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Linux security

I was having a discussion with my ISP about Linux.  He said he uses Windows NT because it is much more secure than Linux.  He stated that since the source code was available that it was very unsecure.  He mentioned something about attaining root access by downloading /etc/passwd and de-crypting the passwords.  He bases this on a source called cicia.org.  He said it reflected several cases of insecurity regarding Linux.  I would like to know from a more qualified source as to how to respond to this.  I have been using Debian for a few months now and thoroughly enjoy it.  Not only as an operating system, but for the documentation and the learning experience.  Thank you for your time and attention.

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