Linux can fight off viruses

Linux can provide excellent protection against virus attacks such as last week's Nimda outbreak, according to Stephen Way, a...

Linux can provide excellent protection against virus attacks such as last week's Nimda outbreak, according to Stephen Way, a senior IT manager with chemical and precious metals specialist Johnson Matthey.

Way, who uses a Linux server to run part of the company's intranet and domain name-serving operations, says Johnson Matthey has found that the operating system is more robust than similar Microsoft offerings.

"With the recent Nimda outbreak we could see the attacks on the Linux server but it had no impact on it whatsoever," he said.

Johnson Matthey does not use Windows 2000 servers for business-critical applications, he added. Way, who is also director of the Common UK User Group, an IBM i-series 400 forum, believes that companies face a real challenge to keep their Microsoft servers up to date with the latest patches.

He said, "Our use of operating systems other than Windows 2000 has reduced attacks such as Code Red and Nimda to an irritation rather than a business-threatening occurrence."

Linux has earned an increasing reputation for robustness among the user community.

Ray Titcombe, chairman of the IBM Computer Users' Association (CUA), commented, "Companies that are well down a Microsoft route now seem to be vulnerable to electronic terrorism but Linux could provide greater protection against this."

Linux could help companies to become more secure, Titcombe said.

Microsoft maintains that its operating systems are secure and scalable for business-critical use.

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