Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Security Problems - It's Not Just for Windows Anymore!

A recent study from the University of Maryland showed that four Linux boxes, left alone for 24 hours and sporting weak passwords, were the victims of some 270,000 compromise attempts, roughly one every 39 seconds.  There are some interesting stats in the article, like what accounts were tried the most (root won, duh), what passwords were tried the most (the account name won with 43% there), and what people did once they were in (check configs, change passwords, DL files, run apps, etc).

I reported on a similar study in June 2005, but the focus there was on Windows XP SP2.  That story reported an average 34 minutes to worm infection for a random machine on the internet - the 825 successful attacks reported above over a 24 hour period represent a successfult attack every 1.7 minutes, well below the average from 18 months ago, and well below the average lifespan (4 minutes) of a Windows XP box.

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