Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Unix and Email Viruses

Author:Paul L. Bruno
Posted:6/16/1999; 10:39:43 AM
Topic:Unix and Email Viruses
Msg #:7451 (In response to 7430)
Prev/Next:7450 / 7452

How exactly was my statement a personal attack? How did I accuse you of huge moral lapses, or flame you? That certainly wasn't my intention.

Thank you for leaving it up, though, so others can read it and see for themselves whether it is in fact garbage, contained flame, personal attacks, etc.

I have been a long time listener, some time contributor to these pages. I wouldn't have stuck around if I couldn't respect you. I try to be careful in my posts so that they are constructive, not destructive. It may be time to reevaluate my ability to do so. But not yet, here's one more try.

This started with your statement: "Don't they have emailers on Solaris? Can you enclose an executable or a shell script? If so, their door is wide open." At times in the past, when your question is answered or a fact clarified via the discussion groups, you have passed the information on the Scripting News readers via an update on the front page. That's a good thing, since not everyone has the time to dig into the DGs.

Scripting News has also made a point of being responsive regarding security matters, whether they are in Frontier or some other software; and to chastise other companies who are not so honest and quick to respond to a problem.

In the very first message in this thread, Eric Soroos explains why the door is not wide open.

You have the right to put anything you want on your web site. I have never before presumed to tell you what you should put there. I am only suggesting that since you are often quoted as a respected source of information, you can help clarify this issue by pointing out that it is true that Unix is resistant to these types of viruses; and that it is not Windows itself which is the problem, but the extreme interconnectivity between the combination of the OS, Office, and Outlook, and a lack of understanding about how this interconnectivity works, that make viruses a big threat. Novices are not dumb. If you can educate somebody that sharing floppies is bad, you should also be able to educate them as to why they're vulnerable to these kinds of viruses, and tell them about their options.

That's essentially the point of the article which triggered your questions, if you cut out Gosling's continuing reference to Java as a 'platform' and Allchin's "upgrade to 2000" sales pitch.

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