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Hidden Linux kernel security fixes spotted before release – by using developer chatter as a side channel

Lorribot Silver badge

Linux is often touted as the most secure general OS, speed that fixes and patches are develope by unpaid developers doing it ffor the love, with public reviews of said code so anyone can pick holes. Implied is that all Linux distros are treated teh same

The reality is somewhat different, there is a backdoor for unreviewed code from a small number of developers, Patches are not always speedily developed and those that could be interested (nation state or larger criminal gangs) can ascertain details of known vulnerbilites due to the open source nature of teh patching process.

Also not all distributions are equal when it comes to patching, like mobile phone you may be at the mercy of the distro maintainer and the 3rd party that used that distro in their appliance to provide eth security fixes.

Its a wake up call that Linux is not just one thing, it is not secure, and it isa vastly more complicated thing to manage than many would lead you to believe. The days of Linux being and install and forget OS are long gone, its not up there with monthly patching but it presents a more complex problem for those sys admins that live on the front line and have to deal with reality of vast ranges of devices and OSes not just that one.

At work we have around 70 odd Linux servers and appliances running around 15 different flavours of Linux and no managemet tools to maintain them, these are all key things like security boxes, loadbalancers, network management etc. We have 700 windows boxes and one tool that manages the 3 flavours of OS beings used.

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