Is linux free from almost all security vulnerabilities when compared with windows? If there are so, can i install any patches to fix them? Thanks in advance.

  • When a question is closed as a duplicate, that does not mean that you posted the same Q twice, only that the other question is asking the same thing. That said, the other question addresses the same issue as yours. The answers explain about vulnerabilities and how to protect yourself. What else are you asking? Yes, patches are regularly offered for any vulnerabilities found. – terdon Mar 9 '15 at 12:26

Linux is a very secure system, however it isn't full free of vulnerabilities. There are malware known as rootkits that can get to a Unix/Linux system and steal information, destoy data,etc.

However for rootkits being successful the system must be insecure / bad managed, just because a Linux system is as secure as its administrator is aware of security.

These are the most important tasks to keep a Linux distribution secure:

  • Only install software from the distribution repositories (apt-get, yum...). Avoid downloading pre-packaged (.deb, .rpm) software unless it comes from very known sources.

  • Learn to use IP Tables and create a configuration that let pass through your system only the traffic that you want to have.

  • Keep the system updated. The distribution repositories are updated as soon as possible when a vulnerability is discovered.

  • Understand user permissions and be as restrictive as possible.

  • Disable SSH passwords and enable login using SSH keys.

  • Enforce the use of strong passwords.

  • Lock the root account, so nobody can log as root and whoever needs root permissions will use sudo.

  • Install and learn to use SELinux. It will increase the basic Linux security.

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  • Won't disabling the root account bring up security issues for administrators? – Snazzy Sanoj Mar 9 '15 at 12:18
  • It's my mistake. You don't have to disable root, you have to disable "login as root". So nobody can get root's password and log in. Using sudo you can have granular control of who can do what. – jcbermu Mar 9 '15 at 12:26

All software has vulnerabilities. GNU/Linux systems are not different in terms of having bugs or certain configurations that lead to vulnerabilities.

Windows has been in the spotlight because of its much larger desktop install base, which usually is an "easy way in".

Not wanting to start any type of war about which is better, one could argue that because of the Open Source nature of GNU/Linux, there are many more eyes on the code to find bugs which should lead to more secure systems, from that perspective.

What exactly are you trying to do? Using it as a desktop or server system?

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  • I have a ubuntu 12.0 distribution but im a little worried about its security. – Snazzy Sanoj Mar 9 '15 at 12:08
  • Make sure you keep it up to date using the update-manager software. - You should check if your version is an LTS (Long Term Supported) version - if its 12.04 you're ok. – Pedro Galvao Mar 9 '15 at 12:10
  • Ubuntu 12.04 will be supported until 2017. Ubuntu 12.10 ended support on 2014. If it's 12.10 I recommend you to update it as soon as possible. – jcbermu Mar 9 '15 at 12:10

I'd add that security patch are released faster in the Linux world than in Windows, which is something that makes it more secure to my eyes.

And Perdro, some people would say that it is easier to hack something from which you have the source code.

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  • Can't a stronger protection algorithms such as RSA(just an example, not familiar on actual thing) present on linux prevent hackers even when they have the algorithm and encrypted data? – Snazzy Sanoj Mar 9 '15 at 12:15
  • The point of an encryption algorithm is that you can't decrypt it with a "simple" function (i.e. reverse the process, for example you will have a hard time decrypting the password in /etc/shadow/), thus could you describe more your thought? – Adonis Mar 9 '15 at 12:19

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