Re: Why doesn't UNIX pick up viruses? - Solaris

This is a discussion on Re: Why doesn't UNIX pick up viruses? - Solaris ; GreyCloud writes in alt.solaris.x86: |I'm looking for the core details as to why UNIX doesn't get viruses. |Any thoughts on the technical details? The simplest answer is viruses are programs, and like other Windows or Mac programs, don't run on ...

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Thread: Re: Why doesn't UNIX pick up viruses?

  1. Re: Why doesn't UNIX pick up viruses?

    GreyCloud writes in alt.solaris.x86:
    |I'm looking for the core details as to why UNIX doesn't get viruses.
    |Any thoughts on the technical details?

    The simplest answer is viruses are programs, and like other Windows
    or Mac programs, don't run on other OS'es. The multi-user security
    of Unix, and many incompatible versions, make it much harder to write
    an effective virus, and it would be able to infect a much smaller number
    of computers, so the virus writers stick to what's easy and provides the
    biggest target for infection.

    --
    Alan Coopersmith * alanc@alum.calberkeley.org * Alan.Coopersmith@Sun.COM
    http://blogs.sun.com/alanc/ * http://people.freedesktop.org/~alanc/
    http://del.icio.us/alanc/ * http://www.csua.berkeley.edu/~alanc/
    Working for, but definitely not speaking for, Sun Microsystems, Inc.

  2. Re: Why doesn't UNIX pick up viruses?

    In article ,
    Alan Coopersmith wrote:
    >The simplest answer is viruses are programs, and like other Windows
    >or Mac programs, don't run on other OS'es. The multi-user security
    >of Unix, and many incompatible versions, make it much harder to write


    Hopefully Sun will fund the new Solaris installer project and that
    installer will prompt for the creation of a non-root user for
    stand-alone systems.

    Looking at the /var/log/syslog, its clear the Internet doesn't need
    any more OS installations which encourage naive users shoot themselves
    in the foot by running as root.

    John
    groenveld@acm.org

  3. Re: Why doesn't UNIX pick up viruses?

    > Hopefully Sun will fund the new Solaris installer project and that installer
    > will prompt for the creation of a non-root user for stand-alone systems.


    I hope they won't. What's the use anyway on a stand alone system if the only
    time someone ever logs in will be for administrative purposes?

    IMO Solaris shouldn't be dragged down into making things 'easier' on the poor
    admin want-to-be. In the longer run that will only make things more complex and
    more unattractive for these poor guys. After all; if the installer already
    managed to create an account to use, why couldn't it also help the user to
    configure his sendmail environment, and bind, and apache, and, and...

    That road eventually leads to "user satisfaction" and will introduce the risk
    factor of people moving Solaris into the realms where 'user experience' is put
    above functionality. I'd hate to see that happen to an Enterprise server
    environment.

    > Looking at the /var/log/syslog, its clear the Internet doesn't need any more
    > OS installations which encourage naive users shoot themselves in the foot by
    > running as root.


    Is it ? Isn't it more clear that users should actually be /forced/ to think
    for a moment and consider the things they're doing and the risks involved
    instead of totally relying on some computer system to do the work for them ?

    Because that is your main cause of the problem; an semi-admin who wants the
    profits from a professional server environment without the hassle to take the
    effort and implement things as they should. And as long as you don't break that
    cycle (or change your OS in such a way that you're jumping right in) then
    you'll only continue to dumb things down eventually resulting (drastic example)
    in users who fully rely on the system and the features it offers out of the
    box.


    And that will be the beginning of "script kiddie heaven". If they can make the
    system tell the user(s) that everything is OK most of them won't start a server
    investigation since they wouldn't even know where to begin. And as long as
    their shiney admin programs tell them that everything is ok it doesn't matter
    if other people claim otherwise, what do they know anyway?

    This is a little over the top kind of example but something you already see
    happening (to a somewhat lesser degree) on OS's like Linux. Or when someone has
    hired a co-located server (with a Unix-like OS) and decides to cut down on
    support costs by handleing the administration and server updates themselves.
    Often resulting in compromises.

    Its not the system which needs to become 'smarter', its the admins who do. Many
    of them need an attitude change and shouldn't treat Unix like an end-user
    environment without thinking about the possible results of that.

    --
    Groetjes, Peter

    ..\\ PGP/GPG key: http://www.catslair.org/pubkey.asc

  4. Re: Why doesn't UNIX pick up viruses?

    Lion-O wrote:

    >> Hopefully Sun will fund the new Solaris installer project and that
    >> installer will prompt for the creation of a non-root user for stand-alone
    >> systems.

    >
    > I hope they won't. What's the use anyway on a stand alone system if the
    > only time someone ever logs in will be for administrative purposes?
    >
    > IMO Solaris shouldn't be dragged down into making things 'easier' on the
    > poor admin want-to-be. In the longer run that will only make things more
    > complex and more unattractive for these poor guys. After all; if the
    > installer already managed to create an account to use, why couldn't it
    > also help the user to configure his sendmail environment, and bind, and
    > apache, and, and...
    >
    > That road eventually leads to "user satisfaction" and will introduce the
    > risk factor of people moving Solaris into the realms where 'user
    > experience' is put above functionality. I'd hate to see that happen to an
    > Enterprise server environment.
    >
    >> Looking at the /var/log/syslog, its clear the Internet doesn't need any
    >> more OS installations which encourage naive users shoot themselves in the
    >> foot by running as root.

    >
    > Is it ? Isn't it more clear that users should actually be /forced/ to
    > think for a moment and consider the things they're doing and the risks
    > involved instead of totally relying on some computer system to do the work
    > for them ?
    >
    > Because that is your main cause of the problem; an semi-admin who wants
    > the profits from a professional server environment without the hassle to
    > take the effort and implement things as they should. And as long as you
    > don't break that cycle (or change your OS in such a way that you're
    > jumping right in) then you'll only continue to dumb things down eventually
    > resulting (drastic example) in users who fully rely on the system and the
    > features it offers out of the box.
    >
    >
    > And that will be the beginning of "script kiddie heaven". If they can make
    > the system tell the user(s) that everything is OK most of them won't start
    > a server investigation since they wouldn't even know where to begin. And
    > as long as their shiney admin programs tell them that everything is ok it
    > doesn't matter if other people claim otherwise, what do they know anyway?
    >
    > This is a little over the top kind of example but something you already
    > see happening (to a somewhat lesser degree) on OS's like Linux. Or when
    > someone has hired a co-located server (with a Unix-like OS) and decides to
    > cut down on support costs by handleing the administration and server
    > updates themselves. Often resulting in compromises.
    >
    > Its not the system which needs to become 'smarter', its the admins who do.
    > Many of them need an attitude change and shouldn't treat Unix like an
    > end-user environment without thinking about the possible results of that.
    >


    Well said, well spoken. I am in complete agreement here. It's up to the
    admin wannabe to learn what's there and adjust to it, not the other way
    around. If it's too much, too complicated, or takes too much effort then it
    should be handled by someone else.

    I see way too much "office multi-tasking" attention deficit disorder these
    days. If it can't be done quickly in a couple of minutes it's no good.
    Well, learning anything complex takes time and sustained effort.

    I see way too many people who click "OK" in a dialog box a couple of dozen
    times, get something installed and now they consider themselves "computer
    experts". If everything installed with baseline defaults now when they have
    to actually configure it for use in their specific environment the breakage
    begins. When things break they are totally lost.

    Just my $.02
    -Jason


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