LinuxQuestions.org
Support LQ: Use code LQ3 and save $3 on Domain Registration
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Non-*NIX Forums > General
User Name
Password
General This forum is for non-technical general discussion which can include both Linux and non-Linux topics. Have fun!

Notices



Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 09-22-2005, 11:05 AM   #1
CPUFreak91
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Mars
Distribution: Gentoo Linux
Posts: 100

Rep: Reputation: 15
The future of Linux viruses


+--------------------------------------------------------------------+
| Korean Mozilla Binaries Infected |
| from the caught-with-their-pants-down dept. |
| posted by CmdrTaco on Wednesday September 21, @09:40 (Mozilla) |
| http://linux.slashdot.org/article.pl.../09/21/1252213 |
+--------------------------------------------------------------------+

[0]Magnus writes "Korean distributions of Mozilla and Thunderbird for
Linux [1]were infected with Virus.Linux.RST.b. This virus searches for
executable ELF files in the current and /bin directories and infects
them. It also contains a backdoor, which downloads scripts from another
site, and executes them, using a standard shell."

Discuss this story at:
http://linux.slashdot.org/comments.p.../09/21/1252213

Links:
0. http://www.trojanhunter.com/
1. http://www.viruslist.com/en/weblog?calendar=2005-09

(Slashdot)


Linux can be infected with a virus... could this mean that Linux may be as bad

as windows?

EDIT> Well not actually no, I found out that it's been running wild since 2002.
But still, If linux became popular, would be sse more viruses?

Last edited by CPUFreak91; 09-22-2005 at 11:26 AM.
 
Old 09-22-2005, 12:45 PM   #2
Mega Man X
Guru
 
Registered: Apr 2003
Location: ~
Distribution: Ubuntu, FreeBSD, Solaris, DSL
Posts: 5,339

Rep: Reputation: 63
Seriously, I doubt it. Linux has such a consistent file structure and a very well thought permission system locking users to their home that without root access, not much can be done. Also, Linux is not as integrated as Windows. Get a virus using Internet Explorer as a normal user in Windows and your system is compromised... you can't "remove" IE, so it's natural that peoples will try to find exploits on it (which is not that difficult to do, since MS security is a joke).

Also, Linux is a community driven-based Operating System. It means that most of it's community works together to improve the system, not to ruin it. I doubt you would spit on the same plate you eat...

On the top of it, its open-source philosophy let everybody to look at the code and search for malware. As long as you download your programs from trusted sources (say, grab Mozilla from mozilla.org, not from some underground crap) you should be fine.

Virus in Linux might increase if Linux gets more market share. Still, I would believe that Linux robust design for the file structure, permission settings and open-source will make it very difficult to fat kids who never get laid to create viruses for it... (because for me, virus creators are just that... virgin 35+ yo guys using a cracked compiler who never kissed a girl before...)

That's how I see the whole picture

Last edited by Mega Man X; 09-22-2005 at 12:47 PM.
 
Old 09-22-2005, 12:57 PM   #3
rshaw
Senior Member
 
Registered: Apr 2001
Location: Perry, Iowa
Distribution: Mepis , Debian
Posts: 2,692

Rep: Reputation: 45
if market share had anything to do with it, it would already be happening. a larger percentage of web servers run on a combination of apache + linux/bsd/*nix than windows.

and i doubt it's for lack of effort. there has got to be some black hats trying to increase their street cred by infecting linux.
 
Old 09-22-2005, 01:05 PM   #4
AlexV
Member
 
Registered: May 2004
Location: New Lenox, IL
Distribution: Fedora Core 4; Ubuntu 5.10 (Breezy Preview); CentOS 4
Posts: 81

Rep: Reputation: 15
Realistically, any OS can be infected by a virus. Some just make it easier than others. One of the major problems with Windows is that users are expected to run as Administrator by default. In fact, I've come across desktop software that really shouldn't need Admin rights, but demands them in order to run. So, effectively, any virus that a user runs on Windows can overrun the system unchallenged.

