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Windows not fit for online banking, says Washington Post blog

Security FixIt would be easy for Linux and Mac users to point to this blog post by Brian Krebs at the Washington Post's Security Fix and feel smug. The post flat out states that the simplest, most cost-effective way to avoid online fraud is: "Don't use Microsoft Windows when accessing your bank account online."

If you're a Windows user, ouch.

But hold on a second. The thing is, Krebs isn't endorsing the Mac or Linux platform in his condemnation of Windows. Rather, he's pointing out that Windows is the most-targeted platform, but that certainly doesn't mean that Macs or Linux machines are invulnerable.

Krebs points out that the safest way to avoid malware and make sure your banking session is secure is to boot your machine from a Live CD that is a pristine, uninfected environment. Live CDs are typically Linux variants, but the OS doesn't really matter -- what matters here is that you are booting an operating system that malware can't infect because its state is not persistent.

This is solid advice, and it leads me to wonder how long it will be before the major OS makers offer a locked-down virtual machine, or better yet a locked-down banking partition that is a fast booting light OS containing only a secure browser with which to do your most sensitive online tasks.

Kind of sounds like a job for Chrome OS, doesn't it?


Tags: brian krebs, brian-krebs, BrianKrebs, condemnation, fraud, linux, linux-variants, news

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