Debian Etch VS Windows Vista?

Discussion about development of the Debian OS itself
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khelben1979
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Debian Etch VS Windows Vista?

#1 Post by khelben1979 »

What about the security in Debian nowadays? Is it possible for instance to have a more secure Debian system than a Windows Vista system? What do you people think?

Salespersons for Microsoft is saying today that Windows Vista is superior to Windows XP when it comes to it's inbuilt security but they didn't mention one word about Linux (source from TechWorld: http://techworld.idg.se/) so I'm wondering about the present security in Debian and what one can look forward to when the new version of Debian is going to be released.

I have gotten the impression that the Debian Developers always have prioritized the stability and the good quality of the distribution and I personally think that Etch is a good system, but can it compete with Vista? Debian has hundreds of developers what I have understood and Microsoft has... well, a lot.

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muskrat
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#2 Post by muskrat »

I believe etch could compete and bet a direct apples for apples comparison. But the problem is the tables are always tilted in favor of M$, they hold the supposed neutral in any comparison.
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jackass
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#3 Post by jackass »

If I ran a multi-billion dollar company, I would blow smoke up people's a$$ to keep the cash coming in, too.

There is no comparison in security between Linux and Windows. Linux wins hands down due to the structure of the filesystem. ( to begin with ).

In answer to your question, Etch is far superior.
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#4 Post by edbarx »

In my case, I do not use Windows Vista and I don't even plan to use it because my hardware can barely support it! I don't want to waste my limited amount of money to buy new hardware just to be able to run a resource hungry OS. I am more than content with the security offered by Debian Etch. In fact, that was the primary reason why I stopped using MS Windows.

Although, a humble noob, securing Debian Etch was not a problem for me and I am sure, that many Debian Etch users, share the same opinion. All I had to do was to open BASH and run this command and "voila' it was done and it is still rock solid!" :D :D :D.

Code: Select all

aptitude install arno-iptables-firewall
With MS Windows there are many subtle commercial interests that make it more difficult to secure MS Windows. I am sure, MS has all the expertise to make a secure OS, however, there are other latent pressures to which MS must always respond.
Debian == { > 30, 000 packages }; Debian != systemd
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IsaacKuo
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#5 Post by IsaacKuo »

The answers so far imply that Debian Etch is perhaps not as secure as Windows Vista, but that's simply not true. Debian Etch is the most secure Debian variant, and the (slightly) less secure Ubuntu won a recent three way contest between Mac, Vista, and Ubuntu in a security contest (Mac and Vista were broken into, Ubuntu wasn't).

The real question isn't "can Debian compete with Vista?" The question is still, "Can Windows catch up?" And really, the answer is no. The way Windows works, the system is only as secure as the weakest installed application, and Microsoft has no control whatsoever on any third party applications--and a criminally poor record of security on their own applications.
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#6 Post by muskrat »

The answers so far imply that Debian Etch is perhaps not as secure as Windows Vista,
Excuse Me!!!

You are answer #4, and we have all stated without a doudt that Debian is by far more secure than Vista. In fact Linux generic is by far more secure than any windows version just due to the nature of the system!
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#7 Post by edbarx »

edbarx wrote:I am more than content with the security offered by Debian Etch. In fact, that was the primary reason why I stopped using MS Windows.

The last sentence of my quote is clear enough: I switched from MS Windows for security reasons. Refer to the thread Securing Debian to confirm that security was what made me switch from Windows to Linux.
Debian == { > 30, 000 packages }; Debian != systemd
The worst infection of all, is a false sense of security!
It is hard to get away from CLI tools.

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kabniel
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Re: Debian Etch VS Windows Vista?

#8 Post by kabniel »

khelben1979 wrote:Salespersons for Microsoft is saying today that Windows Vista is superior to Windows XP when it comes to it's inbuilt security but they didn't mention one word about Linux (source from TechWorld: http://techworld.idg.se/)
..and today they have a story where researchers say that Vista is less secure than windows 2000 and 2003.

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#9 Post by dannybuntu »

My opinion is garbage but here it is anyways. Google Says Security Debian Etch is > Security Windows Vista for no apparent reason.

Oops forgot the link...
http://www.google.com/trends?q=debian+e ... dows+vista

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khelben1979
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#10 Post by khelben1979 »

When it comes to security.. Windows Vista could be less secure than Debian or more secure than Debian. In my opinion and from what I know any operating system can be very insecure if it's badly configured.

But... if one compare a standard Windows Vista system VS a standard Debian Etch system, who wins?

I mean, Debian has always prioritized the security in the distribution in different ways and one of the things I'm thinking of right now is the way the Debian developers tackles Debian packages. Debian Etch aims at only using what has been classified as stable Linux packages in the distribution, and this is positive!

Windows Vista sure don't look attractive to me, b.t.w. I will continue on using XP and Debian on my other machine. I never have any problems with Debian, nowadays.

kiyo
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#11 Post by kiyo »

Take a look at this article I found the other day:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/security/s ... _vs_linux/

I found it fairly informative (assuming of course that it is accurate).

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khelben1979
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#12 Post by khelben1979 »

Yes, but as the topic describes: Debian Etch VS Windows Vista and not Linux VS Windows. Linux VS Windows is surely a debate which goes on for an eternity, I think..

