Bliss can be a nightmare. The world of Unix was rocked by the claim that anti-virus company McAfee Associates has discovered a virus called Bliss, which can wreak havoc on the freeware Unix-based Linux operating system.
The news caused consternation because, until now, most programmers had believed that Unix-like systems were almost immune to infection because administrators, so-called Unix Wizards, have such control over the OS.
Games are likely to be the reason why the Bliss virus, which overwrites EXE files, is proliferating throughout the world, according to Jimmy Kuo, director of McAfee?s anti-viral research. If people play Doom, for example, on Intel machines across the Internet, they will have to share the so-called root directory.
When Bliss hits, it overwrites the first 17Kbytes of affected files with code it contributes itself. Any files affected by Bliss cannot be recovered. Although Linux - a Unix derivative very popular in the technical and Internet communities - is affected by Bliss, the company claimed that other Intel operating systems, including Dos, OS/2 and the different flavours of Windows, cannot be touched by it.
According to McAfee, ?very little? is known about Bliss and the company discovered it a bare 10 days ago. Yet within two days, crack programmers had posted a solution to Bliss on the company?s Web site. McAfee has a Bliss scanner, the company added.
Linux and Unix are virtually indistinguishable from each other in their modus operandi. That means, theoretically at least, that Wizards could suffer from Bliss.
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