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As a target for malware, my main computer is ...

Displaying poll results.
Totally impervious (HURD, non-networked)
  425 votes / 1%
Essentially immune (OpenBSD level)
  972 votes / 3%
Pretty safe (typical Linux or OS X, say)
  13078 votes / 48%
Running scared (well-maintained Windows)
  10304 votes / 37%
Ground Zero (unpatched windows)
  1146 votes / 4%
My answer below is better than these options.
  1256 votes / 4%
27181 total votes.
[ Voting Booth | Other Polls | Back Home ]
  • Don't complain about lack of options. You've got to pick a few when you do multiple choice. Those are the breaks.
  • Feel free to suggest poll ideas if you're feeling creative. I'd strongly suggest reading the past polls first.
  • This whole thing is wildly inaccurate. Rounding errors, ballot stuffers, dynamic IPs, firewalls. If you're using these numbers to do anything important, you're insane.
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As a target for malware, my main computer is ...

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  • DOS! (Score:5, Funny)

    by KC1P (907742) on Monday October 03, 2011 @02:24PM (#37591718) Homepage

    Seriously! Great for development and no one bothers writing DOS viruses any more.

    • Funny, the only two viruses I've witnessed first-hand were on DOS and NT. The DOS one was a clever graphics prank. The NT one spread via shared floppies in the office and could only be cleaned with a DOS boot disk (IIRC, it wrote to the MBR).

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by MrHanky (141717)

      Yeah, but the old viruses are still out there. I once downloaded a collection of classic DOS games, intending to run them in DOSbox. ClamAV found ancient viruses in some of them.

      As for the poll, why the bullshit options? An unpatched Linux or OS X (or OpenBSD) running misconfigured services open to the net are less secure and more typical than a well maintained Windows system.

      • Re:DOS! (Score:4, Informative)

        by Haeleth (414428) on Monday October 03, 2011 @05:22PM (#37593706) Journal

        Target size. More people are looking for Windows exploits, and given the choice between exploiting Windows or exploiting OpenBSD, the average cybercriminal is going to go after Windows every time.

        (Had this been asking about e.g. web servers rather than main personal computers, things would be different -- Linux is a very attractive target in that area and often exploited, and I bet OpenBSD is not immune or ignored either -- but that wasn't the question.)

      • As for the poll, why the bullshit options? An unpatched Linux or OS X (or OpenBSD) running misconfigured services open to the net are less secure and more typical than a well maintained Windows system.

        If it has any services open at all, then it is not a "typical Linux or OS X" box.

        Pretty much all services are turned off by default. Typical users don't even know that they exist, let alone know how to turn them on.

        • by MrHanky (141717)

          Typical users install all sorts of crap on their computers. That's how Windows gets most of its malware, and that's how most security holes show up on the Mac and under Linux as well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by war4peace (1628283)

        The bullshit options are there because Slashtod it a Linux-centric, (F)OSS-ass-kissing wannabe community.

        I've seen Linux administrators who worked on Windows most of the time and bathed in *nix flavors only when they HAD to. However, they all frowned at Windows while voluntarily using it all day.

        My machine is "running scared", apparently, but in all honesty, I have not encountered any sort of danger since... probably since the dreaded RPC virus back in '03 or something (and MY machine wasn't affected at all

  • OS/X run by my incredibly cynical brain.
  • by Sylak (1611137)
    Lately my primary computers have been the two at my college radio station.. BeOS, fuck yeah.
  • by Jaktar (975138) on Monday October 03, 2011 @02:41PM (#37591960)

    Patched Win7 with Palemoon+adblock+noscript. Updating my anti-virus just gives me something to do in between Stumbling.

    If it's remotely questionable, simply fire up the VM or reboot to the other partition with whatever flavor I feel like running at the moment.

    Who's scared?

    • by Nimey (114278)

      I use (Firefox+NoScript+Adblock Plus (malware domains subscription) + Sandboxie + telling Firefox to erase user data)

      for viewing porn on Windows. I think that's reasonably bulletproof.

