Multi-OS Virus Emerges
Security experts have spotted a new virus capable of infecting both Windows and Linux computer systems. It's a "proof-of-concept" virus, in that it is not really designed to be malicious or spread but merely to demonstrate a new method of infection or propagation.
I first spotted this thing at Viruslist, the blog maintained by the Russia-based anti-virus maker Kaspersky Lab.
I have no doubt that we will continue to see a greater interest in the virus-writing community in creating more cross-platform malware and attacks. As Kaspersky noted, "our experience shows that once proof of concept code is released, virus writers are usually quick to take the code, and adapt it for their own use."
What's more, once methods for adapting virus code to infect multiple operating systems becomes widely known, so will the attacks. Swa Frantzen, an incident handler over at the SANS Internet Storm Center, said "even today websites sending exploits to their visitors tend to detect what browser/platform the visitor is using and send a matching exploit to install some malware and earn their quarter for each confirmed installation."
One gentleman I met here at the CanSecWest security conference in Vancouver, B.C., Mathieu Sauve-Frankel, the organizer of another Canadian security conference called RECON, was anxious to show me what he considered to the be highlight of the next RECON coming up in June -- a talk given by a guy who claims to have written the first system-independent virus that cannot be detected by conventional anti-virus technologies.
Sauve-Frankel just posted the schedule for that conference, if anyone is interested in more information on that.
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