Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro focusing on cloud computing, Kubernetes, Linux, containers, and networking

It Was Bound to Happen

To a certain extent, I agree with the belief that operating systems and applications that don’t have a significant market share like Windows, IIS, and Exchange won’t get targeted as frequently and therefore will have a “better” security track record. I don’t agree that this is the only reason that Linux, Mac OS X, and others haven’t seen as many security vulnerabilities and the oh-so-fun network worms that invariably accompany them. But I will agree that as these alternatives gain in popularity, more hackers are going to target them.

As a result, it’s no surprise that a new Linux worm has recently emerged. I mean, it was bound to happen. Linux is surging in popularity, as Linus Torvalds and other developers continue to add features to the Linux kernel and more and more corporations deploy Linux. Of course the malware authors are going to try something like this. I doesn’t surprise me in the least. While this one is fairly low-tech, you can bet that future variants of this worm (as well as new worms) will be more complex and more dangerous.

I also fully expect that the anti-Linux crowd will shout that this is the end of the line for Linux, just like the anti-Microsoft crowd shouts “Down with Windows!” every time Microsoft patches a critical security flaw that could be exploited by an automated worm (side note: new Microsoft critical security flaw patched yesterday, go have a look and make sure you are protected). This just isn’t the case. Neither Windows nor Linux are going to go away, and each of them has value for businesses today. The best bet for any organization is to use the product that best fits the need and then make sure that the product is:

  • properly configured;
  • properly patched; and
  • properly maintained.

Following these guidelines, businesses and consumers can safely deploy the products, technologies, and platforms that best meet their needs without falling prey to technology bigotry.

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