No OS is safe, expert warns

Cyber crime

Preconceptions that some operating systems are safer than others are misguided, a security expert has claimed.

In reality all systems have their flaws which hackers will attempt to exploit and, despite some people's belief Linux and Mac users are safer, all are vulnerable, said David Jacoby, a senior security researcher at Kaspersky.

"It doesn't really matter what you use," he told attendees at a Kaspersky press event in Munich.

"There is no such thing as a secure operating system."

In particular, Jacoby looked at the security problems with Linux. One notable issue is that Linux is often left out of the patch cycle, while many hackers have been seen using vulnerabilities in Linux to carry out "drive-by download" attacks.

These attacks are initiated when a hacker compromises a server running on Linux and adds malicious code to websites hosted on that server. When a user visits the site a malicious file is downloaded onto their systems.

Companies need to have the total package to protect their systems, from the right technology and anti-virus to local hardening and stronger resource segmentation to prevent spreading infections, Jacoby said.

Furthermore, businesses should look to protect both servers and clients, he added.

"It's about everything. Protection against malicious code, that is one thing, but that is not enough," Jacoby added.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.