Uuuhhhhh….I really hate to burst your reality bubble there, bud, but there is a reason why all the Linux servers aren’t getting pwned and the Windows desktops are. It is because they have these things called server admins and they are usually pretty damned smart. They are also really anal retentive when it comes to anything security related. With good reason, after all they are getting paid the big bucks to be. Meet Glenn. Say hi Glenn (I’m busy, go away) not a very social creature, Glenn is a Linux server admin. He spends most of his time on security websites and learning about the latest nasty when he isn’t testing a new tweak on the test server to see if he can get an extra .05% performance under load. In his free time he enjoys black hat conferences, which his employer is happy to pay him to attend.
Now we are going to meet an average Windows desktop user. Meet Velma. say hi Velma (Hi Y’all!) isn’t she sweet? Little Velma works at the local insurance agency. They love her there because she can take one look at a customer and without looking up a shred of paperwork say something like this “Hi Bob! How’s your oldest girl? You know she’s about ready to get her learner’s permit so I’ve already looked up the most affordable coverage for her. Does she have really good grades? She can get an extra discount if she does” and so on. Little Velma is really good at generating sales. She is sweet and friendly and always knows your name and remembers all about your family. Everybody loves little Velma.
/cue ominous music/……But we here in the PC business have a nickname for little Velma, one that she don’t know about but is well earned it is….the disaster area! Dum dum dum! That is because little Velma is the trusting kind of sort, and on a computer that equals danger. Let’s watch as little Velma interacts with her friendly neighborhood PC repairman, a big but lovable biker looking chap known on the net as hairyfeet…/feet/Now Velma, we have talked about this. you shouldn’t mess with email attachments, I don’t care who they are from. And if it is a .zip that you have to put a password to open it is a virus and you shouldn’t touch it! /Velma/ But my bff Kim sent me this! See there is her name and everything! I’m sure it will be safe! /feet/Velma look, it is an executable and NOT happy puppy pictures! Do NOT run that! /Velma/ Oh, you worry too much. My bff Kim wouldn’t send me anything bad. (inputs password, runs .exe, porn popups start flooding the screen while the network gets pounded) ooops. /feet/ ……. [roflposters.com]
And now you have seen an actual demonstration of why Linux is safe on servers. It is safe on servers because it is administered by guys like Glenn, say goodbye Glenn (I’m busy!) and does NOT have any Velma types mucking it up. Say goodbye Velma (Bye Y’all!). If you were to let Velma and all her friends loose on Linux if they didn’t break them immediately they would become spambots in no time. It is because the malware writers have already figured out how to use a sinister concept called social engineering to target Velma and her types VERY effectively. Glenn isn’t very social (Bite Me!) and is a naturally cynical creature and therefor social engineering really isn’t an effective tool on his type. This is why Linux can enjoy the freedom to operate on some many servers across America without the constant malware like poor Velma gets. Tune in next week when we meet Bob, the Windows network admin, also known as the “where the hell is the damned disk?” guy.
I cried for hairyfeet, Glenn and Bob, all together.