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Profit vs. vandalism in security attacks

Referencing: Attracting Attackers: Windows vs. Unix

Paul Murphy's Linux Insider article points out a major difference between Windows security attacks and Unix/Linux: Windows usually has a profit motive behind it while Unix/Linux usually doesn't. He also notes:


The bottom-line difference is that essentially all
Unix attacks currently considered likely to succeed
require legal access, while those on Windows uniformly
don't.
 

It is true (and Paul hints at this) that there may be opportunistic Unix attacks now and then. You have to wonder how many of the incidents like BJ's credit card losses were specifically targeted: was it "let's crack BJ's no matter what OS they run" or was it "Hmm, here's someone running something with a weakness I can exploit". I suspect it's much more of the latter, and of course that usually means Windows.

The attitude that it's "just popularity" just took a well deserved hit from this article.


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