Linux Security, Then and Now

A very interesting article by Keith Vanc at eSecurity Planet

Linux is inherently not a secure operating system. The reason it’s not secure is because Linux was based on the architectural design of UNIX, and the creators of UNIX didn’t care about security – it was 1969 after all.

“The first fact to face is that UNIX was not developed with security, in any realistic sense, in mind; this fact alone guarantees a vast number of holes,” Dennis Ritchie wrote in his paper, “On the Security of UNIX” in 1979.

At LinuxCon in Boston on Tuesday, Red Hat’s James Morris, a Linux kernel developer who lives in Syndey, Australia, spoke about how Linux has evolved in the last ten years to overcome the inherent lack of a security model in Linux.

The problem, Morris said, is that when UNIX was designed in the late 1960s, everyone thought we’d have flying cars by now, but instead, we have Facebook. On one hand, we’re doing things today with computers that were maybe pipe dreams 40 years, yet we’re still relying on operating systems designed decades ago.

Read more here

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