Re: Why are there few viruses for UNIX/Linux systems?
From: Peter Makholm (peter_at_makholm.net)
Date: Sat, 16 Aug 2003 00:13:52 +0200
"-thavna" <firstname.lastname@example.org> writes:
> I have always taken for granted that there are few viruses that affect
> UNIX/Linux systems (compared to other operating systems). I want to
> understand why... Can someone please shed some light on this matter.
Traditionally viruses has attacked executables and been distributed
by sharing of executables. Many of the executables on a unix system
has been owned by root and hasn't been writable by the ordinary user
and many things has been distributed by source which is more immune
against viruses (Yeah, I've read Thompson's Trusting Trust-paper. I
said 'more' not 'completly').
I don't think this explains the present day situation.
Modern unix applications (in Gnome and KDE) does less behind the backs
of the user than the same Windows applications.
The choice of application in unix is more fragmentet than under
Windows (i.e. allmost everybody uses Outlook on Windows but there a
tens of incompatible mail applications in Unix)
Linux/Unix got less market share counted per user. This makes it less
interesting to write viruses for.
The avarage Linux/Unix user are smarter than the avarage Windows user
and there are less directly dumb Linux/Unix users.
All this could change. I don't believe that A unix operating system is
more secure by design against the viruses we're witnessing today.
-- Peter Makholm | Wisdom has two parts: email@example.com | 1) having a lot to say, and http://hacking.dk | 2) not saying it