A question from LINUX beginner

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I heard from my friend that LINUX and UNIX was virus-free, but I wasn't sure
why, and he too. Could anybody explain the anti-virus mechanism of LINUX to
me please? Does it mean LINUX users can only use applications that have the
certification? If so the WINDOWS users can also be safe by just using the
software with certification, right? Is it OK for Linux users to download
applications without certification?

Thanks.

Johnson



Re: A question from LINUX beginner

Johnson L wrote:

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That's pretty much the case. There are some few dozen Linux viruses
known to man, and about 150,000 Windows viruses with more coming every
day. (By 'viruses', I mean all kinds of exploits.)

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Well, one reason is nobody can get those few Linux viruses to propagate.
They exist only in the lab. If for some really rare odd reason, you
actually encountered one, your computer would spring up a "Enter your
password to execute this program." You would then have to shoot yourself
in the foot.

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What is "the certification?"

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No, a Windows user can get himself infected by just connecting his
unpatched computer to the Internet. Takes about a few minutes until
you're toast.

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There is no "certification" for either OS. As long as you use software
from a reputable repository, you'll have no problem.

Give it a test drive. Download an .iso, burn to CD, then run it right
from the CD and see for yourself.
http://ubuntu.com/ is a good one.
The Ubuntu repository has about 20,000 free programs, and should cover
just about anything any average user would ever want or need.

--
   -bts
   -"Windows - Life Without Walls™"      <-- recent MS TV ad
   -(Aha. So that's how all the viruses get in!)

Re: A question from LINUX beginner

Thank you very much, Beauregard,

I am a very beginner of LINUX, and I have a couple of question.
Case 1: If somebody wrote a device driver software for a new storage device,
while this software has some malicious code inside, that can wipe off some
contents of the storage device. If the guy uploads this free driver and
spread it, will it cause harm for the people who decides to install this
device driver?

Case 2: If somebody wrote an application program which needs to read/write
data to the storage device via LINUX device driver. Inside of this
application software he puts some  some malicious code that can wipe off
some contents of the storage device. If the application program is spread
away, will it cause harm?

Both cases comply with the definition of computer virus, so how LINUX deal
with it? In other word, can LINUX users freely download and use software
developed by others?

Johnson

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Re: A question from LINUX beginner

Johnson L wrote:

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Both your cases would never occur. All software in the repositories is
examined by many people .. teams of people all around the world. One
person can't place software in there, without approval of many peers.
The source code of all those applications is freely available to examine
by professionals.

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Yes. As long as you stick to the known good sources. Read through this
page to get some idea just how difficult it would be to slip something
in.

   https://help.ubuntu.com/community/Repositories/Ubuntu

With Windows, anyone can offer up a closed-source program all by
himself, and nobody knows what it does .. until the first person is
infected and reports it.

It may seem confusing at first, but only because it is different than
Windows. It isn't any harder, just different. The first time you saw
Windows, you weren't sure what to do, right?

Please don't top-post. Thanks.

--
   -bts
   -"Windows - Life Without Walls™"      <-- recent MS TV ad
   -(Aha. So that's how all the viruses get in!)

Re: A question from LINUX beginner

Very informative. I also hear WINE for LINUX may suffer viruses of both
WINDOWS and LINUX, thus it is even more vulnerable than WINDOWS, is it true?

My friend told me an example how LINUX was affected:  Linux.Slapper worm.
Slapper steps to infect Apache server
1. Linux.Slapper worm. Slapper connects itself to the server via Port 80 of
HTTP.
2. Send out GET request, get info about the servers, then choose a target.
3. Connect to Port 443 of the server, then use the buffer oveflow bug to
include the malicious codes.
4. Use gcc to compile the malicious codes.
5. The malicous codes monitors UDP and waits for DDoS
6. Once DDoS, attack ...



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Re: A question from LINUX beginner

Johnson L wrote:

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No.  Wine is a Windows emulator that is run in Linux. You can then run
Windows applications from within this 'shell.' Yes, you can get some
infections in the emulator (not all of them), but all it will affect is
Wine. Your Linux OS will remain untouched.

My only Windows program is my newsreader, and I am running it in Wine.
Not a problem.

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Apache is a web server. The percentage of people running Apache is very
low, probably less than 1 or 2 percent. Windows has a web server as well
- it's called IIS (Internet Information Server) - and it is probably a
lot more vulnerable than Apache. Neither of them is vulnerable if the
owner knows how to secure them.

I'm one of that small percentage running Apache (I write web sites), and
I have never been compromised.

