Attacks on servers running Linux increased dramatically over the three months to May while those on Microsoft servers fell, according to security analysts mi2g.
The phenomenon was most marked in May when mi2g recorded more than 19,200 successful digital attacks (76%) against online Linux servers compared with 3,800 (15%) against Windows-based systems.
In January there were 6,700 attacks on Linux (34%) compared with 10,400 (53%) on Windows systems.
DK Matai, the executive chairman of mi2g, said a major problem concerned users implementing Linux out of the box and adding third-party applications without effective configuration.
In contrast, the renewed focus of Microsoft and its customers on security, especially following January’s Slapper virus, appears to be having a positive impact, he said.
“I think there’s a false idea in people’s minds that because they are investing in Linux they’ll be safer in the online environment,” said Matai. He warned that broadband connectivity means that it is much easier to attack online systems on a 24/7 basis.
However, Matai felt the problem could be resolved if Linux users use the figures as a wake-up call.
“It could just be a blip if people do something about configuration, but it will become more of an epidemic if users continue to be complacent,” he warned. “We need some kind of trustworthy computing initiative for the open-source community.”