Survey Says Linux Hacks Are Rare

An Evans Data report says only 8% of Linux developers surveyed had ever seen a virus infect their systems.
Adding more fuel to the Linux vs. Windows fire, a research firm released a survey Wednesday that noted only 8% of Linux developers had ever seen a virus infect their systems.

Evans Data, a research firm that regularly polls developers, surveyed 500 Linux developers. An overwhelming majority--92%--claimed that their machines had never been infected by malicious code, and fewer than 7% said that they'd been the victims of three of more hacker intrusions.

Only 22% of Linux developers said that their systems had ever been hacked.

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

Does that mean Linux is a more secure operating system? 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% 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 operating system. That number is up 8% from when the question was last asked six months ago--a confirmation that SCO's sometimes-struggling legal battle isn't making much of an impression in the trenches.