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7/28/2004
02:33 PM
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Survey Finds Linux Hacks Rare

A whopping 92 percent of Linux developers surveyed by Evans Data claimed that their machines had never been infected by malicious code.

Adding more fuel to the Linux vs. Windows fire, a research firm Wednesday released a survey Wednesday that noted only eight percent of Linux developers had ever seen a virus infect their systems. Evans Data, a research company that regularly polls developers, dug up the results by surveying 500 Linux developers. An overwhelming majority -- 92 percent -- claimed that their machines had never been infected by malicious code, and fewer than 7 percent said that they'd been the victims of three of more hacker intrusions.

Only 22 percent of Linux code cutters said that their systems had ever been hacked.

Last spring, a similar survey by Evans found that nearly 60 percent of non-Linux developers admitted they'd been victimized by security breaches, and 32 percent had been hit three or more times.

Does that mean Linux is a more secure OS? Nicholas Petreley, Evans Data's Linux analyst, certainly thinks so.

"It's not surprising that Linux systems aren't hacked to the degree that Windows-based machines can be exploited," he said in a statement. "The reasons for the greater inherent security of the Linux OS are simple, more eyes on the code means that less slips by and the OS is naturally going to be better secured."

Another factoid from the July survey found that 76 percent of developers now believe that The SCO Group's ongoing lawsuits will "probably not" or "absolutely not" affect their company's adoption of the open-source OS. That number is up 8 percent over the last time the question was asked six months ago, a confirmation that SCO's sometimes-struggling legal battle isn't making much of an impression in the trenches.

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