Four Linux distributors, Mandrake, Debian, Red Hat, and SuSE, have released a joint statement objecting to the conclusions of a Forrester study that found Windows comparable to Linux in security. The Forrester study, entitled "Is Linux More Secure than Windows?" examined the number and severity of vulnerabilities as well as vendors' responsiveness to fixing them. The four distributors argue that the report treats all vulnerabilities as equal, regardless of the risk to users, making the study an impractical guide for real-world decisions. The report aligns with the conclusions of such academicians as Ross Anderson that open and closed source are roughly equivalent in terms of security. Most Windows viruses depend on user activation rather than exploit a vulnerability. Risk and exposure may be better metrics for security, but are harder to measure.
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