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hotrodowner 06-23-2002 06:24 PM

To anyone=(To go public or not to go public that is the question...)
I don't know whether to help people in my community discover linux or not. I mainly just want these questions answered I have been thinking about for a few months now.
1) Since Linux is Open Source, doesn't that mean it would easier for crackers and "Bad People" to write malicious code? (Viruses, Trojan Horses, etc.)
2) How do I know ,without viewing that gibberish you (plural) call source code, that there isn't some secret Super-User login that the coders put in?
3) What's with the Lindows people, their going to give Linux a bad name?
4) How fast could the Linux community respond to a virus?

trickykid 06-23-2002 06:43 PM

1.) Not necessarily. They can see the code but that doesn't mean that all Linux boxes are the same. Plus the way regular users and then root is setup, if your regular user gets a virus in most cases the whole system wouldn't get affected since a regular user doesn't have full permissions on the system, usually only for their home directory.

2.) View the code to make sure for yourself. ;)
I highly doubt that would happen since if anyone who does find it will usually report it since everyone has access to the source itself.

3.) Just ignore them and they'll surely die out hopefully.

4.) Fairly fast, faster than Microsoft does. Look how quickly updates and patches come out. Microsoft still has known vulnerabilities that they still deny don't exist. Plus if your smart enough, you can always patch it yourself maybe.. :)

hotrodowner 06-23-2002 06:58 PM

I understand that the regular user has limited permissions, but isn't it possible for a trojan &/or cracker to break this limit?

trickykid 06-23-2002 07:10 PM

Well anything is possible, but still I find it a very difficult task to make a trojan or virus to possibly break this. Also to consider that not all distro's are specifically the same, with different configurations and such.

Phonics3k 06-23-2002 07:23 PM

if i am right most viruses these days are made in vb and vbs, meanin they dont work in linux(or at least i dont think they do). So we are fairly safe

hotrodowner 06-23-2002 07:41 PM

I appreciate the replies and hope for more thoughts!

Goatdemon 06-23-2002 09:08 PM

script kiddies arn't gonna take the time to mess with linux and most if not all respectable hackers either hate windows or windows users for one reason or another

Mik 06-24-2002 06:58 AM

I think open source is a lot better. A person can try to make their code as safe as possible but there is always some things you might overlook. So having a bunch of people able to see how the program works will generally make it safer.
The other side of that would be "Security by Obscurity" which is what Microsoft tries to do. But I think that's exactly what attracts hackers. It's a challenge to try and hack something that no one knows about.
I don't think that any opensource coders would put backdoors in their code. I think basically all the coders use their own programs. Most programs get written because they need it themselves. So writing a backdoor would also create a weakness in their own system.

Calum 06-24-2002 07:24 AM

it's impossible to have a backdoor in open source software, because anybody could see it and use it. ipso facto, any backdoor becomes a huge revolving frontdoor.

If this were ever to happen, nobody would use the software, useless as it would obviously be, hundreds of people would write to the author with email about the problem, and within hours somebody would have released patches or a new version which had the gaping hole completely fixed.

hotrodowner 06-25-2002 09:14 AM

How does OpenSource and/or linux protect againist this!

Stephanie 06-25-2002 10:19 AM

In most cases, it requires root access to install programs and such that are capable of stealing info and taking over a PC.

Linux security may not be as great as OpenBSD, which was designed around security, but it is many times over better than M$.

And keep in mind, most distros do not have al the security up to powerful. You can do that yourself.

I would say the best thing to do is not to download and install any program which transmits info over the web. Things like Kazaa and Seti are apps that use your computer for their work. I am sure security breachs can be found in that software for someone to use.

And no, from my understanding Linux does not have a backdoor like Winblows. Even if one was put in, someone out there would create a patch for those that want it.

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