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Joanna Rutkowska Chooses GNU/Linux to Demonstrate Security Problems in Apple Macs and Microsoft Windows

Posted in Apple, GNU/Linux, Microsoft, Security, UNIX, Vista 7, Windows at 6:57 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Joanna Rutkowska

Summary: Security guru Joanna Rutkowska says that Apple’s and Microsoft’s proprietary operating systems are “badly designed from a security standpoint”; her firm uses GNU/Linux to create Qubes OS

A couple of months ago we saw Eugene Kaspersky slamming Windows for insecurity and this time we find Joanna Rutkowska slamming both Vista 7 and Mac OS X. Interestingly enough, Rutkowska chose GNU/Linux to “provide strong security for desktop computing” (“Mac OS X Problem Puts Up a Block To IPv6,” says this new headline from Slashdot, further proving that Mac OS X — despite its “UNIX” status — is technically lagging in some areas).

One security researcher turned operating-system developer is claiming that Windows 7 and Mac OS X are insecure by design, while proposing her own platform as a model for the bulletproof desktop OS. While swapping rootkit research for the Qubes project, Joanna Rutkowska, founder and CEO of Invisible Things Lab, announced some changes to the company she founded, namely the shift in focus away from security research and onto designing systems that were immune to rootkit by design. Taking a swing at both Windows 7 and Mac OS X, Rutkowska indicates that it makes no sense to continue hacking the two operating systems.


In the first half of April 2010, Rutkowska announced the first Alpha development milestone of Qubes OS, a new open source operating system developed by Invisible Things Lab in the past half a year, by implementing the Security by Isolation approach. “Qubes is an open source operating system designed to provide strong security for desktop computing. Qubes is based on Xen, X Window System, and Linux, and can run most Linux applications and utilize most of the Linux drivers. In the future it might also run Windows apps,” the official description of the product reads.

Vista 7 has had many flaws that require no rootkits to exploit. The links we gave yesterday are:

eWEEK has just taken a look at the LoveBug, which we mentioned yesterday too.

It would be the definition of an understatement to say the security landscape of a decade ago differed from today. In the year 2000, spam accounted for just 1 in 120 e-mails. Rustock did not exist, and Conficker was not even a figment of our collective imaginations.

And then came the LoveBug. From the moment it appeared May 4, 2000, the worm tore down the defenses of Windows computers, eventually infecting millions of Microsoft customers worldwide and causing the Pentagon, CIA and British parliament to shut down their mail systems to contain the damage.

eWEEK does call out Windows in this case, to the author’s credit.

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A Single Comment

  1. your_friend said,

    May 6, 2010 at 5:54 pm


    Real security experts need to say and do more of this.

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