Q

Vulnerabilities in Windows Server 2003 vs. Red Hat

Is Windows Server 2003 or Red Hat Linux more vulnerable?
This is a tough question to answer without getting into the specifics of all vulnerabilities released, time to carry out attacks, what can actually be done once an attack occurs, etc. With all things being equal, it can be more difficult to enumerate a Linux server than it is a Windows server. Based on my testing, I'd say that a default install of Windows Server 2003 is just as, if not more, secure than Linux (any flavor -- not just Red Hat). Microsoft has gotten a lot of heat over all its vulnerabilities in recent years, but I'm sure we'd see the same thing if Linux or other OS such as NetWare had the same marketshare. All eyes are on them. Given that Microsoft has disabled a lot of features by default, it's much improved over the various Windows versions of the past.
This was first published in August 2004

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