minimising security problems.

Thanks to all who helped me!  I'm very late in saying that but late is
better than never.  This list is fantastic! Thanks everyone!

> Yes but you can easily configure linux badly and I've seen it done.  A  
> linux box doesn't have to be rooted to be doing bad.
> While linux in general is less insecure than windows, I believe it is  
> entirely possible to configure a linux box so it is secure, really  
> really secure, using SELinux or App Armour etc.  Mind you, I've never  
> known anyone who actually did it successfully though ;-) and I guess  
> that kind of hardening would be much more suitable for a server rather  
> than a desktop.
> > I don't hear much about Linux viruses, or massive botnets of Linux  
> > boxes.
> Negligible viruses.  Linux is still fairly diverse.  It is vulnerable  
> to network attacks but not usually automated attacks like windows is.   
> Each attack needs a person so you can't get botnets.  On the other  
> hand, I have heard that the botnets are sometimes controlled by pwned  
> linux servers.
> Unless you have a really good reason, put a firewall between the  
> machine and the internet.  That goes quadruple for windows boxes.
> Auscert has papers on how to secure machines on the internet.  Strange  
> I seem to only be able to find unix/linux.
> AusCERT UNIX and Linux Security Checklist:
> https://www.auscert.org.au/render.html?it=1935
> cert has tips for all OSes:
> http://www.cert.org/tech_tips/before_you_plug_in.html
> --
> Kim Holburn
> IT Network & Security Consultant
> Ph: +39 06 855 4294  M: +39 3494957443
> mailto:kim at holburn.net  aim://kimholburn
> skype://kholburn - PGP Public Key on request
> Democracy imposed from without is the severest form of tyranny.
>                            -- Lloyd Biggle, Jr. Analog, Apr 1961

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