Linked by David Adams on Mon 6th Oct 2003 19:34 UTC
Bugs & Viruses It's an oft-repeated maxim that one of the reasons that Windows operating systems are plagued by so many viruses, worms, and security exploits is because they are so popular. Extrapolating on this, many have remarked that if Linux, MacOS, or other OSes become more popular, they will attract the attention of virus writers. That may be true, but the increased attention will not necessarily yield the same quantity of viruses and other exploits, says a Register article. Update: Rebuttal article.
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Well ...
by WorknMan on Mon 6th Oct 2003 20:36 UTC

The main thing I believe that makes it harder to spread viruses in Linux is that its users are not dumb (as in computer illiterate). Most of them know better than to take any executable file and run it. However, once you get a bunch of Windows users in Linux (the same users who never bother to patch their systems), they'll pretty much run everything but the kitchen sink. The author says that new users will be educated not to do so, but who's going to educate them? If this method of education would work so well, why not educate them now on Windows instead of hoping that maybe one day they'll make the switch?
And also realize that most of the modern email viruses use their own SMTP engine to send themselves out and don't use the Outlook address book. So, in Linux, as long as you've got email addresses in any of the files in your /home directory and permission to access the SMTP port, the viruses will run just fine.
And who says there won't be some new mechanism to send out viruses in Linux other than email. Say, for example ... what if it were possible to do some nasty thing via Mozilla/Firebird extensions? That may or may not be possible, but it's just a thought.