Windows XP SP 1 – not very secure!

The Denver Post carries a story which clearly shows just how insecure Windows XP SP1 is compared to other Operating Systems

According to the story, StillSecure, a Louisville-based network security firm, connected six computers – with six operating systems – to the Internet for a week without any virus protection. Over the course of a week, the machines were scanned a total of 46,255 times by computers around the world that crawl the Web looking for vulnerabilities in operating systems.

Once the vulnerabilities were identified, the remote computers launched 4,892 direct attacks with a staggering variety of worms, Trojan Horses, viruses, spyware and other forms of malware.

The test examined only what happens when computers are turned on and connected to the Internet. The test didn’t evaluate additional dangers that computer users face when they use e-mail, surf the Web, click on Internet links or use file-sharing programs.

Here’s what happened:
Windows XP Service Pack 1

Attacks: 4,857

Results: Attacked successfully within 18 minutes by the Blaster and Sasser worms. Within an hour, the computer was taken over and began attacking other Windows machines.
Windows XP Service Pack 2

Attacks: 16

Results: Survived all attacks
Apple Mac OS X Jaguar

Attacks: 3

Results: Survived all attacks
Linux, Suse Professional 9.2

Attacks: 8

Results: Survived all attacks
Linux, Fedora Core 3

Attacks: 8

Results: Survived all attacks
Linux Red Hat 9

Attacks: 0

5 thoughts on “Windows XP SP 1 – not very secure!”

  1. i seem to recall first reading this story at least a month ago. but in the version i read i thought there was several versions of ms tested and at least one of them passed the test quite well.

  2. Feargal,

    you may well have done. Stories like these are emerging all the time.

    at least one of them passed the test quite well

    Even in the story above, XP SP2 only had 16 attacks as opposed to XP SP1’s 4857 and SP2 survived all 16 attacks.

    Maybe this is similar to what you read?

  3. And on the topic of more secure OSs, I downloaded a copy of Basilisk and System 7, and gave Marathon a try seeing as Bungie made them freeware a short while back. Now I realise what you were talking about. They’re still bloody good games!

  4. Don’t forget Keith, I was playing LAN games of Marathon back in 1994 and it was like nothing we’d ever seen before!

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