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Old 03-30-2009, 04:31 PM   #16
cavaliersunbird
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Chances of a linux user getting a virus over a life time is somewhere around less the %2, (now thats according to my teacher Over @ Geeks to Go) Purely Because you would need to give it permission (sudo within Root?) to run.
 
Old 03-30-2009, 06:10 PM   #17
sundialsvcs
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First of all, let's all stop using biological terms, like "virus" and particularly, "infect."

Computers are electronic machines, nothing more or less. They do not "get sick." Nothing "happens to them."

Millions of Microsoft Windows machines suffer regular failures simply because the security on those systems has been deliberately turned off. They are running as all-powerful "Administrator" users, with no passwords anywhere. Since any program run by a user runs with that user's privileges, and since Administrators are all-powerful, rogue programs have a field day.

Both Linux and Macintosh (OS/X) systems therefore "fare much better," even to the point of being seen as "virus-proof," simply because their security model is turned on, as of course it should be.

The owner or administrator of any system still has the obligation to be cautious, and to be informed. Linux, like all systems, has plenty of potential vulnerabilities, and the most significant of these is always located "between two human ears."
 
Old 03-30-2009, 07:14 PM   #18
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
First of all, let's all stop using biological terms, like "virus" and particularly, "infect."
Well, language evolves. There weren't computer programs when the first meaning for "virus" was created. You can pick any random dictionary today, and you will see that the term virus has many meanings, and all of them are equally correct, like it or not. New meanings are created everyday for one or another word.

Even more, it can be extended to the moral sense, so you can use the word "virus" generically to imply a corrupting nature of any kind, when talking of any subject, and it would still be correct, hence we could say that <whatever you prefer> is a virus for our society. And that meaning would still be correct.

http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/virus

Code:
1. 	an ultramicroscopic (20 to 300 nm in diameter), metabolically inert, infectious agent that replicates only within the cells of living hosts, mainly bacteria, plants, and animals: composed of an RNA or DNA core, a protein coat, and, in more complex types, a surrounding envelope.
2. 	Informal. a viral disease.
3. 	a corrupting influence on morals or the intellect; poison.
4. 	a segment of self-replicating code planted illegally in a computer program, often to damage or shut down a system or network.
Words were created by people who speak, even the most moronic being over the surface of the Earth, and not only by Shakespeares, thanks dog (I wouldn't like to speak like that with my friends ).

Last edited by i92guboj; 03-30-2009 at 07:27 PM.
 
Old 03-31-2009, 02:18 PM   #19
H_TeXMeX_H
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A computer virus is not at all unlike a biological one. In fact, a program can be considered to be alive if designed properly.
 
Old 03-31-2009, 03:05 PM   #20
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H_TeXMeX_H View Post
A computer virus is not at all unlike a biological one. In fact, a program can be considered to be alive if designed properly.
Well, to start with, some biologists and scientists don't even agree that biological viruses are alive at all, so the discussion could go both ways A pointless discussion I might add, at least until someone manages to explain what exactly "life" is, without having to resort to some metaphysical background, that is. And in my humble opinion, that hasn't happened yet.

A biological virus is nothing more than a DNA sequence wrapped into some proteins (RNA in the case of a retrovirus). We could consider DNA like programs which are formed by numbers written in base of 4, instead of 2 like most computers do: C, A, G, T (C, A, G, U in the case of RNA) instead of 0 and 1. The only difference is that, bugs aside, the instruction set for the x86 is well known, while the instruction set for Life (tm) is, for the most part, a mystery.

A biological virus can't do anything by itself, just like a computer one it only holds a code segment with the instructions to do whatever, and he needs a host where to put that instructions, so the host does all the work instead.

PS. My whole point in case it's not clear is that I agree with you in the sense that there's little difference for me between a DNA sequence and a computer program. Being the only difference that a computer program is created using maths and logic at the very core, while for me (not so for creationists) DNA evolves in a completely random and casual manner, affected by the environment and attending only to the laws of biochemistry, which at the very core are just physics, the same laws that govern an electronic device (and by the way, molecules are just that, hi-tech electronic devices ).

