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Are anti-virus programs a real necessity?


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96 replies to this topic

#25 Xav

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:02 AM

Windows is not attacked more than Macs because it is more vulnerable. It is attacked because 90% of the world uses Windows, so attacks have more impact.
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#26 TcM

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:12 AM

Windows is not attacked more than Macs because it is more vulnerable. It is attacked because 90% of the world uses Windows, so attacks have more impact.


Never said otherwise :)

Although, yeah, we all know Windows is kinda... more.. vulnerable :P
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#27 Xav

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 08:13 AM

I'm not so sure. Despite being the subject of much abuse, I honestly don't believe Microsoft's OS is more vulnerable. If everybody used Mandriva Linux, then all the viruses would be for Mandriva.
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#28 Aereshaa

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:13 AM

Ha. Wrong on that count. Consider this: In its default configuration, a Windows computer connected to the internet will be compromised within a few minutes. Compare that to mine, where I have no firewall, no antivirus, no protection WHATSOEVER besides unix's inbuilt security, and more, have been continuously connected to the net for almost a whole year, with absolutely no problems.
Because windows has no separation between system and user files, and most users run with system priveliges all the time, users bring their computers close to being zombified just by turning them on!
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#29 Xav

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 10:16 AM

That's beside the point. If Unix was what everybody used, then Unix computers would be this much more open to attack.
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#30 Aereshaa

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 01:37 PM

I realize I just made several arguments. For the sake of confusion, I've numbered them.

I.
An operating system's vulnerability has no relation to how much it's used. Explain how Windows can have so many exploitable security holes, and linux or bsd so few, if linux' and bsd's entire sources are available freely to anyone, and windows' is kept under lock and key. The thing is, sites like Google use unix exclusively. You can't tell me google is less of a profitable target than you are! If unix was what everyone used, that wouldn't change the quality of the security.

II.
Another reason linux in particular is secure is because updates are released so quickly. When a vulnerability is found, any programmer with time on his hands can help fix it, and in no time, a fix is released, and it's over. Compare that with windows, where you have to wait until a service pack is released half a year later!
And this will only get worse, because XP will go out of support in a year or so, and then what will XP users do? Switch to vista? For most, no.

III.
A virus must become executable in order to be run. A virus cannot run itself or cause itself to be run. A virus runs only with the privileges of the one who runs it, and therefore can only affect that person's files. Perhaps you have never used a unix. let me elaborate. On linux, there are several users which I the owner can log in as, for example there is Aeresha, who is a user-level user with no permissions. If I run a program as Aereshaa, it can only affect the files which are set to be owned by the account Aereshaa.
Derived from the above, a virus cannot affect system files unless run by Root, the system account, which I only log in as in order to install programs. Therefore a virus must be able to trick me into downloading it, then trick me into making it executable, and then trick me into running it as root. That's a lot of trickery to try on a fairly intelligent and sensible person like me.
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#31 TcM

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 02:31 PM

I think what Xav means is, that hackers will target more Unix systems if everybody used them. But that doesn't mean that Unix will be more vulnerable.
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#32 MeTh0Dz

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 03:04 PM

If you think that unix is 'invulnerable' to virus, you are just being dumb. You are basically saying that unix is not exploitable and that files can't be infected.

Also Xav's point is very valid. Why would virus writers waste their time looking for exploiting and writing viruses for nix systems, when less than 2 percent of the world uses nix. That wouldn't even make sense. Of course there are many more known exploits for windows, and way more viruses, people are much more interested in compromising windows boxes because they are in use by over 90 percent of the world.
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#33 Aereshaa

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Posted 27 June 2008 - 05:27 PM

I never said that! Unix is exploitable, but only by the user's own stupidity, for example downloading and running unknown scripts or binaries. One thing I said is indisputable: on unix, programs do not run themselves, and do not automatically get permission to run, as on windows. Maybe if unix becomes insecure through more interest I'll admit defeat, but currently, it's the best option in terms of security.
Also, why do you think only 2% of the world uses unix? Mac OS X is 6% of the commercial desktop market, and in the server market, Apache open-source servers account for around 73%! You can't tell me 73% of servers isn't a valuable target!
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#34 chili5

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 03:57 AM

Why can't you make backup?


Um my dvd burner doesn't work anymore lol
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#35 TcM

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 04:56 AM

Um my dvd burner doesn't work anymore lol


Just partition your hdd, and make one partition for backup :)
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#36 chili5

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Posted 28 June 2008 - 05:01 AM

ooh ok, my dad would kill me i did :) do you know how much USB hard drives cost?
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