Feeds

Cross-platform virus poses little risk

Windows and Linux malware swings both ways

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Security watchers have uncovered proof-of-concept (POC) malware that's capable (at least theoretically) of infecting either Windows or Linux PCs. Linux-Bi-A/Win-Bi-A is written in assembler so it is capable of infecting either Linux ELF binaries or Windows exe files.

The virus only infects files in a user's current directory and isn't spreading. The code for Bi-A is simple and its only action is to inject text strings into infected files. Bi-A poses no immediate risk to users in its present form. However, as Kaspersky Labs' virus list notes, it's possible that VXers will take the code and use it as a basis for more malicious malware. But then again, that could be said of previous cross platform viruses and thus far a heavy hitter has failed to materialise.

The SANS Institute concludes that the appearance of the PoC serves as a timely reminder that users ought not to run their machine as "root" or administrator. Running a computer via a separate user account limits the impact of hacker attacks, but it's a lesson ordinary Windows users, in particular, have been slow to take on board. Protecting computers - be they running Windows, Linux or OS/X - with anti-virus software is also a good idea. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
Forget passwords, let's use SELFIES, says Obama's cyber tsar
Michael Daniel wants to kill passwords dead
FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones
Claims it's what the Founding Fathers would have wanted – catching killers and pedos
Kill off SSL 3.0 NOW: HTTPS savaged by vicious POODLE
Pull it out ASAP, it is SWISS CHEESE
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.