Security: Is Linux Mint as Secure as XP with Protection?

Discussion in 'all things UNIX' started by chinook9, Feb 17, 2010.

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  1. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    I this in the "Other Security Issues & News" section for a couple of days. I did get a couple of good responses but I was hoping for a greater variety of responses.

    I have been using a variety of security software for a few years now.

    I just built a new XP machine which I made dual-boot with Linux Mint Helena and Windows XP. I thought when I built it I would use Linux most of the time, but I find myself using XP because I'm so comfortable with the protection I have on it. My XP protections are as follows:

    1. Hardware firewall
    2. DefenseWall Firewall
    3. Panda Cloud Anti-Virus
    4. MalWareBytes Antimalware (sometimes realtime and always on demand scanning)
    4. Sandboxie for Firefox 3.6 with with WOT, NoScript,and KeyScrambler
    5. KeePass (and Roboform) for my password
    6. Separate sandbox for any financial transactions.

    All of the above works well together and I feel very well protected.

    With Linux Mint, I turned on the firewall, Otherwise my only protection is that malware writers spend almost all of their time exploiting Windows XP.

    Am I better protected with the Windows XP setup or Linux Mint? I definitely feel more protected in XP.

    Will Avast or Avira run on Mint...or is ClamAV just as good?
    Do they slow Mint down?
  2. Kerodo

    Kerodo Registered Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    You may "feel" more protected in XP, but I think you're much safer in Linux Mint, where nothing can or will happen to you at all. Just put a router in front of your PC and you're all set.
  3. chronomatic

    chronomatic Registered Member

    Apr 9, 2009
    You don't need the firewall in Mint if you have a router. And there are other reasons for the superiority of Mint over XP in terms of security but those reasons have been hashed out here a hundred times before, so I will spare myself the finger grease.

    Yes, your XP setup is probably sufficient but who wants to use a box with that much junk on it hogging resources and making life difficult?
  4. phaedrus

    phaedrus Registered Member

    Aug 18, 2002
    You`ll have to excuse me as I`m a Mint user, but...What`s malware again?

    Ok...Seriously you might want to install an anti-virus if you think you might pass a Windows virus on to a Windows user, but I would imagine most Windows systems would have an anti-virus already.

    You are much safer with Linux and don`t need anti-malware apps.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  5. Martijn2

    Martijn2 Registered Member

    Jul 24, 2006
    The Netherlands
    Like chronomatic said, you can't compare a linux machine with windows XP (incl. security software), the security architecture of linux is much better.
  6. wat0114

    wat0114 Guest

    chinook, you might want your duplicate thread here removed.
  7. lodore

    lodore Registered Member

    Jun 22, 2006
    windows xp as default isnt secure at all.

    linux mint is secure due to the following reasons plus more:
    1. Default install has no open ports
    2. no root account
    3. standard user is setup with sudo as default.
    4. package management updates all installed software.

    you dont need anti malware programs because there isnt really any malware for linux plus if you only install software from trusted sources using package management you wont have a problem anyway.

    the main security risk with any system is the user. no matter how secure a system is if you give the wrong program root rights its game over.
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2010
  8. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Thanks for the suggestion. I have done that....At least I think I have.
  9. linuxforall

    linuxforall Registered Member

    Feb 6, 2010
    Linux by its very design is safer, MINT is based on Ubuntu which among other distros is usually the quickest to patch security flaws. However having said that, complacency and stupidity will get you in trouble with Linux as well even though its a bit harder than Windows to do so.

    I ran a good AV with LUA and DEP full on XPx64, used Opera for browser and never ever got into any trouble for years that I ran the OS. Of course I always kept XPx64 fully patched.
  10. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    security of system is depend on user in some extend windows are more secure that linux and in come cases linux win

    lodore has already all main points i would like to add some ........

    linux consider more secure because 1-2% user of linux people here if all linux system even hacked only 1-2% get effected while in windows case it got the 90-92% of market share of user and xp alone approx 59% share so 10-20% non secure system hacked make a huge difference in blaming market

    both system are secure if use correctly it depends on user
    if i use good internetsecurity suite or make a combo off only on xp go to only work site not surf much dont download free software only reputed ones and a sandbox browsing running under user privilege instead of admin ...etc and less software's on my system and always up-to-date behind a router its 1-1000000 case that my system got hacked or infected my malware

    so there is not such thing as 100% secure linux or xp mac or bsd

    but yes there are some linux come default security setting little more tight than others

    fedora redhat centos gentoo are among them but if you configure suse or ubuntu/mint you can achieve same or better results

    award winning utm(unified threat management)/router like
    astaro gateway is written on suse enterprise linux
    untangle on ubuntu
    smoothwall ipcop endian clearOS on (centos/fedora/redhat)

    which show they are pretty secure secondly the big reason less people know linux up to that level to hack your system its now like xp you run script kiddos tools and eurika even they eurika on insecure vulnerabilities of system like for example you got flash player of 6 or 7 there are tool to get advantage of vulnerabilities of that you cant blame xp for that same with linux

    edit: one more thing i like to add fedora vulnerabilities bugs not work on suse or ubuntu same vice versa so here you become 01% user in world among 100 famous linux if you get my point :D
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2010
  11. chinook9

    chinook9 Registered Member

    Jan 27, 2008
    Thank you all for the information you provided. I feel more comfortable with Linux now that I understand I little more about why it is more secure.

    I will probably continue to use both Linux and SP. I really like the idea of being able to use KeePass in Linux, since losing passwords is really my greatest concern. Thanks again.
  12. Searching_ _ _

    Searching_ _ _ Registered Member

    Jan 2, 2008
    Enable or install iptables firewall, or install Smoothwall.
    Be hyper vigilant! Prepare for the worst, while hoping for the best.
    For instance, installing a program as root then anything that uses it has root access. Wine for example.

    Things I think a beginner linux trialer should learn.
    (Like myself.)

    How to install programs properly.
    (First few trials in linux I installed everything as root.)
    How to add and change passwords.
    How to add users to groups.
    How to add users to sudoers list.
    How to disable services.
    How to implement a firewall and modify.
    How to log analysis, what logs and where.
    How to use nmap.
    How to use and diagnose lsof results.
    How to Wireshark.
    How to VirtualBox. ++
    How to set up guests so they run through a firewall, VirtualBox network security.

    I use 3"x5" index cards with commands and usage important to me.
  13. tlu

    tlu Guest

    Not needed in most cases. Simply input

    sudo ufw enable
    sudo ufw default deny

    ... that's all you need if at all.
  14. mack_guy911

    mack_guy911 Registered Member

    Mar 21, 2007
    by default mint got gui tool for firewall Gufw it will enable firewall or via terminal already given by tlu :thumb:
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