Jeff Jones posted a blog entry to celebrate Red Hat fixing their 1000th unique security vulnerability.  He also draws attention to a Red Hat post on their “Truth Happens” blog back in August, which itself quotes a post on

Jeff posts quarterly statistics on his blog that show how many vulnerabilities have been patched for various operating systems.  The post takes one of his reports and uses it to demonstrate that Linux is more secure than Windows because Linux vendors fix more security vulnerabilities.

A Microsoft vulnerability report suggests that Microsoft wasn’t able to fix more Windows flaws than the number of open software flaws fixed by the major open source companies . Red Hat, having forty times less employees than Microsoft, did the best job, by fixing and closing the most security bugs, also closing even minor bugs – where Microsoft didn’t even fix one minor bug in the same period. Even Apple did a better job than Microsoft by fixing lots of flaws in Mac OS X.

Jeff found this to be a little amusing.

Seriously, I loved this post, it made me laugh out loud!  Fixing more security vulnerabilities is apparently a good thing in the world of Red Hat Truth.

Well, for those who actively support that theory, I have some fantastic news for them!  According to my calculations, in July 2007, the Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 team fixed their 1000th unique security vulnerability.  Now, 164 of these were Low severity and 479 were Medium severity, but still, that is a ton of work accomplished by that team, especially given that the product only shipped in February of 2005.

To put that in context, (again by my calculations) Microsoft has fixed only 649 security vulnerabilities for all supported products across the company since the year 2000.

I’m not sure what to think.  Jeff is quite clear on how his reports are generated.  Linux supporters used to tell me that fewer vulnerabilities meant a product was more secure.  Now Linux supporters want to say that more vulnerabilities means the product is more secure, or as one comment on puts it:

You spin the data by saying “we fixed the most bugs, leaving the fewest bugs in the new code, therefore we are the best.”

Round and round we go.

About the Author

Paul Cunningham

Paul is a former Microsoft MVP for Office Apps and Services. He works as a consultant, writer, and trainer specializing in Office 365 and Exchange Server. Paul no longer writes for

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