Re: Unix NOT secure against Viruses on home PCs

From: NeoSadist (
Date: 10/01/04

Date: Fri, 01 Oct 2004 20:24:16 +0000

Bill Unruh wrote:

> Daniel Mewes <> writes:
> No linux machines are not affected by viruses because most viruses (or
> rather malware) is written for windows.

That's so logical ... </sarcasm>
> Secondarily, yes, most work is done as user not root.

Very true.
> Could malware be written for linux? Of course. No one will dispute that.
> Could it be written so as to spoof the user into being root. Yes, but
> usually root users are also more knowledgable than the general user.

Well actually,
1) Unless the malware somehow got root, all it could do is trash the user's
2) If it could get root (i.e. through a kernel hack), it's all over.
3) If it could imitate other (aka Mandrake and other askpass stuff) programs
that want root, the user might blindly enter root's password, which would
also result in system compromise.
> Could an ignorant user be fooled into running as root, and then running a
> piece of malware? Of course.

Yes, based on how much they want to run it.

> Again noone will dispute that. Is it
> worthwhile demonstrating this-- I guess you could walk into your workplace
> with a backpack full of dynamite and set it off to demostrate that your
> workplace is not secure against people walking in with a backpack full of
> dynamite.

That might be painful too ...

> And I want to convince you that if you put a bullet through a bird brain
> (oops sorry that was supposed to be bird's brain) it stops flying.

And I might be able to show otherwise also, if using a powerful enough gun.

> uh, you just distributed it.

True, he did overlook that....

Necessity is a mother.

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