My intention by creating this thread was to focus on Debian and only Debian. How Debian has evolved in security compared to Vista.

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#13 Post by IronRage »

From my little understanding of Linux, it would appear that Linux in general is more secure than any Windows OS. Because of how it is designed. Now, if we could give Debian a $1Billion facelift...

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#14 Post by Eck »

Well, Windows doesn't come with anti-virus protection. The premise seems to be a default Vista vs. a default Debian Etch installation.

Go to a website with Vista and click a link that downloads a happy virus onto the system. The default Windows Defender provided would be happy to allow a lot of those. Boom! Infected.

Default Debian doesn't exist. Besides installing the Kernel and some basic administrative tools to get you going, there isn't even a browser installed unless you decide to. Likely (but not required), you allowed Debian Installer to access the internet but since nearly all virus's are Windows virus's even that won't hurt the system even with no activation of the iptables firewall. Until you install some sort of browser or somehow go seeking out something bad infection is impossible.

Once GNU utils, vendor applications, desktops, etc are added to your Debian installation (usually the same stuff as in other distributions with the exception of some hooks into the Debian administration and package management tools and fixes to the software provided by Debian maintainers), you are then open to any vulnerabilities that are generally the same as using the software in any Linux distribution. Debian has security maintainers that are constantly providing updates to close any vulnerabilities discovered. Much faster than the once a month Microsoft Patch Tuesday updates. Some Microsoft Windows vulnerabilities take months, years, never to get patched.

There really is no direct comparison between Debian's GNU/Linux distribution and Microsoft Windows since Debian software varies between every single installation.

And, a facelift? For what? The default wallpaper seen if you install the desktop task? KDE and Gnome are as released by KDE and Gnome. You want to give it a facelift then choose different themes and decorations. Change the taskbar size, colors, etc, etc. Put it somewhere else if you like. Debian doesn't do decorations, the users do.
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khelben1979
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#15 Post by khelben1979 »

Linux should be as unsecure as Windows when it comes to anti-spyware in the sense that the browser could be hi-jacked and infected but I guess that spyware with trojans can't infect the operating system, is that right?

What about macro viruses which often circulates regarding MS Excel? Can Open Office get infected with these? Do you know anything about this?

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#16 Post by Eck »

Well, the paranoid can install the McAfee SiteAdvisor browser plugin even on Linux, I think. The Mozilla folks constantly update Firefox (Iceweasel on Debian) for security, and Debian maintainers are always busy dropping the latest versions of upstream software into Debian Unstable. Debian Testing users get the updated product when it's been tested ready (and sometimes from the Debian Security repo) and Debian Stable users get the updates when the Debian Security repo gets them in there.

Not sure how OpenOffice does it but I believe it uses a system other than macros.

Stuff can be embedded in files that won't have an effect when used on Linux but then when shared with a Windows user CAN infect the Windows computer. That's why folks using Linux sometimes install a Linux anti-virus software (Debian has them available too) to scan stuff they're going to transfer to a Windows machine.

Heh, some folks who dual-boot and are browsers of porn sites will boot into Linux to do that so they can safely drool without worries about their computers.

I mean, it's pretty darned safe in the world of Linux as the vast majority of parasites out there only have effect on Windows. Even running some of that stuff using Wine, executing away, has no effect. You start the exe file and nothing happens because it doesn't have anything to hook onto and run. Even if your fake Wine Windows folder has what it needs to run, you can then simply delete that fake drive and run winecfg or wineprefixcreate to start over fresh.

How come the investigation? Just to learn, or are you considering this stuff before trying out Debian?
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#17 Post by BioTube »

Most browser hijacks that download are PEs. If you use an ELF browser, it just ain't gonna do nothing.
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#18 Post by khelben1979 »

Eck wrote:How come the investigation? Just to learn, or are you considering this stuff before trying out Debian?
No, I myself has been running Debian since -99. I think it's a good system and the user friendliness has improved dramatically, especially with the new graphical installer which was part of the Etch release, really nice!

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#19 Post by Eck »

Cool. I was just wondering since posts that suggest comparisons between Linux and Windows often fire up flame wars. (My favorite is better and you're an expletive vs. No, you're the expletive and my favorite rocks and yours is expletive!) Heh heh.

Not that everyone who uses Windows has security problems. Used it for years and never had a problem, not that the baddies didn't try. I just had those background scanners going and it was always taken care of pretty quickly.

So now, with Vista, Microsoft attempts to move most operations into a user space along with warnings, requests for administrator rights when needed. But still, I, having a Vista partition, know that nearly all of my older stuff I run on Vista has been installed as administrator and I've set their compatibility tab to run the programs as administrator (otherwise they don't perform correctly). So just how much more secure is that than the previous Windows? Not much. Anything that has administrative rights can still be hijacked if a baddy attaches itself to it.

On the other hand, Linux, doesn't matter the distro in most cases, starts off with a whole different way of operating. Nothing has administrative rights unless the occasional need is there and you run a command with root (su) privileges. Software for Linux is designed to run within the user parameters. It's all just inherently more secure.

So, Debian vs. Vista security? Debian's the obvious winner.
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#20 Post by BioTube »

I wonder if Microsoft will ever see that the fact that the Windows kernel is a dead end and steal BSD too.
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