[HLUG] Botnets

COLIN GITTINGS ca_gittings at btinternet.com
Tue Mar 31 13:43:11 UTC 2009

Hi all,

I think it would be good to address the classic "we're not at risk" viewpoint.

Its good that BCC Click program raised that point, although invariably there is more to it than that.

Although significantly more secure than Windoze we should still look to protect ourselves as there is malicious software targeting unix-like (including Mac-OS) systems. Linux magazine ran a root-kit special feature over the past year which highlighted one potential risk. I seem to remember a Mac-OS virus hitting the news in the last 6 months also, althougfh I'm not sure on that one.

For example, just because someone runs Linux, if they run as root all the time they are just as vulnerable as other less secure operating systems. If you like, the system is as secure as the user who operates it but you can only mitigate the risk, not eliminate it completely.

Mind you, given that most virus' are M$ based you could consider your virus checker (ClamAV in my case) as a public service in addition to protecting your own machie(s) as it will invariably locate many more Windoze based exploits than Linux based exploits..

In essence there are viruses and other malware that target Linux, its just that there are a lot (!!!!) less of them, thus the risk is much lower. Combine that with a user who operates his system wisely (i.e. good passwords and not running as root more than necessary) then Linux does put up an excellent defence.

Apologies if that came across as a rant or "over the top", but I think it better we know we are not invulnerable even if we are one step ahead of most other OS's.

Best regards,


From: TONY MCQUEEN <oak.organics at btinternet.com>
To: HLUG Herefordshire Linux Users Group. <herefordshire at mailman.lug.org.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, 31 March, 2009 1:44:04 PM
Subject: [HLUG] Botnets

I see the TV program click has revealed (via the honeynet project) that botnets operate on linux/unix  machines. And I thought we were safe...

Tony McQueen
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