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Re: Re: Microsoft Security, baby steps ?
From: "Daniele Muscetta" <daniele () muscetta com>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 12:52:55 +0100 (CET)

Dave Horsfall said:
On Wed, 17 Mar 2004, Daniele Muscetta wrote:
....I know, you roughly have some 26 Megabytes of patches to be
installed POST-SP4 and POST IE60SP1 on W2K.
Is any other OS any better lately ?

OpenBSD.  FreeBSD.  NetBSD.  BSD/OS.  See the pattern?

Yes I do.
Even if patching of a BSD box is not something that anybody can do, just
like everyone uses windowsupdate / up2date / yast / apt-get and
similar....
...you know what I mean: grab the source code patch / diff file, patch the
code, recompile... and possibly recompile everything that is statically
linked to that component/library....On big server farms this could still be annoying... not to say the
obvious, like I cannot imagine my mum managing being able to do ANYTHING
with such an OS, while she CAN windowsupdate (and she does) :)




I had a BSD/OS box exposed to the Net without a firewall for *years*;
it was quite funny watching Penguin/OS exploits against it.

Indeed it is :)
There are people out there who just attack anything which has an IP
address, without even verifying if it is exploitable of not (or worse, if
it is for the right OS). In this regard I also observe FrontPage server
extensions exploits against some Netware server running Apache :) That
will of course never work. It's just plain silly. Still they try. But in
those cases I see the same exploit being tried on several contiguos
addresses, which means is like a 'sweep' scan of the entire subnet, most
likely....


Anyway, I personally don't know FreeBSD, but I can talk for OpenBSD.

This has also to do with other two factors, IMHO:
1) less software shipped in default configurations;
2) smaller 'market penetration' (assuming you can talk of a 'market' for
OpenBSD - even if I'm one  of those who keeps buying the official CDs to
support the project !) - but in the end is more used by 'geeks' than by
'companies'...
This is not meant as an attempt to diminish BSD strenght.
I also have an OpenBSD box on the internet, and it is awesome.
The choice of shipping LESS software by default is a very wise one (and
many linux distros in this regard are copying windows too much, enabling
everything by default to facilitate the user - and the cracker).
With 'smaller market penetration' I don't want to say that that code is
less  looked at (most likely it is indeed better code), but mainly that
the crackers go usually after QUANTITY: they search to compromise AS MANY
boxes as possible.... so they go after the most used OSes. IMHO, of
course.This has been shown in the increase of linux compromises, anyway....
Why should they bother having a hard time trying to compromise a
super-hardened BSD box which belongs to a savvy admin (who's most likely
going to spot them soon if they succeed), rather then just trying to shoot
their exploits against everything, and hope to get as many as possible ?

Let's not start with the 'holy war of the OSes' again... is one of those
never ending question.... we are already off topic, I believe. If you
like, continue with mailing me privately.

Best Regards,

Daniele



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