Asked by John Rosing

Is the 2008-01-13 answer by shahdil hoque still valid? A recent N.Y.Times article identified that some countries are creating sophisticated viruses as a potential tool to block Internet capability for their government's military and economic benefit. Obviously this potential attack is something quite new. Therefore my question is still valid: DOES THE USE OF UBUNTU PRECLUDE DAMAGE TO MY COMPUTER ON THE INTERNET?

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Vikram Dhillon (dhillon-v10) said :

No, this depends on what sites you go to: Your computer can't just start doing things on its own unless it has been infected by a virus or something similar then it can do all sorts of stuff. Linux in general is only vulnerable to about 4 viruses (I don't know which ones) and if you want to be extra careful then use Ubuntu in a virtual machine and then browse the Internet freely


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actionparsnip (andrew-woodhead666) said :

They are most likely only targetting Windows so I wouldnt worry. Just keep logging in as a user and you will be fine.

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Daniel Hollocher (chogydan) said :

I personally haven't heard of any virus for Ubuntu. As long as you are only getting software from the Ubuntu repositories, you are fine. The Times article may have been for just Windows, who knows.

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Tom (tom6) said :

If this is a question about Green Dam from the Chinese Government then it really depends on the computer and the operating system to be compliant with it. Hardware manufacturers that refuse to sell deliberately broken systems are being refused entry into China. The computer industry and science ministry their are trying to inform their government but since when did governments ever really have the ability to listen to their own people? It is easy to criticise other governments and other cultures but we should really look at the absurdities of our own.

I wonder if this post will get deleted?

Regards from
Tom :)

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Tom (tom6) said :

Amazon on-line recently deleted all the copies of 1984 that it had sold on-line to it's customers because it was found that Amazon didn't have the right's to sell it. This was made possible by the the terms and conditions of the Kindle program which people have to use in order to use Amazon's service

Note that other companies also use Kindle or have other versions of such software but seem to have stayed mysteriously quiet about it. The rule for data is that data does not really exist unless there are at least 2 copies of it. Also when buying services make sure you check the terms & conditions, at first it's boring and tough but you soon find that while they tend to be very similar you do occasionally find differences just leap out of the page at you ;)

A famous quote "Real men don't backup their data. They ftp it and millions of people download it" (hence backing it up for you) but most of us don't write the linux kernel so a little jesting around is forgiveable imo.

Anyway, some great links from Daniel Hollocher. I noticed the 3rd one is a little out-of-date so i'm just updating it from it's quoted sources :)
Good luck and regards from
Tom :)

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Larry Jordan (larryjor) said :

     It doesn't hurt to install an antivirus program in Linux, just to be safe. There are several available, and they are all free. They don't scan automatically as well as the ones for Windows in most cases, but I recommend using a firewall and virus scanner just to be safe. ClamAV is available from the Synaptic Package Manager; seems most people like it and it's capabilities. Personally, I use F-prot.

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