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Mac and Linux viruses to rise 'significantly'


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#1 vetmarkjensen

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 17:01

Source: PCPro

There will be a significant rise in virus attacks on both the Mac and open-source platforms, according to renowned security expert, Eugene Kaspersky.

The co-founder and head of anti-virus research at Kaspersky Labs claims that Vista's lukewarm reception will drive more customers towards alternative platforms, making them a more attractive target for malware writers. 'Home users are not so loyal to the OS. Not many of them are satisfied with Microsoft Vista,' Kaspersky told PC Pro. 'Some Windows users will switch to other OSes. Microsoft will not lose its dominance, but it will be reduced a bit.'

Kaspersky claims that Mac viruses are no more difficult to repel than Windows attacks, but says 'it's not so easy to find good [anti-virus] experts for non-Windows platforms.'

Open source presents more serious problems, however. 'More people are watching open-source code, so they are more quick to find problems. If the people who make the fix are good guys, that's great; if they are bad guys, that's a problem,' Kaspersky warns.

Vista doesn't escape Kaspersky's wrath, either. Although he agrees Vista is fundamentally more secure than XP, he says not all security vendors have perfected their software for Vista yet. 'Is a less protected XP with a ready set of security applications better than a more secure Vista with less developed security applications?' he asks. 'Microsoft paid a lot of attention to security [in Vista], but it means less flexibility for security vendors. It's like an airport - it's more secure than on the street, but there's less flexibility.'

New platforms to attack

Kaspersky also warned that malware writers are increasingly turning their attention to non-PC platforms, including consoles and smartphones. He even raised the prospect of PlayStation AV software. 'If there are viruses for the PlayStation 3, if the situation is such that we have to have protection for these devices, we will have products,' he says.

The Russian also claims that foreign malware experts are growing wise to new developments in the smartphone arena. 'The hackers who develop code for computers don't know how to write for smartphones [at present],' Kaspersky claims. '[However] this year they are going to introduce online banking through smartphones and Chinese hackers will turn to smartphone phishing,' he says.




#2 The_Decryptor

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 17:13

Translation: "Gimmie Money!"

#3 *John*

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 17:16

Well he certainly has a vested interest in that being the case doesnt he.....

Scaremongering = $$$$$$$$$$$$$ for him

I'd ignore this tbh (N)

#4 Guest_jgrodri_*

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 17:22

that's what i call a bad, yet accurate statement: if only 1 virus is created for osx/linux, then that is already a significant increase (the change from 0 to 1 involves an infinite percentage increase). From that point of view: yes, there MIGHT be a significant increase. However, it is more likely that this so-called expert is just trying to create panic and sell (as of now) completely pointless antivirus software.

#5 The_Decryptor

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 17:37

There are already several viruses/trojans for Linux, you have to go out of your way to run them though.

Of course, sit an absolute beginner down at a system, and give them instructions to follow, and they could probably get it going.

#6 Berto

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 17:40

and yet linux and OS X are still much less at risk of viral infections due to market share. Strike one up for the minority.

OS X for life.

#7 Barney T.

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 17:53

There are already several viruses/trojans for Linux, you have to go out of your way to run them though.


+1 :yes:

#8 The Teej

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 17:54

In order to get viruses on the PS3, Wii and 360, they gotta figure out how to run unsigned code on it. Good luck!

#9 ichi

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 18:00

If it became necesary, I'd rather take SELinux or AppArmor over any of those crappy programs.
Antivirus developers should better hope Windows marketshare doesn't decrease too much, because they have little business to do on the *nix side.

#10 Kreuger

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 18:04

There are already several viruses/trojans for Linux, you have to go out of your way to run them though.

Yep I have avast installed and run a check once in a while just for the hell of it

#11 OP vetmarkjensen

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 18:07

If it became necesary, I'd rather take SELinux or AppArmor over any of those crappy programs.
Antivirus developers should better hope Windows marketshare doesn't decrease too much, because they have little business to do on the *nix side.

That might depend...

Imagine a future where 50% of the world's home clueless users (ones that just buy a PC and run it without ever thinking of updating) ran Linspire, or some other "run as root" distro.

Combine clueless users (the #1 cause of spreading malware), un-updated PCs (the #2 cause), a significant marketshare, plus running as root... :no:

That's a bad combination (and this is what Microsoft has been facing since the days that PCs became "easy to use").

#12 vetPL_

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 19:07

Why Linspire? I think if they're going to run anything, it'd be either SuSE or Ubuntu.

I know it was just an example, but those 2 are ones I think are more likely to dominate.

#13 ichi

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 19:30

That might depend...

Imagine a future where 50% of the world's home clueless users (ones that just buy a PC and run it without ever thinking of updating) ran Linspire, or some other "run as root" distro.

Combine clueless users (the #1 cause of spreading malware), un-updated PCs (the #2 cause), a significant marketshare, plus running as root... :no:

That's a bad combination (and this is what Microsoft has been facing since the days that PCs became "easy to use").


Then those poor guys would probably suffer the consequences of choosing an OS with moronic default settings, and since they're already running as root and not updating the system, I don't see how any antivirus would make any difference.

The point is that, as long as you're at least minimally concerned about security, there are far better tools available than those antivirus.

#14 .Ark

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 21:50

I don't think new users will be as clueless on Windows as Linux in the near future though. We'll see how things go.

#15 BigBoy

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Posted 24 April 2007 - 22:03

Why Linspire? I think if they're going to run anything, it'd be either SuSE or Ubuntu.

I know it was just an example, but those 2 are ones I think are more likely to dominate.


Well, in my experience, I agree with markjensen's statement.

I am a Linux n00b for all intents and purposes; I ran few distros for a bit but GUI only, more as a curiosity than need.

Newest Ubuntu - I threw in the towel after about 2 1/2 hours spent to try make networking work. That is after I got past hangs during the install, no errors even though stuff from CD was missing etc. IMO Ubuntu is far from the average Windows user (and I consider myself an advanced Windows user).

Linspire - I could install that and get it running with 0 problems. So did Ark Linux.

The distro that cathers to a typical Windows user will do well.