Sunday, February 05, 2006

Hypothetix

I love OSNews editorials. They are always flamebaits and their follow-up comments are a great fun to read. Today's editorial is about Unix Security and is written by Thom Holwerda who lives too close to Amsterdam to know what he is talking about.

A hypothetical virus or other malware on a UNIX-like system can only, when it is activated by a normal user, wreak havoc inside that user's /home directory (or whatever other files the user might have access rights to).

No, a hypothetical virus can't do this, only a real virus can. Starting your argument with a hypothetical virus means that you are talking about a hypothetical Operating System, not "Linux/OSX/etc". To put it another way, Chewbacca is a Wookie from planet Kashyyyk, but Chewbacca lives on planet Endor. That does not make sense!

But wasn't Linux supposed to be secure? So why should they backup?

Linux users backup because a hardware error or a user error may delete some important files. Since ENIAC, only Windows users backup their files out of fear of a virus or a worm.

UNIX might be more secure than Windows, but that only goes for the system itself.

Now that was deep. Unix is more secure than Windows only on the system level. A Unix birthday party video is not more secure than a Windows birthday party video. This raises a question however:

Why would a Wookiee, an eight-foot tall Wookiee, want to live on Endor, with a bunch of two-foot tall Ewoks? That does not make sense!

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