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Linux is as secure as ever

Filed under
Linux
Security

There have been several stories proclaiming that a recent Linux infection proves Windows malware monopoly is over and that Think Linux is free from malware? Think again; it's been hacked. Much as it pains me to disagree with the good people, they're wrong.

Here's what really happened. UnrealIRCd, a rather obscure open-source IRC (Internet Relay Chat) server, wasn't so much hacked as the program it was letting people download has been replaced by one with a built-in security hole.

Let me spell it out for you. Even before this latest fiasco, no one who cares about security was letting IRC clients or servers run on their systems. It's always been too easy to abuse.

In this particular case, the group behind UnrealIRCd were just dumb about tracking their own program. Clearly, they never bothered to check their own code. The users, by virtue of the fact that they were running IRC in the first place, don't get any prizes for being bright either. After all, they were running IRC: Case closed.

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How much more malware is lurking

zdnet.com: The revelation that the open-source Unreal IRC server download has been infected with malware for some eight months is pretty worrying. But the added discovery that this Trojan horse made its way into the Gentoo distro is real reason for the Linux community to re-examine how trusted repositories are handled.

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