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--
   -bts
   -Friends don't let friends drive Windows

Re: A question from LINUX beginner

"Please don't top-post."

Did I top-post? I didn't notice. If you find it happens again pls let me
know.

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Re: A question from LINUX beginner

Johnson L wrote:

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Where did you type your reply?  At the top.

Most Usenet groups prefer interleaved posting, in between and just after
the part of the quote you are replying to. As I have been doing when
answering you.

open the front cover and begin reading there?
the back cover and end up at the front or do you
chapter one or do you start somewhere near
When reading a book, do you start at

--
   -bts
   -Friends don't let friends drive Windows

Re: A question from LINUX beginner


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Copy and thanks.



Re: A question from LINUX beginner


On Wed, 18 Mar 2009 20:36:40 -0400, "Beauregard T. Shagnasty"

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You make it sound like there's no such thing as a closed source linux
program.


Jim.


Re: A question from LINUX beginner

James Egan wrote:

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Please refer to the parts of my post that you snipped, about getting
Linux programs from the repositories.

"All software in the repositories is examined by many people ..."
"As long as you stick to the known good sources."

--
   -bts
   -Friends don't let friends drive Windows

Re: A question from LINUX beginner

Beauregard T. Shagnasty wrote:
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being examined my many people is no guarantee, unfortunately...

furthermore, just because it's available to be examined doesn't mean it
really and truly is examined...

--
"it's not the right time to be sober
now the idiots have taken over
spreading like a social cancer,
is there an answer?"

Re: A question from LINUX beginner

kurt wismer wrote:

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Yes, that is true, to some small extent. However, it is a lot safer than
downloading a freeware Windows app, that's written and compiled by a
single person.

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We can only hope...

--
   -bts
   -Friends don't let friends drive Windows

Re: A question from LINUX beginner

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Additionally, as there is translation between the examination of source
code and the execution of an executable. Compilers themselves can
introduce vulnerabilities during translation.

I'm not saying that they do, only that they can.



Re: A question from LINUX beginner

Both cases fit the "trojan" definition, not the "virus" definition.

Please don't just dismiss this as semantics - it *is* semantics and is
important to communication.

A "virus" doesn't have to rely on any exploit, it just uses the
environment (the same one the user enjoys) to propagate. So the
treatment is different than the treatment for just avoiding trojans.
Specific payload activity is irrelevant. The reading and writing is, of
course, relevant.

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Re: A question from LINUX beginner

You are absolutely right about the definition. I and my friend were not good
students at the University.


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Re: A question from LINUX beginner


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Neither case fits the definition of a virus.  A virus infects existing
executable programs.
What you have described are trojans.  That is, programs that claim to do one
thing
but have additional malicious code.

Any computer system, no matter what the os, can run malicious code, if the user
chooses to run it.  In the case of linux, the operating system is protected by
filesystem
permissions, which prevent the user, or rather any programs run by the user, from
updating the system files, without the user providing the root user's password.
The damage, if any would be limited to files the user has write access to, unless
the user provides the root password.

There is no technological fix for stupidity between the keyboard and the chair,
no
matter what os is running.

Regards, Dave Hodgins

--
Change nomail.afraid.org to ody.ca to reply by email.
(nomail.afraid.org has been set up specifically for
use in usenet. Feel free to use it yourself.)


Re: A question from LINUX beginner


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I agree that LINUX is much safer than WINDOWS by separating the root from
the user space.



Re: A question from LINUX beginner


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Absolutely untrue. It just seems that way when compared to Windows (for
various reasons, not the least of which is its' sheer popularity).

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Ever hear the line 'keep your head down' in a war film? Windows is a
much bigger target.

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I don't think certifications have anything to do with viruses. You could
avoid many kinds of "trojans" however.

Although Unix was first for worms, Windows soon left 'em in the dust
with some brain dead OOBE defaults.



Re: A question from LINUX beginner

Johnson L wrote:
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If you think Linux is not bullet proof, you have another thing coming.
If the masses get a hold and start using Linux, it's game, set and match
because Linux is Swiss cheese too. The only reason the virus writers are
not after Linux "hard" is due to the masses are not using it.

Linux is Swiss cheese because human beings wrote, and we are not
perfect. So, anything we create or produce is not perfect either.

<http://www.linuxsecurity.com/content/view/127202/171/
<http://www.desktoplinux.com/articles/AT3307459975.html
<http://www.linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2001-09-07-014-20-SC&tbovrmode=1
<http://lwn.net/Articles/222153/

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