An average article about Worms and Viruses...

From: Scott Walde <linux_at_no.spam.please>
Date: Mon Sep 15 2003 - 21:32:02 CST

On Mon, 15 Sep 2003, Tony Arkles wrote:

> That's great! Although I think that if we migrate away from MS
> products, people will just try that much harder to find security
> problems in other software, and we will have a similar, yet less brutal,
> situation.

The problem, as I see it, is the fact we have a near homogenous network.
If every machine is vulnerable to the same exploit, a carefully deployed
exploit can take down every machine. It doesn't matter if the network is
100% Linux, 100% MacOS, or 100% Microsoft... the problem is too many of
one OS. If we had a world of 16% MS, 16% Linux, 16% MacOS, 16% FreeBSD,
16% BeOS, and 20% OpenBSD, a single exploit could take down, at most, 16%
of the network -- not the 80 or 90% situation we have now.

I'm not looking for world domination by Linux. That would give us the
same problem we have now, except I would be part of it rather than
watching from the sidelines. We need a bigger variety of OSes.

I am reminded of the great potato famine, of which I know very little.
Apparently, nearly the entire potato crop of Ireland was wiped out by a
virus. The first problem was the single strain of potato planted by
everyone meant that a virus which that strain had no resistance to could
wipe out nearly 100% of the year's crop. If there had been 4 strains,
equally planted, a virus which attacked a particular strain would have
left 75% of the year's crop. The second problems was the people's near
100% reliance on potatos for food. They literally starved because they
didn't have potatos. If people had a more varied diet, they could have
survived. It's really the same story in a different time.


Walde Technology		Networks, Internet, Intranets
Saskatoon, SK  CANADA		Linux Support, Web Programming
306-221-7393			Network Security, Firewalls
Received on Mon Sep 15 21:32:02 2003

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