Tony Arnold tony.arnold at
Fri Sep 21 07:06:05 UTC 2007

On Fri, 2007-09-21 at 02:05 +0200, Markus Schönhaber wrote:
> Tony Arnold schrieb:
> > None of what I describe above could be called a virus, but viruses are
> > not the only threat here!
> Of course not, you're right.
> But since the OP asked only about the need of antivirus software, I
> restricted my self to tat point. In fact, I would have restricted myself
> even more (i. e. not posted at all) if I hadn't read things I consider
> to be nonsense and didn't want to let go uncommented.

That's fair enough. Similarly, I didn't want the OP or anyone else on
the list to think that Linux was safe just because the virus threat is

> While the OP seemed to be interested in the desktop user's view, dangers
> coming from services offered to an untrusted network IMO are a different
> matter. People offering network services, in my experience, fall in two
> categories:
> 1. Those who want (or must) offer them. Them, I'd call sysadmins and
> expect them to know what they do and how to cope with the danger (which
> first of all means: knowing that offering a network-accessible service
> *is* dangerous).
> 2. Those who don't want to offer them but nevertheless do. Those are
> either Windows users or plain dumb.

I agree with all of the above! There is a strong temptation for desktop
Linux users to offer ssh services because they want remote access to
their system and that's when the threats I talked about become very

> P.S: OK, granted, in real life, there are those who *think* they are
> sysadmins too.

Ah! They are the most dangerous! Our place, a university, is full of

Tony Arnold, IT Security Coordinator, University of Manchester,
IT Services Division, Kilburn Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL.
T: +44 (0)161 275 6093, F: +44 (0)870 136 1004, M: +44 (0)773 330 0039
E: tony.arnold at, H:

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