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Thread: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!

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    Kubuntu as a Second Language Telengard's Avatar
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    Re: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!


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    Re: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!

    I've been using Linux for 6 years, in all these years I haven't heard of any credible report of actively spreading Linux viruses. I can't say that about Windows, last time I checked there were about 250,000 pieces of malware (and that might tell you that I looked up that info couple of years back).

    No, Linux is not secure (no computer program that is longer than 10 lines is free of bugs), but yes, there's a big difference.

    all you have to do is get someone to open a .desktop file to get a bash script to run.
    That's why in KDE4 new .desktop files have a attention mark and you are asked if you are sure you want to run them. If you say "yes" you are on your own

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    Cyborg Detonate's Avatar
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    Re: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!

    The only virus that has ever infected my linux machine is me. I start playing around and changing things and break my machine. But how else will I learn?
    Never too old to learn
    Ault, CO, USA

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    Kubuntu as a Second Language Telengard's Avatar
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    Re: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!

    Quote Originally Posted by Detonate
    I start playing around and changing things and break my machine.
    That kind of experimenting is why we have virtual machines. Install Kubuntu in a VM make a snapshot. Then do your experimenting, and if you hose something you can just restore the snapshot. After each system update or software installation, update the snapshot.

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    Kubuntu as a Second Language doctordruidphd's Avatar
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    Re: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!

    I know I'm going to get flamed for this, but I think it still needs to be said:

    If you are running Linux, even just on a laptop that is used only by yourself, you aren't just a user anymore. You are now a system administrator, and that means that the security and reliability of your system is in your hands, and not someone else's. You still have to act responsibly, making sure all security updates are installed, thinking twice (or more) about what you download and where you download it from, checking package integrity before installing it, and learning what the software does and how it does it. And while viruses are rare, rootkits are still possible, and you should (in my opinion) know how to use, and be running a firewall, rkhunter, and maybe debsecan if you are really paranoid or cautious. Right, this isn't windows any more, and you can't expect somebody else to watch over your system for you -- it's your job.
    We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn't want to meet. -- Stephen Hawking

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    Ascendant oshunluvr's Avatar
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    Re: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!

    Quote Originally Posted by dibl
    The worst thing that ever infected my Kubuntu system was strigi ...

    or anything from Adobe
    Please Read Me
    Be not the first by whom the new are tried, Nor yet the last to lay the old aside. - Alexander Pope, An Essay on Criticism, 1711

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    Contributing Member
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    Re: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!

    I run ClamAV (it's a Linux version of an Antivirus programme) on a weekly basis, and as I have a lot of files, some incoming as well as out-going, I need to check the incoming ones to make sure I'm free of anything scary - So far I've not had anything land on my door-mat but that doesn't mean it won't in the future - Linux is getting more well-known and it only takes a troll to get ideas... so be safe!
    Terabyte<br /><br />Non sibi sed omnibus (Not for oneself, but for all)

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    Ascendant GreyGeek's Avatar
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    Re: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!

    Quote Originally Posted by terabyte
    I run ClamAV (it's a Linux version of an Antivirus programme) on a weekly basis, and as I have a lot of files, some incoming as well as out-going, I need to check the incoming ones to make sure I'm free of anything scary -
    The only value to running an AV product on incoming email is if you want to forward it on to Windows machines your friends use and so you clean up the email as a courtesy. IF there were a Linux virus attached you would have to do three things to get infected:
    1) Save it as a file. Linux can't run an app unless it is a file. There are no "ActiveX" controls or automatic scripting engines on Linux.
    2) Add the execute permission to make it executable. Even then, it will only execute IF it is an ELF binary or a properly written script (i.e., has #!/bin/bash or something similar as the first line of the script)
    3) Run it. IF you want to run it as root then you have to change its ownership and/or use sudo.

    Those are three VERY FOOLISH STEPS and would require someone who is extremely gullible and easily influenced by Social Engineering. Also, since social engineering is a person-to-person action it would be impractical to try and create a bot farm of Linux zombies. If it took a bad guy 15 minutes of social engineering to get a Linux user to infect his own box that's only 32 boxes a day, or 960 a month. To create a 1.5 million zombie bot farm out of Linux boxes would take 130 years at that rate. It would take a single Windows virus only a few days to accumulate that big of a bot farm.


    So far I've not had anything land on my door-mat but that doesn't mean it won't in the future - Linux is getting more well-known and it only takes a troll to get ideas... so be safe!
    Linux in the USA is already over a 12% desktop market share. If infection rates were proportional to usage rates, and Windows had 2,900,000 viruses last year alone, then Linux should have at least 300,000 active viruses plaguing Linux users. How many active Linux viruses, found in the wild, have you heard about during the last year? None.

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    Cyborg The Liquidator's Avatar
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    Re: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!

    In the light of a couple of recent events:

    1. The resurgence of the Zeus virus targeting firefox (the articles don't seem to emphasise it is windows only)and
    2. Someone attempting to use my credit card number to send £2 to Oxfam resulting in it having to be cancelled. The bank told me it could be down to a Trojan or a random credit card number generator. I (and they) suspect the latter as the nature of the transaction suggests it's a test.

    In light of the above, I have run KlamAv on both the home and system files. On both it has found "heurstics.broken executables" saying they are "probably a virus". I have got rid of the files from the home directory but am concerned about the system ones. The system scan didn't complete before I had to stop it but the ones I saw were in /usr/lib virtualbox. I have not elected to quarantine them until I know what they actually are. Any thoughts please?

    Thanks

    Ian

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    Ascendant GreyGeek's Avatar
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    Re: Linux viruses -- everything you need to know!

    You should
    man aa-enforce
    and consider using it on FireFox if you are concerned (and if it isn't already protecting FF by default, which I am not sure of).

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