Report: Linux Most Attacked Server OS

Microsoft Windows may be dominating the headlines for security-related
breaches but the open-source Linux server operating system remains the
biggest target of overt intruder attacks, according to a study by U.K.-based
Mi2g.

Mi2g, which provides digital risk management research, said 67 percent of
all successful overt digital attacks was done against the Linux OS, which
has exploded in popularity but in the U.S. and abroad.

Attacks against Linux were three times higher than against Microsoft
Windows, which accounted for 23.2 percent, Mi2g reported.

In August alone, the company found that 12,892 Linux online servers
running eBusiness and information sites were successfully breached. During
the same period, 4,626 Windows servers were victims of successful
intrusion.

The BSD operating system fared much better, with just 360
successful breaches reported in August.

“Over the last twelve months, Linux remained the most attacked operating
system online with 51 percent of all successful overt digital attacks,” Mi2g
said, noting that within the government environment, the tables were
reversed with Windows being the biggest target, counting 51.4 percent of all
successful attacks. Linux was in second place with 14.3 percent.

The research firm said the economic damage from attacks in August —
measured in terms of lost productivity and recovery costs — was estimated
at $707 million.

“The overall economic damage in August from overt and covert attacks as
well as malware – viruses and worms – damage stood at an all time high of
$28.2 billion. The Sobig and MSBlast malware that afflict Microsoft
platforms contributed significantly to the record estimate,” the company
said.

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