Server machine more dangerous than pc?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by poirot, May 11, 2007.

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  1. poirot

    poirot Registered Member

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    A friend with very limited knowledge was recently advised by a vendor to buy an HP Server machine instead of a 'normal' Mediacenter pc HP machine which i advised him to buy. When asked i replied that he should refrain from doing that on the basis that running a Server poses more security problems and that he has no intention of creating a site or similar.
    I never ran servers,so i am here to ask if i am right or not and,in case,if you can state clearly the added dangers ,security-wise, of running such a machine in a 2 machines Lan context which is partly electrically powered and partly wireless.
    Anyone?
     
  2. dvk01

    dvk01 Global Moderator

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    servers tend to be more limited in what they are set up to do & frequently have low spec graphics cards. no or poor sound facilities but tend to have a higher spec hd and or memory chips

    what does he want to use the computer for
    servers do tend to be more expensive than desktop machines and I suspect the salesperson saw him coming & thought he could make a better commision from him

    Any computer can be set up as a server but a dedicated server will be set up very differently to a desktop machine and that is where the security implications come in where you have outside connections to it to downlaod or view whatever is on the server
     
  3. poirot

    poirot Registered Member

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    Sorry for choosing the wrong section,i mistakenly did that 'cause i made most of my posts in Other firewalls.

    My friend, dvko1, will use his computer mainly for emails,internet,photos and videos or video editing; he's got no site to keep up or any other activity which would entail buying a server. You're probably right that the vendor sniffed a higher commission,although the particular HP i mentioned is not cheap either, being in the range of €1350-1400 without the monitor.

    Security-wise what i am fearing is that he might run more risks -inherently- just because it is be a server, given he's a bit shortsighted and careless and prone to making deadly mistakes because of that.
    (Example : yesterday we were on the phone and i was assisting him with a Panda 2007 uninstall: after various uninstalls we were giving the finishing touch by visiting the Registry and i told him to search for an item and then press F3 to delete the next one....exhorting him to be extremely careful since there was no room for mistakes.....but mistake it was as, after i heard some ten or fifteen clicks, he suddenly realised he had not been pressing F3 ....but some other button, consequently deleting god knows what!) (At that point i felt utterly lost but ,luckily, going immediately to a Restore point saved at least the booting and start up)
    I fear that setting up a server is more difficult and totally useless for what he needs,even if he would use it like a desktop machine and not an outside server, aint it so?
     
  4. dvk01

    dvk01 Global Moderator

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    If he is using his computer for normal home computing tehn he deefinitely doesn't want a server as that will cripple him


    There will be no more security risks whether it is a server or a desktop all that is different will be the hardware and possibly he might be buying windows 2003 server rather than XP or vista at the appropriately higher price with less domestic functionality

    I don't consider a server suitable for video editing but it all depends on the specs of the machine

    Like I said before normally a server has a low spec graphics & sound card if any at all

    many servers have no graphics or sound capability at all as they aren't needed

    in return for not having these you will often get a faster memory chip & possibly a bigger/faster HD

    without knowing all the details I can't really advise just guess and nor can anyone else
     
  5. poirot

    poirot Registered Member

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    thanks dvk01,what you said was just enough for me to put things into the right perspective. I cannot give you any more details as this is all i know.
    I probably exaggerated in magnifying the security dangers in such a situation,but,in the end, we both agree it's a no go situation and it is much better for my friend to buy a plain old desktop machine,rather than make a vendor happy and richer.
     
  6. NGRhodes

    NGRhodes Registered Member

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    There is a potential for a server to have a bigger security risk.
    It depends how it is configured.
    Win2k3 server could have web services, domain services, domain controllers etc. Get the config of the screwed up, run as an admin and there is a bigger security risk than not running any of them.

    The counter arguement to this, is that things like default permissions for a win2k3 server are stricter and that means the system is less open to expliot.

    Does he have the knowledge to make sure that any of this server stuff is not running AND not screw the settings up, then there will be no difference, but give a server to someone who does'nt know this stuff, accidently enables something, could well end up with a less secure setup than with XP for example.

    End of the day, unless he NEEDS any of the features of win2k3, there is no point in using over an XP varient (I dont know about Vista as not used it or looked at it in depth), as they are essentially the same core, and share the majority of code and therefore a lot of the same expliot vectors (damn thats a cool phrase). It will probably cost more, so why pay more for what you dont need.
     
  7. poirot

    poirot Registered Member

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    No,he knows even less than i do,and that's why I couldnt agree more with you, nickr!
     
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