[kwlug-disc] given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow?

Joe Wennechuk youcanreachmehere at hotmail.com
Sat Jan 9 17:03:17 EST 2010

One portion of this has so far been left out, it seems. To a large extent, the average linux user is not your "Average" computer user. That trend seems to be changing, and many what I would call "regular people" are starting to use linux. It really remains to be seen if these people can be duped into clicking and typing their way into infection. 
  In my experience with Windows users infected with really nasty stuff that is doing major damage have all infected themselves, and most times actually installed extra software masked as a codec to view a video etc.. I have seen users go to great lengths to unwittingly infect themselves by just having no real idea what risks they are taking.

Joseph Wennechuk


> Date: Sat, 9 Jan 2010 16:41:03 -0500
> From: unsolicited at swiz.ca
> To: kwlug-disc at kwlug.org
> Subject: Re: [kwlug-disc] given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow?
> john at netdirect.ca wrote, On 01/09/2010 10:08 AM:
> > -----kwlug-disc-bounces at kwlug.org wrote: -----
> > 
> >> From: unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca>
> >> 
> >> I get irritated when it is claimed Linux is more secure than
> >> Windows because it doesn't get viruses. When we cannot possibly
> >> know that.
> >> 
> >> Particularly when the reality is, if Linux were as popular as 
> >> Windows, it would be a much greater target than it is today, and
> >> get a correspondingly larger level of viruses (which are
> >> essentially bugs / security holes).
> > 
> > Compare it to neighbourhoods. Despite houses being generally alike
> > in how they can be broken into, would you rather live in a
> > neighbourhood that has a high rate of break-ins or lower rate?
> You misunderstand me.
> I'm not saying Linux isn't better, I'm saying Linux has a patina on 
> it that will eventually be rubbed off as more and more use it 
> (eyeballs), and for people to claim that Linux will always be malware 
> free is snake oil.
> And it's the snake oil that I get irritated at. Only. Full stop.
> To use your analogy - to blame more breakins in inner city houses than 
> rural houses on the contractor, solely, is ludicrous. Inner city has 
> more people around, some percentage of any population is nefarious, so 
> there are more people around, some of whom are interested in breaking 
> in, so more breakins will happen.
> I don't disagree that lots of factors make the Linux situation far 
> better than Windows - but it's not zero. And it's those claiming that 
> it's zero that bother me.
> In this thread of hard numbers and eyeballs.
> > I pick Linux. It has a lower rate of break-ins and I don't have to
> > do very much to keep it that way.
> Today. But you will in time have to do some things, probably in some 
> correlated proportion to the number of eyeballs beating on it. I think 
> it unreasonable to claim otherwise. And, granted, always less than 
> what Windows puts you through. Aside from being less vulnerable, the 
> community will also respond with less onerous protection mechanisms.
> But a bad open office writer download will take out your documents 
> just as fast as a bad Word download with macros in it.
> Obscurity is not a viable defense.
> To claim otherwise is snake oil. Please note - I am not saying anybody 
> here is making this claim. I'm saying, to Lori's point, it's urban 
> legend not backed up by anything. And can't be until there are as many 
> Linux desktops as Windows desktops. [Further complicated that by the 
> time we get there, better strategies will be put in place to better 
> mitigate impacts.]
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