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Mac and Linux on Campus

© December 2005 Tony Lawrence

I was interested to note that a company selling a campus security product has added Linux and Macintosh to the operating systems they support.

Enforcing network security on a college campus has to be among the toughest challenges any administrator would face. I don't know anything about the value of this software, but I bet it's the Linux users who have given the admins the most gray hair and pale complexions. But now Macs are increasing their numbers, and while most are probably well behaved students who themselves want a safer computer environment, today a few are probably rogue hackers interested in seeing just how much they can get away with.

Apparently this works by downloading software to the student's machine, which then runs, reports back, and erases itself. I have to wonder how sophisticated that would be: for example, I bet someone running a virtual machine like VMware could bypass all the checks easily.

Be that as it may be, it's still interesting that Macs are apparently gaining more presence on campus.

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