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Linux systems are sealed tight, among Linux software developers anyway

Aug 04, 20042 mins
Enterprise ApplicationsHackingLinux

* Survey reports Linux machines are virus- and hack attack-free

A recent survey of developers who use Linux-based machines found that viruses and hack attacks are very rare occurrences for this subset of the IT world.

Evans Data, an industry research firm, surveyed 500 developers who use Linux machines to write and test software code. The findings showed that 92% of the respondents said that their Linux machines have never been infected with a virus.

Also, 78% said their Linux PCs and servers have never been hacked and less than 7% were hacked three or more times. Of the 22% that have been hacked, the survey found that 23% of the intrusions were by people in their respective company’s internal network.

Two months ago, Evans Data carried out a similar survey of developers who use non-Linux systems and found that approximately 60% of the respondents said their non-Linux systems reported a security breach – whether by virus or deliberate network hack. Also, a third of the respondents said their non-Linux systems were breached more than three times.

Evans Data says the fact that most viruses are written for Microsoft-based machines could be a major factor behind its survey findings. The larger worldwide installed base of Windows could also be a factor. One would also expect that software developers using Linux are pretty savvy users, and that their machines would be less likely to be attacked or become infected, observers say.

Other findings among the 500 Linux developers:

* Activity in developing new software, and porting of older software, to the 2.6 Linux kernel is strong, with over 80% of the respondents saying they are working on 2.6-related projects.

* Over three-quarters of the Linux developers believe that The SCO Group’s lawsuit against IBM, Novell and some major Linux-using enterprises will “probably not” or “absolutely not” affect their company’s development of Linux software.