      • by rwa2 (4391) *

        Well, as long as we're comparing pr0n setups...

        StumbleUpon + Chromefusk, and you never even have to load any of the non-image content at all most of the time.

        Sure, I'll clean up cookies once in a while, but I otherwise don't like erasing my pr0n history, prefer setting up separate FF / Chrome profiles instead. [labnol.org]

        Also, I just plain don't care about my Windows gaming rig, there's nothing of value there anyway that I can't re-download through Steam.

      • by 1s44c (552956)

        I use (Firefox+NoScript+Adblock Plus (malware domains subscription) + Sandboxie + telling Firefox to erase user data)

        for viewing porn on Windows. I think that's reasonably bulletproof.

        It's way better than nothing but It's not bulletproof.

  • by Nimey (114278) on Monday October 03, 2011 @02:44PM (#37592020) Homepage Journal

    because it's well-run and I'm not an idiot. This goes for whatever operating system I'm running.

  • I'm running Ubuntu, so I know where I fall in the survey options... but why is Mac not listed?

    • by dskzero (960168)
      Well you have a Mac. You shouldn't hang around here anyway.
    • by Bigbutt (65939)

      I'm guessing you don't actually use a Mac? It runs OS X which is under the Pretty Safe option.

      [John]

  • by ickleberry (864871) <web@pineapple.vg> on Monday October 03, 2011 @02:54PM (#37592172) Homepage
    Windows 8 + UEFI secure boot + Linux locked out by vendor + TPM + Intel Insider and an extra dose of DRM

    Ha!
  • I think I'm pretty safe.
  • All with the latest updates, non-memory resident AVs (do scan often with them), firewalls (Outpost Firewall 2009, Guarddogs with iptables, and Mac OS X's internal firewall), Spybot's immunized hosts file, OpenDNS, etc.

  • 99% of avoiding Malware is simple not being an idiot and not going to places you shouldn't or agreeing to install stuff you shouldn't. That said, Windows 7 still does a pretty dang good job of blocking things compared to Windows XP (which is sort of like comparing the common cold to Ebola). However, I still tend to be a bit of the paranoid type -- so I have made used of Windows 7 Pro's virtual XP session to configure a copy of Firefox to run in a seamless Virtual shell -- it looks and acts just like a typ
    • 99% of avoiding Malware is simple not being an idiot and not going to places you shouldn't

      You mean shady websites like mysql.com [net-security.org]?

      "It exploits the visitor's browsing platform (the browser, the browser plugins like Adobe Flash, Adobe PDF, etc, Java, ...), and upon successful exploitation, permanently installs a piece of malware into the visitor's machine, without the visitor's knowledge," say the researchers. "The visitor doesn't need to click or agree to anything; simply visiting mysql.com with a vulnerable

    • by mlts (1038732) *

      Sometimes the bad sites come to you. All it takes is an ad rotator to serve up malformed code for the browser or an add-on, and one's box is compromised, with no real way of telling how it got that way.

      Windows 7's XP Mode is something good to have. However, I personally use VMWare Workstation because of the better snapshotting ability (although it takes a lot longer to roll back than it does for VirtualPC to just drop changes.) Both have the ability to run applications seamlessly, and for backing up book

    • by dc29A (636871) *

      99% of avoiding Malware is simple not being an idiot and not going to places you shouldn't or agreeing to install stuff you shouldn't.

      That said, Windows 7 still does a pretty dang good job of blocking things compared to Windows XP (which is sort of like comparing the common cold to Ebola).

      Written like someone who never ran XP as 'not being an idiot'. My family and extended family is still running XP, I locked it down easy (not allowing them to run stuff as admins and installing MSE) and guess what? Not one single virus. Every modern OS (including XP) that is configured properly can run very virus safe, for the moment. No malware writer bothers with local privilege escalation so not running as admin means you are safe. For now.

