[kwlug-disc] Linus viruses

John Van Ostrand john at netdirect.ca
Wed Jul 28 11:51:43 EDT 2010

----- Original Message -----
> I'm sorry, this is simply false. Very false. I've once been pwned by a
> worm. I'll freely admit, it was entirely my fault for not locking down
> a default Slackware install and not taking action to fix a well
> publicized vulnerability. 

I think a firewall is assumed. To be attacked by a worm you need to have ports open to the attacker. 

> It was fascinating to see the hackers work,
> using the compiler toolchain on my system to build the rootkit on the
> fly and access the machine via an irc bot.... fun times. And more
> recently, we have the example of themes being downloaded with malware
> from gnome-look.org; a perfect example of Windows style malware when
> you have users downloading and installing whatever they want with admin
> privilages from untrusted sources.
> I believe Linux security to be far and away better than the
> traditional
> Windows model, but a direct comparison is unlikely to be useful. Linux
> security is greatly improved by two important factors that are,
> combined, probably better than any software design of modern OS's.
> 1. Relative obscurity: If Linux requires more work to compromise and
> represents only 5% of of your potential target base, it makes little
> sense to invest in malware for Linux desktops, currently.
> 2. Linux users are likely to be more tech savvy. So if Linux is on 1 -
> 5% of desktops, how many of those are likely to be a potential victim?
> half? less than a quarter?

It could also be another factor. When I use Linux I put my distro on and very few other items, usually codecs and any items after the fact come from a trusted repo. It has everything I need. When I was using Windows, I had to layer this and that and install all sorts of things.

Perhaps Windows users get so use to installing applications from far and wide to achieve a full tool set that they are more prone to trojans and malware.

John Van Ostrand 
CTO, co-CEO 
Net Direct Inc. 
564 Weber St. N. Unit 12, Waterloo, ON N2L 5C6 
Ph: 866-883-1172 x5102 
Fx: 519-883-8533 

Linux Solutions / IBM Hardware 

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