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I would not quit using linux period, but with the NSA scandal lately, I am curious about whether linux is easier for the NSA to get into that Windows. I was under the impression that windows was more a target for computer zombification and feel safer from the NSA using Slackware. I think Slackware is an obscure operating system and less of a target.
A really old article, with arguments that were rubbish even back then. What do you think is easier, planting a backdoor in F/OSS code that is open for the world to see, or hire an insider in a software company to do the same in a closed-source environment where everybody's scrambling to meet deadlines and quarterly targets?
As for being safe from NSA spies, I guess you can you can choose between:
using Linux which may have a hidden and yet-to-be-discovered backdoor, put there by some clever NSA/CIA agent masquerading as a F/OSS contributor, or
using Windows, which certainly contains hidden NSA backdoors, as we now know Microsoft shares zero-day vulnerabilities with government agencies prior to patching them
I imagine terrorists or any sort of radicals can hack a large number of Linux servers due to its prevalence, and the simple human factor: weak passwords/social engineering, improper patching, bad security practices, etc. Same things that can be done to Windows.
Every system is vulnerable. It's always a question of "how much".
The ADTI institute that provided that "study" is a paid Microsoft sock puppet. The amount of truth in that article is not very high.
Fact is that Microsoft reports security holes to the NSA before they even think about fixing them, so that it is less secure in that aspect. Reporting to the NSA makes only sense if they wait for the OK of the NSA to fix those security holes, if they would immediately deploy a fix over the Windows Update network the report to the NSA would be useless. That means that Microsoft intentionally does not fix security holes, which can also be used by criminal subjects (Americans use the word terrorist way to often).
As I recall Linux reports security vulnerabilities to various companies, and I assume the government, before the world. This makes sense, since those companies are more likely to be attacked, so giving them a days heads up typically won't give them enough time to create their own exploits, but will give them time to prepare for a patch.
In terms of which is "more secure" it *really* depends on your distribution and what you've installed.
Theoretically, anything can be infiltrated. Given the time, scope of knowledge, etc. I've learned over my course of time, security is 2 things: "inconvenient" and merely a deterrent. Security will forever remain a dynamic creature.
The facts are simple. The FOSS community as soon as they find anything like that they remove it from the code. Microsoft and other big business like RIM on the other hand, give the code and the backdoors directly to governments.
Any OS can be cracked
whether from the "people" factor using social endangering , the MOST BY FAR most effective way.
brute force through the OS
if the want is big enough , then the security walls WILL fall
What it comes down to is what YOU and what most "experts" think is most secure
basically an opinion
GNU dose offer the best choices
you "can" look to see if a back door IS included into the source code
It is a level of trust
Can you imagine the community BACKLASH if it was found out that
RedHat,Debian,Slackware all colluded to let whatever Government include backdoors and such.
heads WOULD role if that happened
MS & Apple granting them access for a very BIG payday -- no problem from the profit ONLY stand point
and the "sheeple" will forget about it by the time the next episode of ??? whatever "reality" show is on next