      • No malware writer bothers with local privilege escalation so not running as admin means you are safe. For now.

        Not true. Modern viruses are able and willing to infect the local user profile via exploits. Since the user is always logged on and the attackers may be interested in banking or other login details or showing pop-ups, it's good enough for their purposes.

        True, it makes it easier to clean because very few do privilege escalation, but the machine is still infected easily, even without admin righ
    • 99% of avoiding Malware is simple not being an idiot and not going to places you shouldn't or agreeing to install stuff you shouldn't.

      And in our office, 90% of infections come about due to malicious ad banners or regular old sites that have been hacked and now serve up hidden attack code along with their HTML. We're talking wholesome things like crafting sites (knitting, cooking, home decoration) or even sites like WSJ or NYT whose ad network served up malicious ads.

      (We have more and more users willi
  • It also uses stone tablets with a 4096-bit encryption scheme as media. It is the safest computer on the planet.

    It also isn't very useful.

    As the poll indicates, most sentient beings need some flavor of Linux/Win and a network connection.

  • None of the above (Score:2, Interesting)

    by treeves (963993)

    Pretty safe. Well-maintained Windows.

    • by skine (1524819)

      Even though I use Windows, I have the best malware security on the planet.

      I'm not an idiot who downloads files I don't trust.

      • by wvmarle (1070040)

        My parents are pretty paranoid too. Yet my father had his computer hosed by a virus (required complete wipe of the hard disk to get rid of) after accidentally opening a junk mail that made it into his inbox.

        The idea that just opening an e-mail can cause a malware infection continues to surprise me. Just viewing a document can kill your computer. And it's not always obvious to tell whether an e-mail is junk or not, and accidentally opening it while trying to select it for deletion is of course also easily d

        • by Zebedeu (739988)

          I had worse a few years ago.
          Someone on the local network got a virus via email. It started writing copies of itself in all network folders it could get write access to, including a few shared folders on my pc.

          I got infected just by selecting the file when I was trying to delete it -- Outlook helpfully previewed the file and ran the executable inside, hosing my own installation and destroying a lot of files in the process.

          I didn't even use Outlook and had actually tried to uninstall, and then delete it, only

    • by bakuun (976228)
      That's what I thought too, when I saw the poll options. It's disappointing that a poll about security should have pre-determined how secure different OSes can be, regardless of how the user treats it. I have an old Windows XP machine that hasn't seen a security patch for four years. It has been in the basement, turned off, since then. I'd say that as long as it stays that way, it's pretty secure.
  • If you're not following random links posted to Crackbook and other sites, or received in emails, then even XP is pretty safe. I have had one virus hit me in all the years I've been using Windows.

    I do prefer Ubuntu, but I need to use Visual Studio for C# development a while longer. Once I finish porting things back to Java from C#, I'll be abandoning Windows again and going back to my Ubuntu partition.

    Not because it's safer, but because it's far more stable for web services development.

    • by jamesh (87723)

      If you're not following random links posted to Crackbook and other sites, or received in emails, then even XP is pretty safe. I have had one virus hit me in all the years I've been using Windows.

      All it takes is for a popular site to be compromised with an IE (or Firefox) 0-day and you'll get your virus. That's where windows users get their false sense of security... "I don't visit porn sites or warez sites so i'm safe" - it's when the popular websites get infected that you need to worry. I remember going to windows update only to find code red starting back at me (or a virus of that vintage at least)

  • My colorForth box isn't very locked down. Are there any viruses targeting it? Running scared I guess...
  • My main computer is a Mac, which I consider safe. I'm not worried about my Windows box either, but I'll admit I do most of my pr0n-surfing on the Mac.

  • Sigh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Wolfling1 (1808594)
    Since when did /. votes become a platform for trolling. Very disappointing folks.
    • by jamesh (87723)

      Since when did /. votes become a platform for trolling. Very disappointing folks.

      Since forever. That's when.

