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Old 08-24-2003, 07:59 AM   #1
rvijay
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Question A Possible Future Trend.


Presently, Linux is free from Torjans, Viruses etc., for the most part. However, when the number of Linux users goesup dramatically, I feel this might not be the case anymore. Those who propagate all these infections have their own reasons and will find a way to infect PCs running Linux. Comments/opinions welcome.

Vijay
 
Old 08-24-2003, 08:08 AM   #2
leonscape
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Linux is fundamentally diffrent in the way it executes programs, Making it very hard for a user to damage the system (can't right to almost any Folder unless your root) Which makes Virii very difficult to write as they can't get at anything to do damage. (They could wipe your home directory thats about it.)

Also we don't have VB and scripting in Mail (I suugest the first mail program that does this, its maintainers are put against a wall and shot.)

Their are exploits, but even the most exotic are cured before anyone knre they existed, and security is tight and then relaxed as necessary in Linux (usually) Not the Windows way of everthing Open then closed.

Just my 0.02 worth. (which of course worth more than $0.02 )
 
Old 08-24-2003, 08:16 AM   #3
rvijay
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If a home directory is wiped out, how bad a damage is that ? Will I loose all my Data/work ?
 
Old 08-24-2003, 08:21 AM   #4
leonscape
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You could loose what evers in your home dir. But this is still very unlikely as most of the ways a virus gets on a system are Hard to do on a Linux System. (We don't use outlook for starters.)

Most people have never even seen a Linux Virus, or even heard of any.

Also software can only be loaded by root, so as long as your vigilant as root its almost impossible for this to happen.

Thats why you should never be root while doing normal stuff. Like browse the Web.
 
Old 08-24-2003, 08:26 AM   #5
rvijay
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That explanation was helpful. However, what does loosing home directory mean in terms of windows ? This will help me understand it better.

Vijay
 
Old 08-24-2003, 08:30 AM   #6
leonscape
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Losing the content of My Documents
 
Old 08-24-2003, 08:32 AM   #7
rvijay
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My Documents is not very big. It is not hard to have a small backup for this alone. So this doesn't seem to be a major issue.

Vijay
 
Old 08-24-2003, 08:33 AM   #8
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Losing a home directory in terms of Windows means losing a limited account in the system, while the Administrator's account remains safe.
 
Old 08-24-2003, 09:00 AM   #9
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...while the Administrator's account remains safe, and thus the actual OS itself is unaffected
 
Old 08-24-2003, 09:05 AM   #10
rvijay
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This is not that great come to think of it. So basically, what happens here then is that evverything I worked on is lost. However, the free Linux for which I have a installation CD remains safe ? Not a pleasant situation to be in if it were to ever happen.

Vijay
 
Old 08-24-2003, 09:15 AM   #11
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Losing any information isn't pleasant. But If you can keep the os secure and most of the mods in it then you have won half the battle. Sure you have cd's for most and probably (if smart) have drivers burned too, but, what about all the time it takes to set it up? I would be much happier losing my docs, then losing my OS. Anyways a smart person keeps a backup of sensitive data like that.
 
Old 08-24-2003, 09:27 AM   #12
rvijay
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Reinstalling Linux takes only about 20 to 60 minutes from what I read on the net. Isn't this correct or did I miss something ? Thanks.

Vijay
 
Old 08-24-2003, 09:44 AM   #13
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It takes alot more skill/knowledge to write naughty software for Unix/Linux, but it can be done - however - Unix/Linux on the whole tends to be inherently more secure than Windows because of its nature.

Last edited by Skyline; 08-24-2003 at 09:45 AM.
 
Old 08-24-2003, 10:49 AM   #14
mhearn
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I disagree with most of what is said here. The home directory is extremely vulnerable, and is the most important part of the system. Also, it's possible to write viruses and worms which do not require root access.

Basically, I've seen no strong arguments that Linux is any more secure than any other OS out there. I've seen too many ways in which a Linux box can be utterly screwed through and through by the simplest of programs to believe that for long.

The best approach to solving this problem IMHO is to have a community dedicated to wargaming, where people attempt to figure out ways to get malicious software onto systems and those holes are patched up quickly - and more important, when viruses/worms or spyware does start spreading, we have effective anti-virus and update mechanisms in place to ensure we can neutralise it quickly.

Basically what Linux needs is a community-driven equivalent to McAffee or Sophos. I doubt we'll see such a thing arise until Linux becomes a target however.
 
Old 08-24-2003, 10:59 AM   #15
rvijay
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To me this seems a very realistic post.

Those who develop Spyware, Adware, Trojans, Viruse etc., etc., have their own special reasons and motives. They are always learning, improving and developing. So the competition between the user and those who infect is an ongoing one. With more security, patches they will figure new and better ways to infect. Wait till Linux becomes popular and there is a lot lesser Windows users. When the Linux systems are still running during a major infection, the other side will know that they need a new approach and get one very fast.

Vijay
 
  


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