06 August 2005

The death of the popularity myth

Con Zymaris points to this ComputerWorld article from the OSIA discussion list, with the comment “With only 10,000 Vista users worldwide, their platform already has viruses” —

An Austrian hacker earned the dubious distinction of writing what are thought to be the first known viruses for Microsoft's Windows Vista operating system. [...] The viruses were published last month in a virus-writing tutorial written for an underground hacker group calling itself the Ready Ranger Liberation Front, and take advantage of security vulnerabilities in the new command shell.
So much for Microsoft’s repeated assertion that Linux has no viruses only because it’s not popular... here’s a second opinion/damage-control post:
Although MSH was originally scheduled to ship as part Windows Vista, Microsoft has since decided to have its release coincide with the launch of Exchange 12. It won't ship as part of Vista, although both applications have a projected release date in the second half of 2006. And MSH isn't limited to Vista, but supports Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 too.
My first thought was “oh, good, just what we need: more viruses for XP and 2K3” but then it struck me: who’s going to notice one more virus amongst the Xty thousand already present?

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