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Re: Anti Virus Software

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On Thu, Jun 19, 2003 at 03:02:49PM -0500, Kent West wrote:
> My opinion only -- if you're not running any services for Windows 
> clients (email, ftp, file sharing, etc), anti-virus apps just suck up 
> resources on your Linux box. Perhaps someday viruses on the Linux 
> platform might be more prevalent, but even then, they're not going to 
> have the same impact that they do on Windows.

Well, there's what, 8 viruses out there for Unix[1]?  Half of those
aren't in the wild anymore, the most serious of which was the Great
Worm of 1988.  The rest prey on the fact that Red Hat doesn't test
their distro as well as pretty much everyone else on the market and
doesn't make it as easy as other distros to upgrade to the updates.

> Until that someday, I wouldn't bother, unless, like I indicate,
> you're serving/storing files for Windows clients, which might be
> infected and passed/stored through your Linux box.

Lets see, WinDOS picked up, what, ~145,000 viruses in 23 years, MacOS
picked up a few thousand, tops, in 19 years.  Unix has picked up 8 in
35 years.  I think DOS had more viruses when I was born in 1982 than
Unix does now.  Assuming you go from the time the OS makes inroads
with marketing departments to the time all virus hell breaks loose in
two years, if it was going to happen, I think we would have seen it in
1999.  1999 brought us, what, the Ramen worm on Red Hat, and I haven't
seen it in the wild in about two years now.

If people remain smart about using permissions, viruses will remain an
exceptionally rare creature in Unix.

[1] When people complain that Unix doesn't have as much software
available, I'm starting to wonder if they're seeing the lack of
viruses as lack of software.  Certainly isn't games, Transgaming's
Winex works pretty damn well on every title not produced by
Microsoft, and the only reason I bring that bit up is because MS makes
the best train simulator I've seen; if I want to get my rail fix, I
either have to go volunteer at the Zoo driving their and hope an
engineer called in sick, buy an Amtrak fare or use my roommate's box.

- -- 
 .''`.     Baloo Ursidae <baloo@ursine.ca>
: :'  :    proud Debian admin and user
`. `'`
  `-  Debian - when you have better things to do than fix a system
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