Art Alexion on 21 Aug 2010 20:10:13 -0700

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Re: [PLUG] X11 server for Windows

  • From: Art Alexion <>
  • To: "Philadelphia Linux User's Group Discussion List" <>
  • Subject: Re: [PLUG] X11 server for Windows
  • Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2010 23:10:06 -0400
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In my experience, Windows greatest vulnerability is its preference for complexity where simplicity would do a better job. I don't think this is a matter of poor engineering so much as the difficult goal of satisfying both users and marketers.

In order to make Windows easier to use and to include some whiz-bang features in its application products, MS creates some intentional security holes.

For example, even though I may not have permissions to a certain directory, an instance of Outlook which I run may have permissions to write to it. Contrast that with Linux aged my processes do not have greater permissions than I have directly.

Add to that, the fact that in order to create some of these backdoors, MS engineers had to create a system that was more complex than otherwise necessary, and complex systems tend to be more vulnerable than simpler systems.

Art Alexion

On Aug 19, 2010 1:24 PM, "Edmond Rodriguez" <> wrote:
> On Wed, Aug 18, 2010 at 5:05 PM, JP Vossen <> wrote:
>> "Microsoft Tax" = the additional hardware & yearly fees for the add-on
>> software required tlo protect Windows from its own poorly designed and
>> implemented self, while the overhead incidentally flattens Moore's Law.
> I am all for Linux and have been using it almost exclusively. I have
> used XP quite a bit.
> At a Central meeting once I brought the Windows vulnerability thing up
> and asked what some of the vulnerabilities were. I know there is all
> the buffer overrun stuff that comes up all the time. I sometimes get
> security advisories in email similar to the buffer stuff for Linux
> software. Don't most of the problems come from people trying to trick
> users into running various exe files or installing software?
> I ask the question, if Linux were as highly used as Windows, would we
> feel threatened? Would people write software to try and trick us
> (especially a novice user)? Like trying to run some binary file from
> some web dialog box made to look like a system dialog box or other
> trickery to get an exe to run.
> One person responded that a major problem with Windows vulnerabilities
> is that many people run as administrator by default. I never thought
> of that before, but it does seem true.
> So I guess I am wondering, other than it's popularity causing people
> to want to do harm, what are the major vulnerabilities of Windows?
> How much of the vulnerability is because of it's popularity (not
> design) as compared to Linux?
> Again, I prefer Linux, and it's performance and ease, but that is
> another topic.
> Edmond
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