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The following is an archive of a post made to our 'vox-tech mailing list' by one of its subscribers.

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Re: [vox-tech] linux and viruses
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Re: [vox-tech] linux and viruses



On Thu, 23 Feb 2006 18:31:56 -0800 (PST)
Cylar Z <cylarz@yahoo.com> wrote:

> I guess my question to you all is this: Did I make a
> true statement? Is Linux really virus-proof? If so, is
> it just because of its relatively small share of the
> OS market, or is there a more technical reason for
> this? If so, what? If I told him one, it might get
> through to him.
> 
> And what about malware? Is Linux resistant to that as
> well?

Virus-proof? Nothing is virus-proof. But Unix has a better security
model than Windows, as long as you don't go out of your way to make the
box vulnerable (like, say, by running as root all the time).

Second, it's true that it's lower profile than Windows, so virtually
nobody is targeting it. It's odd that your sysadmin doesn't find that
reassuring. Would he rather have you running the OS that gets all the
exploits? I know, it's what he's comfortable with. I'm just being
snarky. But really, how many viruses have been written for Linux?

Third, why would he think that a virus that was designed for Linux
would also work for Windows? Oh, sure, it's possible, and some
scripting languages might make something like that cross-platform.
Well, kinda. A virus written in, say, Javascript might enter the Linux
machine, but it would have to do different things to exploit holes in
the OS for Linux than for Windows. It would have to be specifically
written to work in both operating systems in order to infect his
precious Windows machines.

How many people run Linux-based firewalls? I mean a box that's used as
a firewall, not a so-called "personal" or "software" firewall that you
add onto Windows. Versus how many base their firewalls around Windows? 

Might be interesting to find out what they're running as a
firewall/router for the company. :)

http://librenix.com/?inode=21
http://antivirus.about.com/od/linuxunixviruses/
http://www.securityfocus.com/columnists/188
http://linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/index.php?page=virus
http://antivirus.about.com/od/unixthreats/
http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-1035_11-5054187.html# (I'm sorry, but
I have to take this one with a grain of salt.)

http://www.ciol.com/content/news/interviews/102102201.asp
http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/showthread.php?threadid=365927


If he's still not convinced, install and run http://www.clamav.net/.
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