Sure, a Windows virus could theoretically sit on a Gnu&Linux platform just as it could sit on any
other platform. The difference is that it can't knock-out the anti-malware defences of the
Gnu&Linux system. Also it can't run or replicate itself or infect other files on the system. So
at best all it can do is sit&hope. Even fairly rubbishy security with infrequent updates is likely
to wipe it out faster than it can grow because it can't grow.
The link doesn't mention security but one of the fundamental and top priorities of Unix was to
ensure that no single user could take down the whole system or affect any other user. Unix
machines typically had hundreds of workers all logged in at the same time and often running
processes that might take a long time to complete. Imagine if one user was running the equivalent
of a defrag or disk check when another user just quickly rebooted the system. Too much potential
to trash the system or lose data or hours worth of work. So, programs had to be able to run
without elevating privileges and without affecting other users on the same system.
Windows aimed at tiny, cheap machines with just 1 user per machine. The aim was to get a personal
computer into every home and onto every desk. if a single user took down their own system it only
affected the 1 person. Since then they have bolted on a few thing on top of that, such as allowing
multiple users (but not at the same time), network and internet access and some attempt at dealing
with some security issues as an (optional) after-thought.
Wrt the thread, the reported issue did get forwarded to the websites team and they dealt with the
situation really rather quickly. Thanks to the person reporting the issue the situation was
resolved several hours faster than it might have been otherwise.
From: Luuk <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Friday, 12 July 2013, 10:56
Subject: [libreoffice-users] Re: LibreOffice website security
On 17-06-2013 07:31, Tom Davies wrote:
It is unlikely the LibreOffice website is infected because it runs on unix-based platforms such
as Gnu&Linux. I don't think any of the internet-facing servers run on Windows. Also i suspect
that uploads get scanned and stuff on the servers gets scanned fairly regularly. However it
might be wise if we let the websites team know there might be an issue.
Sorry, but this is not true, so i want to add some things
1) A unix (or linux) system CAN spread (windows) virusses (or virae)
(a virus is nothing more that a piece of (binary) code, which is not
aware of any OS)
2) GNU (GNU's Not Unix) has nothing to do with that.
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