In Linux, on the other hand, it is very uncommon for a person to log in as Root for everyday use. Therefore, a virus would be much more limited as to what it may infect. Unfortunately, some distros, such as Linspire, are starting to move away from this practice. If Linux vendors insist on repeating Microsoft's mistakes then, yes, I think Linux viruses could become a problem.
 
Old 09-22-2005, 01:42 PM   #5
xpression
Member
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Distribution: Mandrake 10.2
Posts: 58

Rep: Reputation: 15
it seems to be a common belief that the reason linux doest have viruses is because its not in the mainstream like windows,
i dont belive this is true, the fact is linux is not like windows and is much more secure and harder to write viruses then it is for windows!!!

does it boil down to the filesystem, more than likely.
 
Old 09-22-2005, 01:46 PM   #6
XavierP
Moderator
 
Registered: Nov 2002
Location: Kent, England
Distribution: Lubuntu
Posts: 19,176
Blog Entries: 4

Rep: Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430Reputation: 430
There are something like 11 viruses for Linux and they are all proff of concept and none are particularly new. As long as you don't run regularly as root, you are pretty safe.

That's not to say that there will never be a virus, but regular peer review and lots of communication on this mean that we are likely to see fixes for viruses for Linux coming out in days if not hours rather than weeks, months, years for Microsoft products.
 
Old 09-22-2005, 02:12 PM   #7
CPUFreak91
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: Mars
Distribution: Gentoo Linux
Posts: 100

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 15
Iread the if you read the signing of whatever you're downloading you should be safe. How do I do that? Is it PGP signing or fsum (is that right?) signing.
 
Old 09-22-2005, 11:02 PM   #8
JohnTzu
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2005
Distribution: Mepis
Posts: 10

Rep: Reputation: 0
Quote:
Originally posted by XavierP
There are something like 11 viruses for Linux and they are all proff of concept and none are particularly new. As long as you don't run regularly as root, you are pretty safe.

That's not to say that there will never be a virus, but regular peer review and lots of communication on this mean that we are likely to see fixes for viruses for Linux coming out in days if not hours rather than weeks, months, years for Microsoft products.

Actually, I read an article on the subject that said there are a little over 100 known Linux viruses, as opposed to the tens of thousands of known viruses for Windows.
I can't seem to find the link now, but If I come across it again, I'll post it.

JohnTzu
 
Old 09-23-2005, 01:29 AM   #9
primo
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2005
Posts: 542

Rep: Reputation: 34
These days we're seeing worms being called as viruses. The proofs of concept Linux's viruses (ie, Silvio Cesare's) are real viruses conceptually

The undeniable fact is that Unix / Linux isn't the most proper ground for their breeding. You must reach root (or exploit permissions), and any use of root privileges just to infect executables is a waste. We shouldn't care for future virus writers targeting Unix/Linux's aura in case it gets "popular". We don't need antivirus software. We have tripwire, aide, samhain, etc. and they're better

Last edited by primo; 09-23-2005 at 01:34 AM.
 
Old 09-23-2005, 02:56 AM   #10
danimalz
Member
 
Registered: Jul 2005
Location: West Coast South, USA
Distribution: debian 3.1
Posts: 257

Rep: Reputation: 36
Another (maybe the best) reason why viruses are so prevalent in windows but not in linux is that
there is a huge difference betw. the computer savvy and awareness of the avg. linux user and that of windows.
 
Old 09-23-2005, 04:25 AM   #11
alred
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: singapore
Distribution: puppy and Ubuntu and ... erh ... redhat(sort of) :( ... + the venerable bsd and solaris ^_^
Posts: 658
Blog Entries: 8

Rep: Reputation: 31
virus writing and virus hunting/prophecies sometimes could be big buisness and big cash for some , encourage as many computer users to to switch to linux as you can ...

Last edited by alred; 09-23-2005 at 04:28 AM.
 
