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Are there security benefits running Linux Distro base on an older version of Linux kernel?

Security benefits = fewer vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

Linux Distro base on older version = RHEL-CENTOS that is running on kernel 3.10. Compare to Ubuntu 18.04 LTS kernel version 4.15.

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  • duplicate? security.stackexchange.com/questions/189509/…
    – schroeder
    Aug 11, 2018 at 22:27
  • Did you mean to say that older kernels have fewer vulnerabilities?
    – schroeder
    Aug 11, 2018 at 22:31
  • @schroeder yes.
    – justlinx69
    Aug 11, 2018 at 23:16
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    @justlinx69 Can you explain that further ... because it completely goes against common wisdom to always apply security patches immediately. Aug 11, 2018 at 23:18
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    Make Privilege Escalation Great Again. Use old kernel version, make bad boy's life easier
    – Osakr
    Aug 14, 2018 at 9:04

1 Answer 1

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Two major factors in the likelihood of open vulnerabilities are the frequency of changes, and time to discover vulnerabilities (and develop them into exploits).

While a version under active development is more likely to introduce a new vulnerability... and old version has had more time for attackers to analyze the source and create new exploits. It’s a bit of a balancing act.

Also consider that newer versions may have introduced stronger security barriers that are not present in older versions at all.

And when an vulnerability is found, it’s usually patched first in the latest version and then back-ported to the older versions. So time to fix is usually a bit faster on the new versions (we definitely saw this with Meltdown in Debian, where Debian 9 got a patch almost immediately, and it was weeks before it was back-ported to Debian 8).

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