[SATLUG] Scarry stuff...How to write a linux virus in 5 easy steps

toddwbucy at grandecom.net toddwbucy at grandecom.net
Mon Feb 23 09:28:31 CST 2009


> not JUST because it's the biggest tartget.. but because it's SOOOOOO
> homogeneous.  It's cookie cutter.. A computer monoculture, if you will.
>
> Take this virus/target-culture model into nature.  It's just like a giant
> domesticated animal farm.  What happens in nature when you have a giant
> monoculture (cows, banans, etc)?  One ravenous disease comes along and wipes
> them all out.  So what even if you keep standing new animals back up
> (reinstalling.. new models, etc).. The same monoculture problem exists and
> viruses feed on monocultures.
>
> This is why nature has differing species, breeds, and strains. In two words..
> biological diversity.  This is also why I believe that Windows will always be
> the weaker OS "health wise" and why I believe Linux will never be as hard hit
> with viri as Windows.  Linux is a chaotic, heterogeneous mix of distros,
> desktops and packages.. always changing.  No virus can assume that all Linux
> desktop is running Thunderbird.. or Kmail,  Mutt or Evolution.  I guess a
> virus writer /could/ include vector-checks for the most common  Linux mail
> clients out there.. but you still have all the distro differences, seLinux,
> iptables, filesystem differences, etc.. And that's a huge waste of energy
> when the virus-yummy monoculture of Windows+Outlook is such a more attractive
> target.  Such an easier herd to own.  :)
>
> Some say that there's safety in numbers...
> With regards to virus defense, this is not the case...
> But even more importantly, I say the real safety is in diversity.
>
> All for now.. nite nite.
>
> Tweeks
I agree with the gist (survival through diversity) of your analogy but it seems
to me that as Linux grows in popularity (outside of the geek world) some
distros will be more popular then others, within the non-geek world.  Ubuntu
for instance is positioning itself as the windows replacement for the
dissatisfied M$ customer who may or may not be familiar with nix op systems. 
It seems to me that your analogy would only hold up if there was a distro
adoption rate by new non-tech Linux users that is fairly evenly spread out
among many distros.  That said there are only a hand-full of distro's that
actively market themselves toward this crowd and Ubuntu is currently the leader
in this category.  Your analogy may protect us for now but should a particular
Linux distro become homogenous within a large segment of Linux users then I am
not so sure.

Todd



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