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Linux.org.mt: Cyberterrorism - the price of complacency

Oct 02, 2001, 11:59 (13 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ramon Casha)

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"...We've seen Melissa, we've seen Anna Kournikova, the KAK worm, and recently the Code Red virus, SirCam virus, and this was closely followed by the NIMDA virus. All of these spread at a frightening speed, highlighting how easy it is for a well-written virus to spread across the internet before people have time to respond. And, as we depend more and more on the internet to conduct business, the damage such an attack could cause becomes more of a worry. Bad attitude

Many Linux users tend to brush off such threats, perhaps feeling that only Windows-based machines get infected. Unfortunately, the reaction of many people is 'Ha ha, another worm infected IIS/Outlook, well we weren't infected because we use the XYZ-server/email client instead.' Yet it is precisely this kind of complacency which leads to so many vulnerabilities being exploited. The 'hasn't-happened-to-me-yet' attitude can lead one to ignore the dangers, and that is precisely when one is most vulnerable. Like the fire extinguisher that nobody bothers to replenish because there?s never been a fire before, ignoring the threats for long enough is an open invitation to attackers.

The fact that there haven't yet been any Linux viruses in the wild doesn't mean that there won?t be any in the future. It may be true that Linux is inherently more secure than Windows, but to the kind of people who write viruses this merely provides a greater challenge. When (not if) virus eventually emerge on Linux, are you ready for them?"

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