Every now and then, a story comes along which reminds me why I love the Linux/open-source world so much. Today’s gem:
There’s a new proof-of-concept virus out (wel, “out” is not really the right word — unless you’re a pro virus researcher you’ll probably never see it), which is able to infect both Linux and Windows machines. See here, for example, but it has been pretty widely reported.
Only, if you are running the latest kernel, 2.6.16, the virus won’t be able to propagate itself on your machine. Is that because the virus was exploiting a security bug which has been fixed in the latest kernel? No, it turns out to be a bug in the kernel which incorrectly prevents the virus from working. Linus Torvalds personally created a patch for the problem, so in the next version you too can infect yourself with Virus.Linux.Bi.a!
I love this world.
(By the way, in case you were worried: like most modern “viruses”, this is actually more of a trojan horse in that the user needs to be tricked into manually running the executable in order to get infected. It is not a worm which can spread itself without help from the user. Obviously, if that was possible, it would indicate a bug in Linux wich would need to be fixed).