Over the years, we've reported on a multitude of Windows vulnerabilities… too many to remember. The ubiquity of Microsoft's platform suggests it would be the most vulnerable operating system. However, the is not the case. In fact, a report points to the open source Linux as the most vulnerable OS.
Specifically, a report by the National Institute of Standards and Technology's National Vulnerability Database points to Linux being the most vulnerable platform since the year 2000. The institute used data compiled by Thebestvpn.com, which tracked ‘technical vulnerabilities' across popular software between 1999 and 2019.
Judging the most vulnerable platforms and services, the report points to Debian as the most vulnerable. The Linux fork had 3,067 vulnerabilities over the 20-year reporting period. Next up is a platform that few would be surprised by, which is Android. Google's mobile OS suffered 2.563 vulnerabilities.
Focusing on Android, the platform would probably have been the most vulnerable of the last two decades except for one fact; Android did not launch until 2007.
Linux was third with 2,357 vulnerabilities and Apple's macOS was fourth with 2,212. Mac's inclusion may surprise many as people think the closed nature of Apple's software makes it inherently secure. It seems not.
Next on the list and rounding out the top five was Ubuntu with 2,007 vulnerabilities. If we look at all Linux variants in the top five, there were over 7,000 vulnerabilities across Linux distributions.
The top five is also notable for including all operating systems. However, number six and number seven on the list were taken by browsers, with Firefox and Chrome having 1,873 and 1,858 vulnerabilities respectively.
Amazingly, Windows has much fewer vulnerabilities than its rivals. Windows 7 had 1,238 vulnerabilities, following by 1,111 for Windows 10. Those have been the two prominent Windows platforms for the last decade and combined they had 2,394 vulnerabilities.
Of course, the report details vulnerabilities over a two-decade period. How does Windows 10 stack up in modern reporting? Well, for 2019, Android was the most vulnerable software with 414 vulnerabilities, followed by Debian with 360, and then Windows 10 in third with 357.