Comment of the Day - October 12, 2005 Linux Viruses Exist

Posted by tadelste on Oct 12, 2005 9:49 AM
Lxer - Article; By phsolide

This comment refers to the article "Grisoft predicts Linux virus plague"

Suspecting anti-virus vendors of fostering the plague is nothing new: that's gone on almost from the time of the Michelangelo virus panic, that got McAfee into the big time. The AV people get so defensive about these accusations so consistenly, you really have to wonder.

The first virus, chronologically, may have been Elk Cloner [HYPERLINK@www.skrenta.com] although Fred Cohen's work ( [HYPERLINK@all.net] ) appears totally independent of it, and the first widespread Pee Cee virus, "Brain" seems independent, too.

Linux viruses do exist:

[HYPERLINK@virus.enemy.org]


[HYPERLINK@www.f-secure.com]
[HYPERLINK@math-www.uni-paderborn.de]

Heck, even shell script viruses exist:
[HYPERLINK@cm.bell-labs.com]

I agree that Windows design and complexity has more than a little to do with its plague of viruses. I'm reading Peter Szor's book "The Art of Computer Virus Research and Defense", and I'm continuously amazed at the ultra-byzantine nature of Windows programming. Chapter 12, "Memory Scanning and Disinfection" illustrates the baroque Windows architecture. The book constantly reminds me that every bizarre hack and sloppy trick in existance, from self-modifying code to allocating from a specific end of the head has been made into an institution, enshrined in a particular Win32 function.



There's also an enormous (for computer stuff, anyway) history of predicting that viruses will show up Real Soon Now for Linux, or Unix, or ______ (fill in the blank). Strangely, the threat never materializes, and the AV people who got the PR Hit never acknowledge the failure of the predictions.







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MESMERIC added this in the comment below. Provides another link worth noting.



Linux viruses/worms always existed nothing new.

HYPERLINK@news.bbc.co.uk]



But only Red Hat 6 & 7 saw the last outbreaks. And we never witnessed anything similar after that.

What may happen in future though are poli-platform viruses exploiting multi-OS plugins such as JVM or Flash.

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Subject Topic Starter Replies Views Last Post
Fascinating - information Linux users should know. tadelste 5 1,235 Oct 13, 2005 9:07 AM
I thought the "byzantine"/"baroque" comment was significant AnonymousCoward 0 1,008 Oct 12, 2005 4:16 PM
Comments can be magic tadelste 0 856 Oct 12, 2005 11:30 AM

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