There’s been the assumption that Apple systems and Linux systems were much safer than Windows systems. They certainly seemed to be attacked less.
For years, many security experts have said that it isn’t that hey were safer, it’s just that since Windows was more popular, it was prone to more attacks.
Recent attacks like the one against iPhones and iPads have shown that these devices can be vulnerable.
Now there’s a Linux botnet attacking websites using a Linux-based platform. The botnet is called XOR DDos.
According to researchers at the MalwareMustDie security group, the attackers put together a network of infected Linux machines and then launch larger attacks – specifically denial of service attacks, which knock websites offline.
While Linux isn’t a major player for home PCs, (Only a little over 1% of home users have Linux-based systems) it is widely used in the business world.
So far, according to security firm Akamai, the targets have been primarily gaming sites. But as the popularity of Linux increases, it becomes a much bigger target for hackers.
Akamai cites a the malicious Spike DDos toolkit, which hackers could purchase and use to attack Linux and Windows machines.
It appears as if this particular attack is originating from Asia. Once the malware is on a machine, it installs code that prevents its removal and then makes that machine part of a coordinated network of machines that can be used to launch attacks.
These hackers didn’t have to come up with a sophisticated bit of programming to get into these systems, they rely on weak passwords to get into systems.
So in the end, businesses can be undone by the same issues that hits home users – weak passwords.