Matthew Seaman m.seaman at
Sun May 30 14:27:39 BST 2004

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On Sun, May 30, 2004 at 01:44:26PM +0100, Grant wrote:

> I was just wondering this morning, do i really need antivirus? the=20
> reason i thought that was because i run only linux and freebsd boxes and=
> i heard that there is very limited virus's that can affect/infect a=20
> bsd/linux box...

The only widespread Linux viruses I ever heard of infected webservers
via a buggy version of OpenSSL -- that was the Slapper worm, and
related things like the Ramen worm.  Similarly the Scalper worm would
infect FreeBSD/Apache servers using an apache version vulnerable to
the chunked transfer encoding problem (ie Apache 1.3.20 - 1.3.24) --
and that is apparently the one and only known trojan to infect
FreeBSD.  None of those trojans are a serious problem currently.

To my knowledge there has never been a virus of trojan that can infect
either of those two OSes and that spreads via e-mail.  Which is almost
the same thing as saying that MS Outlook or Outlook Express doesn't
run on those platforms.
> So i was wondering do i really need to install them virus filters on my=
> mail server? or on any of my bsd/linux boxes, if i do could someone=20
> explain why....

You can probably get away without any sort of virus filtering on your
unix based mail servers at the moment. Even so, I think it's worth
doing AV filtering just to get rid of the virus generated spam traffic
relatively efficiently.  Pick out the virus stuff by recognising
signatures, and let your more computationally expensive Bayesian
filters concentrate on the other stuff.



Dr Matthew J Seaman MA, D.Phil.                       26 The Paddocks
                                                      Savill Way
PGP:         Marlow
Tel: +44 1628 476614                                  Bucks., SL7 1TH UK

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