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09 April 2006

Cross Platform Virus

Hackers have released a sample code for a virus that could infect both Linux and Windows PCs. The virus, which was given the double name Virus.Linux.Bi.a/ Virus.Win32.Bi.a, was reported Friday by security firm Kaspersky Lab. "The virus is written in assembler and is relatively simple," Kaspersky wrote in a posting to the company's Viruslist.com Web site. "However, it is interesting in that it is capable of infecting the different file formats used by Linux and Windows - ELF and PE format files respectively." The ELF (Executable and Linking Format) and PE (Portable Executable) file formats are used to format certain types of binary files in Linux and Windows, including the .exe and .dll files used in Windows. The virus appears to have no practical application, Kasperky said. "It's a classic proof-of-concept code, written to show that it is possible to create a cross-platform virus," Kaspersky said. "However, 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." Security training organization The SANS Institute agreed with Kaspersky's assessment, saying that the software should come as a warning to Linux and Mac OS X users who may think their computers are "invulnerable" to virus threats. Source: Network World Tags: , , , , , , , ,