Monday, August 18, 2008

A virus is forever, not just for Christmas

Geekman: "I nearly opened a virus today. It was very clever. It pretended to be one of those e-greeting cards, except that the "link" was an attached .exe file."

Me: "Good thing you noticed."

Geekman: "Well, it's not like it would have mattered anyway. I was using Linux. Although... I think the way I've set things up, it would have automatically been opened under Wine. [a sort of virtual Windows system that runs under Linux]"

Me: "So you could have emulated the virus."

Geekman: "Ooh! This could be fun! I could run virtual viruses in my virtual Windows!" (Scurries off to try this out).

Yes, folks, we are living in an XKCD strip.

6 Comments:

mooninthegutter said...

Teehee...

(A really insightful comment I know, but the post did make me laugh and I'm trying to make a habit of commenting more)

StyleyGeek said...

I'd rather have comments that say "teehee" than no comments at all, so thanks :)

Jana said...

moop! moop!

(howdya like MY accent?)

physics*chick said...

what? you mean this isn't normal??

Gam said...

WINE Is Not an Emulator. it's an incomplete implementation of windows apis, so only viruses that exploit application bugs should work, ones that rely on kernel exploits probably won't. though you shouldn't let exes execute by default, there's always a chance that if a virus tries to take out your default wine drives it could trash your home directory as well. it is a very good idea to change your default wine setup to directories other than your home dir if you're regularly opening files that might be exposed to infection (probably not an issue with uni machines).

apologies if this is redundant, or impertinent information :)

StyleyGeek said...

Gam - thanks. I didn't know that viruses under WINE could affect your home directory. (I do know it's Not an Emulator, although describing it as such often makes more sense to lay-people than calling it anything more technically correct.)