Defending Against Viruses [Was: letter]

doc kd4e at ARRL.NET
Mon May 31 10:07:00 EDT 2004

Chris Trask wrote:
 >>Considering all the hacker mischief floating around, you'll have
 >>to be a LOT more informative on the subject line and the body of
 >>your message if you want your email read. I'll let somebody else
 >>be the guinea pig.
 >>That's a general suggestion, too. I've deleted large numbers of
 >>emails that probably were perfectly OK because of this. That's
 >>not paranoia--just caution.
 >>Avery W3AVE
 >>Potomac, Md.
 >You probably missed my posting that I made just a few minutes ago.
 >We have a new intrusion on the server.  That posting of "Please
 >read the document" was not sent by me.  We'll probably see a few
 >more of them in the next few days.
 > Chris

For Hams who are into innovation I have a suggestion as to how
one might individually neutralize the constant plague of viruses
coming directly and indirectly through Ham discussion lists.

If your Internet PC runs a version of Linux (I use Suse 9 Pro)
instead of Microsoft Windows then you have little to fear.

Most of the bad stuff out there is written to specifically
take advantage of weaknesses in Microsoft code, a chronic
problem across Win95, Win98, 2000, and XP.

Generally speaking the various viruses will not execute on a
Linux machine and if so motivated one may even open them and
look at the code without harm. (There are rare exceptions and
Linux virus protection apps are available to kill those.)

Linux is the operating system of choice on a huge percentage
of small and medium size servers across the world because
the code is written with inherent security protections.  It
is vastly easier to lock-down against attacks.

There are hundreds of Ham-related Linux applications (most
are freeware) and Linux (at least Suse 9 Pro) includes
common applications that are compatible with and equal to
similar apps on a Microsoft machine (e.g. web browser, E-mail
app, news reader, word processor, spreadsheet, presentation
app, with thousands of others available free via download).

Most Linux distributions (there are many) are available free
via download, inexpensively via many companies who provide
legal CD copies, or reasonably priced from the source company,
online, or in stores in a boxed set that includes manuals
and tech support.

Just thought y'all might want to know -- you have a right to
be angry with Microsoft for porous security and the authors
of the "attack code" -- but there is something you can do
about it!

Thanks! & 73, doc kd4e
West Central Florida
Drake, Heathkit, Kenwood, TenTec, Yaesu
Radio Life:
Linux-Incompatible hardware is defective!
USA Pres. Election 2004:

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