Kristian Rink kristian at
Thu Sep 20 20:09:18 UTC 2007

Markus Schönhaber schrieb:

> I haven't yet come into contact with Linux-targeted malware and I don't
> think there's much of it (if any) out there.

Yes. Some things to take into consideration, though:

- Linux is far less widespread than Windows. What's the point in writing
malware for an operating still mainly used by tech-savy users anyhow?

- Differences are rather big. Different distributions, different
software packages installed, different desktop environments, different
MUAs, ... . On Windows, targeting at "mainstream" Windows+Outlook
Express+Internet Explorer + Microsoft Messenger takes you quite far. On
Linux, targeting at GNOME+Firefox+Evolution just means aiming at a
fraction of a still quite small user base (see above). I wouldn't bother
doing so.

- Mainly working using a non-root account is outstandingly helpful. On
Windows, you can't get very far not being "administrator";
unfortunately, this way also a "malware" infestation is likely to trash
all your system. On Linux, not being root, the worst thing to happen is
your $HOME being compromised...

- Most of the software used by a common Linux user is either installed
from a package repository or built from source using configure and
friends. Linux users hardly tend to download strange binary installers
from strange, banner-laden web sites...

Some of these things are considered "difficult" by some, talking about
the "general" adoption and acceptance of GNU/Linux as a desktop OS. As
soon as some of them are drastically about to change however, I guess
seeing some more dangerous malware targeting at GNU/Linux is just a
matter of time...

Just my €0.02, though. :)

Kristian Rink * *
jab: kawazu at * icq: 48874445 * fon: ++49 176 2447 2771
"we command the system... calling all recievers... we are noisy
people... for a better living..." (covenant.monochrome)

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