[HacktionLab] finished proofreading - now need further help was: Tech Tools for Activists book

ben at bristolwireless.net ben at bristolwireless.net
Wed Jul 21 18:08:25 BST 2010

Quoting ana <anap at riseup.net>:

> ---- In the chapter Free as in Freedom, I have a minor problem with this
> phrase:
> There has never been a major virus outbreak on GNU/Linux,
> when has there been a minor one?
> I think we could say that "there has never been a virus outbreak", or at
> least that "virus outbreaks are unheard of" on gnu linux.

There was a C compiler virus that re-wrote on every compile and slowly  
expanded in the 1990's sometime, it did fairly well but was easy to  
remove. Also if we are looking the full GNU/Linux operating system, we  
must look at applications. There have been macro viruses for  
OpenOffice.org, quickly fixed and didn't do much damage.

There was also a case when a kernel level virus wouldn't work because  
of some broken code, which Linus Torvalds then fixed so the virus  
could work. http://www.linux.com/archive/feature/53727 . Wasn't really  
a wild virus though.

I'd like to be accurate about this whilst letting people know just how  
good GNU/Linux security is. GNU/Linux has had viruses. One of them was  
when the user base was very small and one never really caught on.  
"virus outbreaks are _virtually_ unheard of", "GNU/Linux viruses are  
the stuff of legend for all current users" or something like that?

Brilliant work on the rest of the text Ana, I can't provide any  
answers, hope others will :)

 From Ben Green
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