RE: Viruses

Excellent, well-considered reply!

Perhaps the offending gentleman would like to consider that most virus
traffic originated on UNIX-based systems many years ago, long before Windows
became popular.  Until recently, in fact, the most damaging virii, worms,
call them what you will, attacked internet mail (traditionally served by
UNIX boxes) and UNIX systems in general.  Recall the Morris worm which
brought the 'net to its knees by overloading every system it could reach.
Root access was not necessary - the worm merely spawned itself mercilessly
until processors could handle no more.

Windows is the more popular target currently only because of its
proliferation and the pure fun of MS bashing.  Expect the *serious* virus
coders to go after Linux soon.  (And consider that Linux is a much simpler
target since it is more highly standardized the traditional UNIXes and runs
on limited set of hardware.)

Perhaps the gentleman would also like to consider that not everyone thinks
the way he does.  Virus coders *do* in fact go in for wanton data
destruction for the pure thrill of it.


> -----Original Message-----
> From: Rasaki Bidemi Bolanle Temidire
> []
> Sent: Tuesday, July 06, 1999 6:12 PM
> To: GNOME Mailing List
> Subject: Re: Viruses
> Hi Everyone,
> You know, Linux has made great strides in the recent years to reach
> more and more people and let them know that they do have an
> alternative to the usual garbage they pay too much money for at their
> local Microsoft retailor.  I think that one of the reasons this has come
> about is that people, non-technical people, are starting to feel
> welcomed in the discussions that concern the future of Linux and the
> software projects associated with it.
> If it weren't for a classmate of mine tuning me into the whole Linux
> thing, I would have been stuck paying a lot of hard earned money for bad
> software.  He took his time to explain things to me and did not make
> feel "stupid".  I quickly learned the ropes and here I am at kernel
> 2.2.10 after starting with kernel 0.9x.x.
> GNOME is trying to bring some more of those people, like myself, in from
> the cold.  Your attitude is not going to help matters!  Berating people
> in a public forum is not a good way to make them feel welcomed in the
> discussion.  Not all points are valid but they do deserve to be heard.
> People, technically inclined or not, do deserve the common decency and
> respect of having their opinions heard and acknowledged when they make
> the effort to come forth with them.  This is how things like GNOME are
> made better release after release.
> Please don't make comments like this again.  I want Linux and GNOME and
> all other free software movement projects to thrive.  I want more
> people to tune into the alternatives to Microsoft.  Good discussion is
> the first step towards these goals.
> Bidemi Temidire
> On  6 Jul, jasta wrote:
> > You are stupid.  There can't exactly be too damn many "viruses"
> (most are
> > called exploits anyway because UNIX people don't wanna destroy
> files they wanna
> > own them) because nobody is stupid enough to run anything as root.
> >
> > On Tue, 06 Jul 1999, wrote:
> >> This topic is more general, but as GNOME seems to be concerned
> >> about ease of use it should adress it somehow.
> >>
> >> As soon, as Linux (BSD etc.) will become mainstream we are
> >> probably facing a load of viruses (trojans, worms etc.).
> >> These will start to proliferate the same way they do in WinMac
> >> world for the simple reason that all installing in unix have
> >> to be done as superuser.
> >> Until now most Linux users have been a kind of hackers, who
> >> know, what they do. But things start to change... And the
> >> average users are always willing to download strange binary
> >> programs from the dark corners of net.
> >>
> >> Does anybody have a good solution? Or am I a bit paranoic?
> >>
> >> I have currently following ideas:
> >> 1. Force the use of signed packages (seems a bit oppressive)
> >> 2. All installers should default to executing scripts/programs
> >>    from installable package only if these are signed and trusted.
> >>    The same requirement stands for installing suid root binaries.
> >>
> >> Lauris Kaplinski
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >>
> >> --
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