On Tue, 3 Feb 2004, kevin lyda wrote:
> several people - paulj and chriss higgens have pointed out the
> technology of why it's easy. i'll point out the social reasons why
> it is not. the social reason is that there is no standard "linux"
> and there is no standard mua on linux. and most distros are
> setting up a linux world w/o a standard mta too.
Hey, I pointed those reasons out too! diversity and a more technical
userbase, i said, were the main obstacles to worms on linux/unix! no
fair.. /me sulks.
The userbase argument though is specious, for if Linux ever were to
gain dominance it would also gain all those users who just want to be
able to click on the apparent cool screensaver. ("whats that i
wonder?"), and even if current Unix MUAs tend not to make it that
easy, if linux were dominent surely someone would write an MUA which
> the problem for virus/worm viruses is that it is quite likely that
> there will be a unique answer for each of us -
> linux-2.4.18:mutt-22.214.171.124-1:gnupg-1.0.6-5:netpbm-9.24-3:lots more.
> and in the case of folks using certain mail clients (mutt, mh,
> others?) the configs will wildly affect what tools are used to
> parse mime.
Unfortunately though, Linux is not quite diverse enough. The apache
mod_ssl worms were able to target specific linux distro's (ie RH7.3
iirc) and be confident of infecting a significant degree of Linux
apache installs. Exec-shield in FC1 and (i think) later RH9 kernels
mitigates that though.
> so yes, technically linux shares some of the same potential faults.
> however i can think of only two times unix/linux had a worm spread
> rampently from system to system - the morris worm in 1988 on
> bsd/vax systems and a few years back on linux/apache/x86 systems
> (code red i think?).
Hmm.. no, was something else.
However, is the lack of worms by virtue of the security of Unix or
simply because Unix is far less conspicious than WinXX + LookOut? I'd
argue the latter case.
> neither of those exploited any mua.
Paul Jakma paul at clubi.iepaul at jakma.org Key ID: 64A2FF6A
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