Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Targeting Oddball Platforms

Another article on targeted attacks. Larry Seltzer makes an interesting point towards the end of the article about the use of oddball operating systems and applications.

Some experts might recommend that you use alternative platforms like the Mac or OpenOffice, but these really don't help at all with targeted attacks. If someone's rolling out a new vulnerability for a targeted attack, it's just as easy for them to do it on OpenOffice and the Mac, which have numerous vulnerabilities, as for Windows. In fact, it's easier and cheaper for them to do it on the alternatives, where the price for a new, unpatched vulnerability is probably much cheaper than for Windows.

I'd think oddball platforms probably help with mass attacks. Those attacks are more likely to target Windows and more likely to be a bigger issue for home users. So, switching over to an alternative platform could make more sense for the home user; the cost/benefit analysis probably looks different than it would to an enterprise.

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