It is no longer a secret that there is a ‘rising tide of Linux malware‘ being developed daily by ‘Vandals, Swindlers, Blackmailers, and Cyber-criminals‘. Linux is a ‘Free and open-source‘ OS wid the term “open-source” being the key to understanding why Cyber-Criminals are now placing so much focus on attacking Linux. Open-source software is open to all, and Cyber-Criminals have been having easy access to attacking Linux for much longer than most Linux users realize.

5 Types of Cyber Criminals:

  • #1 The Social Engineer – Cyber criminals pretending to be someone else can trick unsuspecting employees to compromise data.
  • #2 The Spear Phisher – Social threats factored into just under one-third of confirmed data breaches, with phishing the tactic used in 92 percent of social-related attacks.
  • #3 The Hacker – Nearly two-thirds of confirmed data breaches involved leveraging weak, default or stolen passwords.
  • #4 The Rogue Employee – Disgruntled employees present an insider threat to data. Insider threats accounted for 15 percent of breaches across all patterns, and they can be especially challenging for companies because employees often have both access to data and knowledge of what is stored and where.
  • #5 The Ransom Artist – Bad actors have been modifying codes and implementing new ransom attack methods, sparking a rise in ransomware as the fifth most common form of malware, up from the 22nd most common in the 2014 Verizon Data Breach Incident Report.

Those Criminals mainly focus on Enterprise networks, since it is usually more profitable than Home networks, but the risks for normal Linux Home users & older Windows OS (e.g. 8, 7, Vista, etc.) users remain extremely high these days.

Old Computers

As mentioned in the Thinking about installing Linux on your Old Intel Computer? post, many people (including me) have had the false impression that it was a good idea to install Linux on old computers, but now there are other important factors to consider before using old hardware.

Your old computer is a security risk:

Obsolescence is a serious risk. Would you fly in an aircraft that was three years past its maintenance cycle? The same principle applies to computer hardware. Aging hardware and software not only puts a single system at risk, but could also put everyone else on your network at risk too.

The longer a piece of software or hardware has been available to the public, the longer digital criminals have had to find their weaknesses, and the less likely you’ll be able to protect yourself against their intrusions.

Most major software vendors publish their support life cycle and end-of-life policies, so customers are aware of the date at which the product will cease to receive periodic updates such as security patches, or support is gradually phased out.

Do you know the End of life (EOL) date for your motherboard, router, printer hub, printer, Bluetooth & Antennas, etc.? There was a reason that Microsoft required certain hardware for Windows 11, so ignore those whining idiots who complain about those requirements, if you value your computer’s security.

Just because it works, doesn’t mean it’s at its best. You may feel it’s hard to justify splashing out on new hardware, but older laptops and desktops don’t work with many new security updates, and don’t support measures such as comprehensive encryption or advanced authentication.

A common reason for resisting migration to the most recent and secure technology is, of course, cost. But failure to do so in an age of increasing digital information vulnerability is a false economy.

Policies protect you, and not only at your job. Do you have an old computer sitting on your desk at home? How confident are you that everything is secure on it? The same approach that IT departments have should be taken and applied at home when it comes to computer obsolescence. Yes, your children may use the computer only for gaming or word processing, but did you know that those games are still open to the world, and lurkers are plentiful, looking for potential vulnerabilities.

It is amazing, IMHO, that so much information on the dangers of using old computers ‘n old hardware is just now showing up, or at least it seems that way to me. I have old hardware (including computers) stored out in a shed, in case I decide to use any of it in the future, but it may be wiser to just throw it all away.

Hardware Lifecycle

Microsoft has been at the forefront, for decades, literally leading the World into an ever expanding ‘Age of Digital Information‘ & advancing Technological wonders. Most of the time much of that World was also just dragging their feet! This is why Windows OSes continue to dominate the Desktop/Laptop OS markets, and why OEMs feel safe in investing their money to build Windows computers & hardware for Windows & software for Windows. Microsoft Windows is a trusted product Worldwide…

Hardware Lifecycle: The Most Important Hardware Spec You May Be Ignoring

Have you forgotten the most important hardware spec? You’ve spent years conceptualizing and designing an innovative embedded project, device or system and are finally ready to start choosing the hardware that will power it. You start by creating a list of specifications and you are being diligent in ensuring that every component meets your requirements. Don’t forget the most important hardware spec! Hardware lifecycle may not have made your list, or maybe you don’t realize that it needs to be addressed. The scary part is, ignoring your systems hardware lifecycle can have lasting ramifications for the future of your project.

Conclusion

As mentioned in an earlier link – The same approach that IT departments have should be taken and applied at home when it comes to computer obsolescence – so don’t ignore the obvious warning by simply dismissing them because such info is about Enterprise or Commercial projects or Businesses.

Windows 10 users still have a little over three years left in the lifecycle (Oct 14, 2025), but those Windows users on 8.1 are facing an end of support on January 10, 2023. Older Windows OS (e.g. 8, 7, Vista, etc.) users are open targets for Cyber-Criminals looking for weaknesses in *BOTH* software & hardware.

Will add this post to the *Linux Security Issues* & Windows 11 pages.

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!