    • Re:Sigh (Score:4, Interesting)

      by stinky wizzleteats (552063) on Tuesday October 04, 2011 @10:03AM (#37598488) Homepage Journal
      Since forever. And one more thing. While we're on the subject of trolls, why do modern trolls utterly suck? In the 90's, trolling was high art. Slashdot trolls in particular were geniuses in the craft, weaving perfectly proportioned delicately scented masterpieces of intellectual turds and dropping them in perfectly chosen locations. Now, trolling has degenerated to the point that the word itself is misused to mean anyone who post something anyone doesn't like. Any random idiot can now be considered a troll. It's a fucking travesty. Trolling is NOT just annoying. It's careful, deliberate artwork. What happened to it?
  • One box I've played with is a Sun Ultra 5 workstation running Debian. It's not a Windows box, so it's immune to Windows attacks. It's not an x86 box, so it's immune to x86 attacks.

    It's not a bad box for general web stuff and email (the general performance is like a fast Pentium II) but you want something else to play DVDs on.

    ...laura

    • by frisket (149522)
      Linux, but I also have an old Sun Sparc IPX running fully-patched SunOS 4.1.3, which none of the current script-kiddies would even recognise. Oh, and there's a VMS system in the office upstairs :-) that'll fox'em...
    • by jgrahn (181062)

      One box I've played with is a Sun Ultra 5 workstation running Debian. It's not a Windows box, so it's immune to Windows attacks. It's not an x86 box, so it's immune to x86 attacks.

      It's not a bad box for general web stuff and email (the general performance is like a fast Pentium II) but you want something else to play DVDs on.

      Unfortunately, I find it's that "general web stuff" which sucks performance. An oldish box may feel fast and responsive -- until you try to use Firefox.

      • He did indicate it's fast Pentium II performance levels. I seem to recall the Ultra 5 being comparable to a workstation running PII 400 processors
  • My router/home server runs netbsd. All the laptops run ubuntu or debian with the exception of my wife's macbook pro, There are two windows systems: one in a VM on the macbook and the other in a desktop computer. Both are for CAD work and I have done my best to persuade my wife to use them for nothing else.

    We had a visitor from Malaysia recently and I gave him the password to connect his windows laptop to our LAN. Out of curiosity I tcpdump'ed his IP address and sure enough it was exchanging UDP packets wit

  • You can't get any more secure than an OS that doesn't support enough memory to hold a TCP/IP stack in the first place. 48k should be enough for anyone, right!

    • by KC1P (907742)

      Aw c'mon, you could totally fit a TCP/IP stack in 48 KB. Pretty much nothing else, but as you say, there's your security for ya!

  • I voted "Pretty safe" despite running Windows 7. Why? Because THE WORLD HAS CHANGED, Slashdot. A well-maintained modern version of Windows is actually quite safe, despite what the naysayers stuck in the last century think. Slashdot isn't the only place that smart geeks hang out, and there's plenty of people on less-biased sites who run Windows without problem. It's shit like this which has ruined Slashdot's reputation.

  • Imagine that. This isn't 1995 anyomore. The idea that Windows is some wide-open virus magnet is a myth. Sure, if you run with no anti-virus, no firewall, visit questonable websites, and open every email attachment that comes your way, you'll probably get a virus. But anyone that ignorant has no business being connected to the internet.

  • I don't really have a single main computer. I have several different systems at work and at home that serve different purposes. I guess my laptop - running Linux - may be the closest I have to a main computer. But I also have a FreeBSD webserver, a windows box, and a mac at home. At work I have a Linux workstation, a Linux cluster, several windows PCs connected to specific hardware (and/or running windows-only software), and several other systems that fall strictly in the "other" category in terms of ha
  • CowboyNeal in assless chaps with an abacus. HACK THAT!
  • If the OS doesn't limit what an application accesses to the list of files you give it... it's not doing it's job.

    If you've never even been given the option, your system isn't secure, no matter what layers you've added on top of it.

The meat is rotten, but the booze is holding out. Computer translation of "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."

 



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