Last edited by i92guboj; 03-31-2009 at 03:30 PM. Reason: ps and a couple of typos
 
Old 04-01-2009, 07:47 PM   #21
jschiwal
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In the latest Futures in Biotech podcast, two virologists were guests. They disagreed over whether a virus was alive. In my very humble opinion, a virus is only alive after it infects a cell. And then it is the cell that is alive, not what was the virus.
 
Old 04-02-2009, 05:32 AM   #22
jiikka
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Question ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

ELLO FOLKS ,

Nice topic, got a lot of information from this.

N people as its open source, if someone inserts a part of a code into a software or a small tool which does activity which is not supposed to be done(no need to get root privelage even a normal basic file deletion or anything) and puts the modified software in ftp or other sites for people to download and use ,, wat will happen ?

Is it that as its open source, software and operating system are available for free in the websites of the organizations which developed them only and we have to be careful enough to download from them only or is the above thing cant be done in open source. ?


Thank you folks ..
 
Old 04-02-2009, 05:41 AM   #23
linuxlover.chaitanya
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I do not understand what do you mean by that. Do you want to say that because the software is open source and the source code is available, someone can modify the code and put some malicious code in it and share the code? That is possible but then code is available to everyone and anyone can check for the code for malformations and correct it.
The advantage here is that if a closed source software is malformed at the source then you do not have the source and there is no way anyone else can change the code other than the original writer.
 
Old 04-02-2009, 06:28 AM   #24
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In theory someone could come up with a program which includes a malware payload. He could advertise it as open source and offer the source code, excluding the malware parts. He can also offer the binary versions which do include the malware payload. It's not inconceivable. But in order for you as an end user to learn that this software even exists, it must be advertised somewhat. That means many people will probably look at it before you do, and some of them will be paranoid about this. They might compile the source and find out it is different from the binary version. They might run the binary version in a secure environment to see what it does. Whatever they do, someone will sooner or later find out that the program contains a malware payload.

So what you should do, if you want to use software you have not installed from the repositories of your distribution, is find out whether the software in question is known to cause problems. If it has been around for a while and people aren't complaining, then it is probably safe to use. If it's completely new and you have reason to mistrust it, don't use it.

Robin
 
Old 04-02-2009, 11:23 AM   #25
H_TeXMeX_H
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That's not the way to think about it. Sure someone could do that, but with all the devs looking at the code it would never pass. In fact, the opposite is true, it's far less likely (if not almost impossible) for FLOSS to be infected with malware.
 
Old 04-02-2009, 11:55 AM   #26
i92guboj
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jiikka View Post
ELLO FOLKS ,

Nice topic, got a lot of information from this.

N people as its open source, if someone inserts a part of a code into a software or a small tool which does activity which is not supposed to be done(no need to get root privelage even a normal basic file deletion or anything) and puts the modified software in ftp or other sites for people to download and use ,, wat will happen ?

Is it that as its open source, software and operating system are available for free in the websites of the organizations which developed them only and we have to be careful enough to download from them only or is the above thing cant be done in open source. ?


Thank you folks ..
That can be done in closed source as well. You don't need to source to infect a program with malware, 99.9% of the windows viruses do not need to see the source for anything.

So, as someone said, the OSS is at advantage here, because everyone can see all the code, and any suspicious code is rapidly audited for vulnerabilities of any kind. Note also that in linux there's really no point in downloading sofware from elsewhere but the home page of a project or your distro's repositories. Here we don't need to go fishing on warez sites, so why would I google for something instead of going to the home site?
 
Old 04-03-2009, 12:55 AM   #27
linuxlover.chaitanya
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Quote:
Originally Posted by i92guboj View Post
Here we don't need to go fishing on warez sites, so why would I google for something instead of going to the home site?
Exactly, there is really no need to go download the software other than the home site or the sourceforge. I also tend to surf freashmeat sometimes. But with Ubuntu, I really do not need to it. Repositories have got most of the softwares and synaptic can install it for me.
 
Old 04-03-2009, 04:11 AM   #28
jiikka
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:)

Thank you folks ,, that was really informative ..
 
  


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