Sunday, March 24, 2002

Computer vulnerabilities

Following up on yesterday’s link to Mike Deem’s comments about rolling bowling balls down mountains, I thought this post from Mike Chandler provides some good fodder for discussion. Mike took a machine, loaded it up first with Windows 2000. He was hacked within a few hours. He reformatted the machine, loaded it up with Red Hat Linux 7.2 and the default Apache web server. He was hacked within an hour.

It’s his conclusion which is something everyone should know (especially those courteous souls who see fit to e-mail me every “virus warning” they get): Ultimately, both operating systems are vulnerable if you don’t take the necessary precautions.

Moral of the story? Update the OS regularly, keep your applications current (I like C|Net’s Catch-up service for PCs), and use a firewall (Zone Alarm is a good free choice for PCs). If you’re worried about your current Internet connection, pay a visit to Steve Gibson’s Shields Up! site which will tell you just how (in)secure you really are.

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