Virus Issue 2

Matthew S-H mathbymath at
Fri Mar 25 21:40:37 UTC 2005

On Mar 24, 2005, at 6:49 PM, Andre Truter wrote:

> On Thu, 24 Mar 2005 16:50:53 +0100, René L. Reingard
> <reingard at> wrote:
> Also, more sensitive data are stored on UNIX and Linux servers around
> the world.  Would that not be better targets than the average PC at
> home?
[ snip]
I would think that what you said would hold true for hackers, but not 
for viruses.  Hackers would be interested in the wealth of information, 
whereas viruses would be interested in extremely vulnerable systems to 
spread their mayhem.  Those systems with sensitive data also usually 
have increased protection, and thus would be harder targets to hit.

>> questions:
>> c.) could it not be true, that much more powerful attacks are 
>> possible,
>> unknown to our limited thinking?
> Yes, I am sure it is possible, but again, the good design of
> UNIX/Linux/BSD makes it just so much more difficult.  Also the fact
> that Linux is OperSource means that such attacks can be prevented,
> because there are so many people looking at the code. Chances are that
> by the time one cracker/virus writer has picked up on a flaw, 20
> OpenSource developers has also discovered the same flaw and by the
> time the virus/attack is released, the patch is already out.
> Generally OpenSource projects have a very fast response time to
> vulnerabilities, sometimes 24 hours. Look at Mozilla and Apache for
> example.
> So, virus writers does not have a lot of time to write a virus.
> Chances are that by the time a virus is written, the patches are out
> already.
>> d.) what about a virus, trojan or whatever, allready on your machine,
>> hidden and unknown to you, which has the power to take over control of
>> your system, when he likes?
> This possible, but normally someone needs to break into your machine
> and install it.  So it takes a positive affort from a cracker to sit
> and attack your machine and try out all kinds of vulnerabilities just
> to get in and install a backdoor.  On Linux these things normally are
> not installed via mail or through an open port, like on Windows. You
> can maybe download a supect package that contain a trojan, but you
> need to make sure that you only install stuff from valid sources.
>> interested to think more on that.
> My opinion is that you are much more likely to be atacked by a cracker
> or script-kiddie than getting a virus on Linux.
> Here are some interesting links:
> -- 
> Andre Truter | Software Engineer | Registered Linux user #185282
> ICQ #40935899 | AIM: trusoftzaf |
> ~ A dinosaur is a salamander designed to Mil Spec ~
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