"...the year ended on a rather sour note [for Linux], when,
toward the beginning of December, a computer virus entitled
"Shockwave.A" promoted Linux. Resembling the infamous "I Love You"
virus, this app spread through Microsoft Outlook e-mail program,
crashing computers in dozens of organizations. The virus altered
file extensions by adding text that read: "change at least now to
LINUX." In addition, each attack ended with a message signed by
"the penguin" -- the de facto Linux mascot."
"Immediately following news of this virus, a number of
industry experts said that the virus could cripple the operating
system's success. More recently, however, a number of those experts
have mitigated those statements by saying mishaps such as this are
part of life. One such expert was Dan Kuznetsky, vice
president of systems software research for IDC Corp., in
Framingham, Mass. Originally, Kuznetsky's assessment of the virus
aftermath was grave. By last week, he had changed his tone, siding
with users who said such setbacks were simply par for the
"Kuznetsky wasn't the only one to change directions midstream.
At BASCOM, a Hauppauge, N.Y. educational software developer that
utilizes Linux, CTO Bob DeRosa had a similar response, first
calling the virus "a disaster," then deciding that in the long run,
perhaps the experience would be good to show Linux users that even
their OS isn't immune to this kind of computer vandalism. Today,
while DeRosa admits the virus may have scared off some potential
Linux users, he adds that it won't have any "long-term effects" on
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