Old 09-23-2005, 11:05 AM   #12
enine
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 819
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 91
Something to think about is no OS is perfect, no OS is 100% secure and no OS is completely virus immune.
However the number of viruses for a given OS is dependant on more factors that just its populatiry or number of users or mainstreamness.
The default security and amount an OS can be secured will play a factor. Linux is more secure out of the box and can be made more secure than windows.
OS design plays another part, how integrated are the apps that are open to the outside, for example since Internet explorer is so integrated with the Windows OS, exploits for IE tend to be expooits for the OS.
The ability of the user is another. The typical windows user who bought their fist PC at walmart and signs up for AOL so they don't have to learn how to setup and internet connection are the ones that don't want to be educated about the dangers of opening unknown attachments, not going to websites such as yahoo games, etc.
My MIL is a god example, she keeps getting crap on her pc and its from the places she surfs to. She has the attitude of "Oh well" when we tell her to stay away from AOL/AIM and Yahoo and other places the uneducated hang out but she keeps going back because she knows that I will fix it for her. So my fixes are becoming more of reformat and be done with it rather than wasting my time trying to figure out what its been infected with or saving her data.
 
Old 09-23-2005, 11:46 AM   #13
alred
Member
 
Registered: Mar 2005
Location: singapore
Distribution: puppy and Ubuntu and ... erh ... redhat(sort of) :( ... + the venerable bsd and solaris ^_^
Posts: 658
Blog Entries: 8

Rep: Reputation: 31
not to say which os is more secure or better , but i'm curious about one thing , are there any linux users surfing sites like yahoo and it similar or are there any linux users receiving emails with attachments ??
 
Old 09-23-2005, 12:09 PM   #14
enine
Member
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Distribution: Slackware 14.1
Posts: 819
Blog Entries: 3

Rep: Reputation: 91
A lot of those crappy sites like yahoo games their crapware will only work in IE. Also most linux users are already running popup stoppers and know not to install some antispyware program from a popup window. Also most linux users know to not open attachments from paypal saying here is your password and such.
 
Old 09-23-2005, 12:16 PM   #15
aysiu
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2005
Distribution: Ubuntu with IceWM
Posts: 1,776

Rep: Reputation: 66
The user being dumb or smart contributes to about 90% of the security of the OS. I refer you to this part of the Seinfeld episode "The Robbery":
Code:
ELAINE: [Kramer enters the apartment] Someone left the door
open. [it's clear that she means Kramer; she walks to the
bathroom]

JERRY: [to Kramer] You left the door open?!

KRAMER: Uh, Jer, well ya know, I was cookin' and I, I uh, I
came in to get this spatula...and I left the door open, 'cause
I was gonna bring the spatula right back!

JERRY: Wait, you left the lock open or the door open?

KRAMER: [bobs his head guiltily] The door.

JERRY: The door? You left the door open?

KRAMER: Yeah, well, I was gonna bring the spatula right back.

JERRY: Yeah, and?

KRAMER: Well, I got caught up... watching a soap opera...[with
a broken voice] The Bold and the Beautiful

JERRY: So the door was wide open?

KRAMER: Wide open!

JERRY: [Elaine enters the living-room] And where were you?

ELAINE: I was at Bloomingdale's...waiting for the shower to
heat up.

KRAMER: Look, Jerry, I'm sorry, I'm uh, you have insurance,
right buddy?

JERRY: No.

KRAMER: [looks shocked] How can you not have insurance?

JERRY: Because...I spent my money on the Clapgo D. 29, it's
the most impenetrable lock on the market today...it has only
one design flaw: the door...[shuts the door] must be CLOSED.
No matter how secure you make Linux, Windows, or whatever, if the user is dumb, malware will proliferate.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Future of Linux, Future of BSD ? tarballed Linux - General 28 01-01-2012 05:04 PM
In the future, will linux be as prone to viruses and spyware as windows? r3dhatter General 59 02-14-2006 06:39 PM
viruses in linux? chemdawg Linux - Newbie 7 01-28-2005 02:31 AM
linux and viruses im_ka Fedora 2 02-13-2004 07:12 PM
Linux Viruses? isolationist Linux - Security 14 03-05-2003 01:59 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:14 PM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration