Are You Secure?

When I was little, I was afraid of heights (to a degree, I still am). Therefore, you hardly ever caught me climbing trees or swinging high…anytime anyone wanted to elevate past my head level in any shape and form I was grounded..literally. The feeling of security given when my feet touched the ground was comforting. I knew from experience that the ground would be there…it wasn’t going to swallow me up whole (didn’t know much about earthquakes at this time). There were no pitfalls that I was aware of.

Fast forward to today.

I still get a sense of security by the ground being under my feet…this time with my operating system. I know that Linux doesn’t have any pitfalls, no security breached backdoors…because I can SEE the code. It’s like I am Indiana Jones being given a map of every single boobie trap before he enters the temple to get the artifact.

Some would say…but what if someone draws a fake map? Good point, glad you brought that up. The thing is, there are thousands of eyes looking at that map…hundreds of thousands worldwide. The authenticity of that map would be called into question within a few hours. Any problems with that map would be fixed/patched. That map would be 100% accurate before or within a day. Imagine if I had to go back to a map maker to fix this? They might release an update to their current line once a year if I’m lucky. Of course, I’m using this scenario to compare proprietary software and open source software. Both have their place and time…and for me that place is my desktop and the time is right away.

I often feel bad for people who haven’t considered what their OS does for them. They just use it because it comes on the computer by default OR because it’s easy. I don’t fault them for this mentality…it’s what drives many successful products (look at the ipod…it’s easy to figure out and use). Most people though do not have an idea that there are alternatives out there, like Mac and Linux, which is sad.

So, to help you along on the choice of which operating system you use is none other than MICROSOFT! They have included the Dual_EC-DRBG random-number generator to Vista SP1. This random number generator was the same one that was discussed on Slashdot previously about the possibility that it contained a secret NSA backdoor built into it. I’d like to personally thank Microsoft for giving yet another good reason (besides Vista itself) to move to an alternative Operating System.

The choice for me is simple. I don’t want someone to decide how my computer is secure. I want to decide myself. I’m not a moron…I don’t need to have my computer taken care of by someone or some company. I’m the driver, not the passenger. I don’t want an NSA backdoor in my computer, regardless if it is real or not…the mere possibility that it exists is enough for me. Linux gives me the freedom to choose software that I want and an Operating System I control…all at a cost of absolutely nothing.

Would you leave the backdoor to your house unlocked? When you park your car, do you leave one door unlocked? Most likely not. So why would you do the same thing with your Operating System? Choose Linux and take back your computer. The price is right. The time is now.

What Linux Distribution is Right for you?

Author: devnet

devnet has been a project manager for a Fortune 500 company, a Unix and Linux administrator, a Technical Writer, a System Analyst, and a Systems Engineer during his 20+ years working with Technology.

8 thoughts on “Are You Secure?”

  1. Hey Devnet. I’ve always been reading your blog but this is my first comment here. We spoke a little on the PCLOS IRC (I don’t know if you remember). I went distrohopping again and stopped at PCLOS for the second time.

    Nice article. So they actually included this NSA backdoor in Vista SP1? Unbelievable. Another small potentially harmful object to the load with the other bloat in the background programs of Windows Vista.

  2. True, you can see the code, but how many of us have actually read , let alone understood the code …
    Most of us run prepackaged and precompiled programs, who knows what they’ve hidden there …

  3. You list Mac as an alternative to closed software, but Mac brings a worse model than Microsoft. I use Mac and Linux, and the Mac is full of hidden and annoying things.
    Do you realy think Apple have no contact with the NSA?

  4. It is interesting to think about all the ways that MS software reports back various stats to who knows what companies and agencies. This is one of the main reasons I switch to linux in the first place. As for being able to read the code I somewhat agree with NickG, although I am more prone to using open source software because of the fact that it would be counter-productive to starting introducing malicious code into open source software. It kind of goes against the idea in a way.

  5. Absolutly right.

    Will there one day be a secure Windows? Maybe.
    Has Linux many, many security problems, that are yet to be discovered?

    But the Point is, instead of waiting for a Company that follows many interests, but surely not mine, I can take Problems in my own hands, fix the bug or simply remove the software that makes problems.

    This is freedom, this is Security. Free Software.

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