Linux & Security

Microsoft and every other operating systemhave been the target of black hat hackers since the dawn of computers and networks. The result is a hard lesson that each and every one of us must be constantly aware of. It does not matter what operating system we use, there will always be someone who will exploit some vulnerabilityto break inand steal our information or to wreck our hard work.

Linux is a free and open source alternative to Microsoft. Linux has enjoyed increased security from the beginning because software written for Microsoft Windows will not run on Linux PC(s). Part of Linux's relative security has been attributed to fragmentation of the operating system and its distributions. That said, don't fool yourself into thinking you are safe from mischief caused by people who want to break into your computer. MAC OSX is Linux based and has enjoyed some of these false protections.

Ransomware variants have resurfaced in Corpus Christi, TX. Some of these viruses have been created to run equally well on all operating systems, Microsoft Windows, Apple/MAC, and all versions of Linux.

Proofpoint has an excellent writeup concerning the implications of malware in advertisement networks. In addition to the normal best practices for protecting computer systems and data from harm by attackers, I recommend end users perform all web browsing, shopping, etcetera from a virtual machine (VM) that can be set to "NOT Remember Runtime Changes", and does not share foders with the host. Upon reboot, the VM is returned to its original state. If you are using a Microsoft operating system, I do not recommend using the virtual machine software that comes with Windows as the Microsoft VM is fully integrated into windows and provides no separation between the host and the guest (virtual machine) operating systems. This means if your Microsoft VM gets a virus, so does the rest of your computer.