Kyle Burton on Thu, 7 Oct 1999 14:50:40 -0400 (EDT)

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RE: [Plug] email antivirus for Linux ?

Nothing, it's not immune.  It just has real [though not perfect] 
security/multi-user design, which makes the types of things viruses do
alot harder under linux.

- Writing to the boot sector: hard
  Linux's file system driver helps prevent this -- unless your root, this
  isn't allowed (goes back to multi-user/security)
- Attaching to a binary (executable) to spread further:  hard
  most binarys on a Linux box are owned by root, and are not writable
  by users, so unless you're root, you won't be doing this (again, goes
  back to multi-user/security)

Linux is succeptable to melissa types of viruses -- it's just that so few
applications under Linux have autoscripting like word/excel macros that
even if one was written, it'd be hard to make it spread...the landscape is
very diverse.

Of course, if your virus knows how to get around the system security, then
it can do these things.  But thta's non-trivial on most systems, and here,
again, the diversity of what software is on what system, what's happens to
be running, and what version it is is alot of information to have to sift
through to find a security exploit -- automating this in a small amount of
executable code would be hard...


"...I'd rank it's difficulty as 'bored high school student with an hour and a
half free while waiting for pirated software to dl.'" 
    -- Unknown (Anonymous on                  

On Thu, 7 Oct 1999, Charles Stack wrote:

> I keep hearing how there a no known viruses associates with Linux...How
> come?  What makes Linux impervious to viruses and worms?  Please
> enlighten... :-)
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