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Re: LAMP vs Microsoft
From: Darren Reed <avalon () caligula anu edu au>
Date: Tue, 11 Jul 2006 21:06:42 +1000 (Australia/ACT)

In some mail from Bob Beck, sie said:



If the number of vulnerabilities is graphed over time, is either
heading down or both heading up or...?

- I'm not asking for a "who's better", I just want to know if
anyone has a good set of numbers and if they're graphed for easy
comparison.


p.s. LAMP = Linux/Apache/MySQL/PHP


      Yes, but what are you hoping to prove with those numbers. I think all
you're demonstrating is what things get more attention, likely due to
their popularity, so they make a more interesting target.  I.E.  just
because you don't find hardly any vulnerabilities for web apps
deployed using ANFC (ANFC == AIX, NetCat, Flat Files, and C (please
sir can I have another..)[1]) doens't mean those that are aren't rife
with them. 

I chose those two quite deliberately because I'm pretty sure they
both get pretty good attention from hackers.  Others have mentioned
use some other OS, etc - not interesting.

      Just from what I've "seen" I'd guess they were comparable.  What does
that mean? well, pretty much web applications under Windows or LAMP
appear use the same development model for much of their code - first
to market with coolest features the fastest. Quality is an
afterthought to be dealt with in patches or future releases, which
means security is a further afterthought.  Do I like running either?
No.  The graph numbers end up just being nutritionless fodder for
trolls and management. 

What I'm looking for are trends.  Absolute numbers are uninteresting.

Or in other words, are people doing development responding (even if
it is delayed) to the number of vulnerabilities found ?

Are developers increasing the QA of their products in response to
increased vulnerabilities, leading to fewer in newer releases ?

And I think vulnerabilities disclosed are a much better indicator
of the changes to QA/development of products than any hyperbole
from those responsible (be it management or developers.)

I fully expect that both the Microsoft and Linux based platforms to
continue to be the most popular for web deployments and thus the most
interesting for hackers to target and vulnerabilities to be found.

What would concern me more here is if one platform was on the up
whilst the other was on the down.

Darren


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