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Thread: Virus or Not?

  1. #1

    Virus or Not?

    Having a discussion at work today about the latest and greates NT virus sweeping the military bases. I mentioned that since I run Linux at home I don't have to be as worried. The guy I was talking to said that it was not so, that McAffee and Norton both had scanning software for Linux now because of the virus's being ported. I looked at McAffee but could not find such a critter. Anyone know of any new news that confirms that the virus's are becoming more and more active on Linux?


  2. #2
    Good Guru
    Schotty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Milwaukee, WI

    Re: Virus or Not?

    Providing that the user has a clue, a linux virus is not as serious as a win32 virus. Logging in as root will make the whole system vulnerable, whereas a login as a retricted user (like most of us use) only kills that one account at worst.

    Some "viruses" are for linux, but mostly worms and trojans. Rare, but do exist. Just practice safe computing, run fprot or cheyenne and youll be fine.

    Note, cheyenne and fprot are the only Linux virus protection suites available that I know of.

  3. #3

    Re: Virus or Not?

    McAffee nor Norton have such software. *Usually such viruses, worms, trojans, etc. are dealt with by the community through patches. *Viruses under Linux always work through some vulnerability in Linux, and once the vulnerability is known, the fix is in the form of a patch, not anti-virus software. *Besides, patches are much nicer since they take care of the problem at their root, not a superficial level like anti-virus software.

    A list of Linux viruses:;findTxt=linux

  4. #4

    Re: Virus or Not?

    It was my understanding that McAfee and Norton released linux software for scanning windows viruses. The purpose would be on a linux mail server to scan for windows viruses passing through, I guess.

  5. #5
    Good Guru
    Compunuts's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001

    Re: Virus or Not?

    There are some viruses written for Linux as proof of concept but they are very rare and not in the wild. Certain condition must be true in order to infect the machine.

    1. The virus spread through email. So unless you are reading email as root, what can go wrong. ( and how many of Linux users will be stupid enough to do that?? )

    2. You must run that attachement. In Windows, that means easy but in Linux, you need to issue the command to do so like ./ or double-clicking such executibles in GUI mode )

    3. Like above people have said, you need to be super user to destroy or affect a Linux system at that time of runnning commands.

    4. Unless you configured your email client to read HTML mails ( and how many are there to do so?? ), you are pretty safe. One time, there is virus codes being sent to Debian-security mailing list but only a few bitched about it. I didn't even know it happend because my mail client is configured to send HTML mails straight to trash can.

    Yeah so like most have said, there are some but in a very rare situration. Chances are, he way Windows infect Virus is different than the way the way Linux can be infected but it's a lot safer than Windows ( still ).

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