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Re: Re: Microsoft Security, baby steps ?
From: "Daniele Muscetta" <daniele () muscetta com>
Date: Wed, 17 Mar 2004 17:08:05 +0100 (CET)

Ron DuFresne said:
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 ?

That's an admin/installer issue, tooo many folks on too many OS'es tend
to install the kitchen sink on systems that don't need all the toys
trinkets and tools that a desktop developer might need in specific

While redhat has become the linux version of M$ in all the neato
desktop trinkets it has available, the admin doing the install needs to
have enough whits about them to know how to trim the fat and lock the
box for the purpose it is being  comisioned for.  Too many web servers
exposed to the public have too many desktop trinkets and X window
managers that are not required for the purpose at hand.

Look: I am in perfect agreement with you, we are *not* saying anything
different !
The same savvy admin I mentioned is the one that would harden (and keep
the installed software to a minimum) not only BSD, but also Linux, and
Windows too !
But not ALL admins/installers are like that. Unfortunately I have to say
that most of them have no clue, and rely too often on default
configurations.... which in turns creates new easy targets....

It definitely is an installer/admin issue.
But on any OS :)

I *definitely* prefer the approach where you don't have anything and you
build the system from the ground up (debian, gentoo, BSD for example).
But the same clueless installer who will leave the dafault bells and
whistles on redhat and on windows..... is the one who could not even
INSTALL BSD in the first place.... so here we are again....It's a vicious circle....

Kind Regards,


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