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

ed horned0wl93 at gmail.com
Mon Feb 23 22:42:43 CST 2009



toddwbucy at grandecom.net wrote:
>> 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
>
>   
This is actually the point I was trying to make -- I just wasn't 
specific enough. 

Cheers;
Ed



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