Cross-platform virus?

Daniel Carrera daniel.carrera at
Wed Apr 19 13:49:05 UTC 2006

Eric Dunbar wrote:
> It's not a virus

That's besides the point. The question is: is this an executable that 
can run on both Windows and Linux? (as opposed to using WINE or having 
different versions).

> it does run natively under both Windows and GNU/Linux and is able to
> modify an executable from the one OS that'll run under the other...

So, the exact same binary runs on both Windows and Linux?

> ... it can only modify existing executables if the host user has
> permission to write to the target executables.

Completely irrelevant, completely besides the point. I'm asking about 
whether the binary can run on both Windows and Linux, not about whether 
I should buy an antivirus tomorrow.

> It's basically an old piece of code that is capable of running under
> two OSes (that's the cool part) 

Whether it's old or new is completely irrelevant.

There is no need for a knee-jerk reaction trying to convince me that 
Linux is secure. I just want to know if this is an executable that will 
run on both. Now, you said that it will, but how is that possible if PE 
and ELF files have different magic numbers? I don't understand that. The 
magic number alone should make the program not run on both systems.

> One link recently posted here points to a bug-fix provided by Linus
> which updated the Linux kernel to allow the code to run. Because it's
> so old it relies on some 'register' behaviours that -- although not
> formally supported -- were broken in newer kernels. It only actually
> ran on old kernels (until this update -- isn't it nice that Linus is
> providing bug fixes for virus writers :-).

That link was posted by me 2 posts ago, I am the OP. I posted asking how 
the binary could run on both systems if PE and ELF have different magic 

    /\/_/   A life? Sounds great!
    \/_/    Do you know where I could download one?

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