Trojan Trouble - Linux

Trojan Trouble - Linux
Tux, the Linux penguin
Some disturbing and unpleasant news has reached the ear of many a Linux user over the last week or two. News that has sparked the age-old discussion of just how secure Linux really is. and it is without doubt creating great mirth for those who despise the way of the penguin. Russian security firm Dr. Web has found a password stealing trojan, which targets browser passwords for Opera, Firefox, Chrome and Chromium on Linux and Mac OS X platforms.

Apparently, the infected Linux or OS X machine will have a number of files written to the -/WIFIADAPT directory, and after capturing passwords that are submitted to the above browsers, including Thunderbird, SeaMonkey and Pidgin, a backdoor is activated and the data is sent off to a server located in the Netherlands (, as recorded by Dr Web).

It's unclear whether the trojan will extend to Windows-based systems; one theory is that by avoiding Windows the trojan has managed to keep itself below the virus-spotting industry radar. It's also unclear as to how the trojan is designed to spread, but cross platform pundits are quick to blame Java. However Dr. Web analyst Igor Zdobnov has stated that "We do not have explicit evidence that it uses Java. To my knowledge it does not."

Bad news indeed for Linux users, as many flaws in the kernel and other vulnerabilities have been publically announced over the last year or so. Either way, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security just because you use Linux; make sure you have an anti-virus client installed, and perhaps as a cautionary measure, block access to the aforementioned IP address. For more info on the Wirenet-1 trojan, have a browse on over to the Dr. Web Virus News page at

Ubuntu Gnome 12.10

Gnome users may be pleased to hear that come 18th October. Ubuntu will be releasing a Gnome version of 12.10. Although Ubuntu switched to Unity a while back, and it has come on in leaps and bounds since those early days, there are many users who still don’t like the look and feel of the tablet-centric desktop.

The Gnomebuntu (as it's being called for the time being) project will come supplied with a different set of default applications from the parent branch of Ubuntu. Applications such Epiphany and Abiword will be issued in place of Firefox and LibreOffice, and it's unclear yet if Gnomebuntu will be using the Ubuntu Software Centre, or Gnome-packagekit for the installation of third-party apps.

According to developer Jeremy Bicha, 'A Gnome version wouldn't put an end to Unity", but you have to wonder if the community has finally had enough of Unity. And will this project, should it prove ultimately successful, make Canonical sit up and listen? That, of course, remains to be seen, but as of yet there's still no word as to which version of Gnome will be used. If the project decides to go down the latest Gnome route, then will most Linux users ignore it, as the latest versions of Gnome have left just as bad a taste in the mouths of Linux users as Unity has. On the other hand, will they drop the Gnome version down to something like 2.32? The current site it has planned, ready for the launch, can be found at, and it has the look of Gnome 3 4 about it. Also, the Gnome foundation doesn't like the name, so expect to see a different one by October.