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Linux And Security

Donald in Erie, Pennsylvania asked us about Linux

Tux

Donald asked: “I was wondering why I didn’t hear too much about UNIX or Linux Operating systems. Is it because the general public is too focused on Microsoft Windows systems and they wouldn’t be involved in that respect. Also I was wondering what your feeling is with the lack of virus problems with the Linux systems.”

 

Well Donald, Linux has something like 2% of the computer end user market share, so we just don’t get an awful lot of questions about Linux. As you said, the public is very focused on Windows.

As far as the lack of viruses, part of it comes back to the low market share, it’s less profitable to go after Linux, part of it comes from the strong user management system that comes built into Linux, and has from the start. Usually, regular users are not supposed to be treated as administrators, so the damage bad guys can do is more limited.

More generally speaking, though, Windows hasn’t been getting as many true viruses lately either, the modern threat seems to come mostly from things like phishing attacks, and those can affect anyone with internet access.

Those self-replicating viruses that would spread across computer networks seem to have been mostly replaced by either attempts to steal your information by making you give it directly to the bad guys, as in a phishing attempt, or tricking you into installing some software that encrypts your hard drive like in ransomware attacks.

Windows is still the big target for ransomware malware.

Windows is still the big target for ransomware malware. They own most of the market, and Windows is popular in business environments where bad guys can sometimes luck into things like a hospital’s financial info, or a business’ client files.

Linux doesn’t usually have to deal with those things, but it’s still viewed as a backend engine, or the domain of nerds. End users, for the most part, just like what they know, and that’s usually Windows.

Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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