Why do hackers prefer Linux over Mac, Windows and other operating systems?

Discussion in 'privacy problems' started by DesuMaiden, Sep 7, 2013.

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  1. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    I talked with a former blackhat hacker, who attended DefCon, and he said that it is possible to hack with Windows, Apple and just about anyone operating system out there. So why do hackers (hmm I mean crackers) prefer Linux?

    I noticed a lot of hackers think Windows and Mac suck because they are too insecure and not as customizable as a fully open source OS like Linux. But I'm pretty sure there are open source versions of Windows and Mac. I don't see anything wrong with Windows, since I've been using it all my life. I use 7 and I love it very much. I can run Linux on a VM if I wish. Haven't tried it yet.

    Anyways back to the original question. Why do hackers prefer Linux over other operating systems?
     
  2. JackmanG

    JackmanG Former Poster

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    :blink:

    Based on everything you've said, I seriously doubt that.
     
  3. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Why do you say that lol?
     
  4. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Because it's way easier to secure Linux than Windows. The most "secure" Windows system is not close to the most "secure" Linux system for most tasks.

    Some prefer OSX because it has a UNIX terminal. The UNIX terminal makes a big difference.
     
  5. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    It depends on what you mean by "hacker".

    For example, it seems that most malware and botnet programmers use Windows ;)
     
  6. Techwiz

    Techwiz Registered Member

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    Reason #1: command line interface vs graphical user interface
    Linux was designed around a strong and highly integrated command line interface. This grants users far greater access and control over their system, above an beyond customization. Many of the utilities built into Linux have greater functionality above and beyond their windows counterparts. In contrast, Windows was built around the graphic user interface (GUI). This restrict user interaction to point-and-click navigation (slower) and application/system menu options for configuration. Even with command lines, such as command prompt (nerfed since vista) and Power Shell, you still don't have the complete functionality and integration compared with Linux.

    Reason #2: Linux is lighter and more portable.
    Hackers can easily create customized live boot disks and drives from any Linux distribution that they want. The installation is quick and its light on resources. To memory, I can only think of one program that lets you create Windows live disks and it wasn't nearly as light or as quick to install.

    Reason #3: Linux is typically more secure.
    It's lack of popularity amongst average users and popularity amongst programmers and hackers is one reason Linux has not be a profitable target. In more recent years, popularity has grown for UNIX based operating systems such as Mac OS, Android, and Linux. As a result, these platforms have become more profitable targets for attackers. Still, Linux is a great deal more secure than Windows out of the box.

    Reason #4: Linux is pretty much universal.
    Just about everything runs some form of UNIX (routers, web-servers, etc.). Doesn't it make sense that you would target those systems from a device running the same platform? After all, the goal is to make things easier on yourself. You don't want to worry about compatibility problems.

    Summary:
    Hackers target platforms that are profitable. Windows has been the preferred choice within enterprise environments and with the average consumer. It's the preferred choice for developers (apple licensing costs and restrictions), which is why Windows is so compatible. Apple has been too expensive for consumers and Linux is flat out not user friendly (buggy, lack of GUI, etc.). This has changed though in recent years with smartphones and tablets. As more users switch to Mac/iOS and Android/Linux, attackers will shift to targeting these platforms. It's not that far of a stretch for them either as they are familiar with both platforms already.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2013
  7. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    Not really. I know a botnet operator who uses Windows, and he's the only one I know, and he's the only one he knows (and he knows many).
     
  8. mirimir

    mirimir Registered Member

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    Fair enough. But don't they code Windows software in Windows?
     
  9. Hungry Man

    Hungry Man Registered Member

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    They probably have Windows installed to test it, and they might do some programming in it too.
     
  10. J_L

    J_L Registered Member

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    Open-source versions of Windows and Mac... You willing to try out ReactOS and PureDarwin?
     
  11. Taliscicero

    Taliscicero Registered Member

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    LOL

    also, you dummy they are all insecure.

    everything is insecure by design because dummy's are sitting behind the keyboards.
     
  12. lotuseclat79

    lotuseclat79 Registered Member

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    Hi Hungry Man,

    AFAIK, the most "secure" Windows system was a customized Windows built by Microsoft exclusively for the military - USAF I believe. Unfortunately, we may never know the answer to the question as to how the most "secure" Windows system compares, i.e. how close it is to the most secure Linux, but I would have to give the edge to Linux myself. And yet, I'm not sure I agree it is way easier to secure any one OS vs another - given the difference in architecture, coding, etc. and the fact that we still see critical Linux security bugs vs other OS security bugs.

    Also, Microsoft's research OS Singularity has morphed into the project now known as Midori that has been designed from the ground up with security in mind. And, don't forget when Microsoft hired some 1200 PhDs on the Singularity project - it's an indication they have gotten serious about security - and Microsoft has helped bring down a botnet or two over the last couple of years.

    I am not entirely sure that hackers prefer any one OS over another. It is well known that Windows OSes have more holes in it security-wise than Swiss cheese, and crackers gravitate to cracking software targeted toward "weakly" defensed Windows OSes.

    OTOH, Linux is more fun because it is open source and you can change it to your heart's content to do what you want it to do from the versatility, adaptability point of view, and even in the kernel if you have the software/hardware chops and Linus approves the changes you submit to the development process.

    To wit - Mac and Windows are closed source, and Linux is open source.

    -- Tom
     
  13. DesuMaiden

    DesuMaiden Registered Member

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    Luckily I'm not a hacker, and I have no need to use Linux. I don't care there are many backdoors on my Windows 7. They are of no danger to me. :)

    I have an interesting question. Has anyone actually been able to exploit the backdoors in Windows to catch wanted criminal? Yes there are lots of backdoors in Windows, but I've never heard of anyone getting busted from them lol
     
  14. MrWayne

    MrWayne Registered Member

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    First of all, I'm not a hacker, but I will share my opinion.

    I have been using Linux (mainly Mint, Arch, Ubuntu and Debian) for the last 6-7 years, not sure. It was a little hard at first, but with my brother's help I could switch to it and unistall windows from my computer.

    Nowadays, the most popular Linux distros work properly in almost every computer I tested. During this years Linux has improved a lot. I mean, A LOT.

    I love the freedom and security I feel using it. It's great to update my OS or to install software just with a command via terminal. Fast and simple. And also, if you are an experienced user you have a total control of your system.

    Thanks to being UNIX-like, it provides some good tools for programmers, specially for C/C++, which are very useful (at least for me).

    On the other hand, I installed Win 7 Pro yesterday in a friend's laptop and I was pretty disappointed: it was slow, updates took ages to download and install, and neither the wireless, graphics card and trackpad were working. I had to download the drivers manually using Internet Explorer (which is a piece of ~ Snipped as per TOS ~ IMO), and the lightest of them was 59 MB. 59MB a driver? You have to be kidding me...

    The worst part of it was that we could not activate the copy. Despite being original, the serial number was rejected over and over again. Maybe it was due to a bug or something, but, being used to Linux, Windows 7 itself seems like malware :p

    This is just my personal opinion. I hope no one gets offended with it, it's not my intention at all.

    Conclusion: I am the happiest man in the world using Linux.

    I have an iMac at work, therefore, I'm also a Mac OS user. It's OK, clearly better than Windows in terms of stability and security, but for personal use, I prefer Linux.

    Just my 2 cents :)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 5, 2013
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