Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 3rd Feb 2006 22:41 UTC
Bugs & Viruses Security watchers say the Kama Sutra worm, which is programmed to overwrite files on infected Windows PCs today, will have a damaging but not catastrophic effect. The Kama Sutra worm (or Nyxem-E or Blackworm) poses as an email message offering a variety of salacious content. Subject lines used in the malicious emails include: The Best Videoclip Ever, Fw: SeX.mpg, Miss Lebanon 2006 and Fuckin Kama Sutra pics. The worm, which can also spread across network shares, only affects Windows PCs.
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RE[2]: Too bad eh..
by DeadFishMan on Sat 4th Feb 2006 05:00 UTC in reply to "RE: Too bad eh.."
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Again, this is not a technical problem with Windows. You can spread such viruses on Linux and they can at least eat up your data files even if you are not root.

It is just that worm writers target Windows because of large installed user base and also because Linux users are mostly techie people.

Some people have this misconception that Linux would be an as easy target as Windows if virus/worm authors started to deploy their warez against it. No, Linux is not vulnerable to the same threats and you know why? Because, unlike Windows, Linux e-mails clients do not allow automatic scripts (of any kind) to be executed when receiving an e-mail. Its webbrowsers also do not allow arbitrary execution of code. And even if we acknowledge that the user data might be compromised by some sort of worm/virus, the Unix security model will ensure that only that user's files will be the only ones damaged. In other words, your clueless sister will be the only one that will lose something on your family computer. Windows can't claim that.

People tend to give this excuse that the majority of Windows out there is the main culprit of the huge number of threats to that platform but they forget that on the Internet, the majority of the servers run on some sort of *nix OS or even some sort of hardware appliance. Now think about it for a second: If you were a virus writer whose main goal was to create the biggest havoc that you could, would you try to write something to attack the client machines or would you try to own a server or a router, effectively putting a whole segment of the internet on your hands?

Fact is, there are a couple of IOS (Cisco's Internet Operating System) exploits on the wild. The same for *nix exploits. But they're few and between mainly because they usually exploit some security vulnerability that were already fixed by the vendor, relying on a lazy sysadmin or the fact that some companies have policies in place that delay the patching of their systems.

On Windows' case, it was a MS design decision that led to so many ports open on the platform for the virus community. They though that would be a nice idea if the user could send an e-mail with some VBscript on it to his or her account in order to automate this or that function. When Sun created Java applets, they thought of sandboxing it to prevent people abusing it. MS went a step further allowing ActiveX to have unlimited access to the user's hard drive just by accessing a web page what required them to create later the concept of signed ActiveX components (that didn't fare well either, by the way). All that because MS usually puts convenience before security when designing its products.

So no... There is no way that I can agree to the assertion that Linux (or Mac OS X or any other OS fot that matter) would be as vulnerable as Windows is nowadays. But I'm looking forward to see what Vista will bring to the table. But please, stop this nonsense. Current Windows releases have its share of threats because of its inherent weakness, nothing else.

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