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I've been using linux for quite some time now, and I've never had any problem with spyware or virus infections. At the other end of the spectrum we have Windows. On an almost daily basis working in the IT industry, I see windows machines that are infected with spyware and viruses to the point of not being able to access internet, and not being able to clean the infection off the system with the exception of creating a two day project to do nothing but clean that one system. (who has time for that)
I told a co-worker who is a noob to linux that I would pay him $100 if he could, within the period of one week, infect a linux system with viruses and spyware to the point where it would have performance issues. The only condition was that he has to run as a regular user, not root. Anybody who's used linux for any amount of time knows that this is standard linux procedure and to do otherwise would be idiotic (aka windows).
He is absolutely convinced that he can infect the system. Right off, he told me he would just visit all the warez and porn sites that are typically infested with viruses. The only problem with this thinking is that those are all windows virsuses. Sure, you might come out of there with a great collection of windows viruses, but there's no way in hell you would get them to run in linux (maybe in WINE, but that doesn't really count because it is just imitating an inferior operating system).
I actually put this to the test tonight. The first site that comes to my mind is freeserials.com, which is absolutely infested with trojans. Just as I suspected, absolutely nothing happened. I then continued on to many other warez and porn sites and encountered the exact same things. Lots of windows virsuses, none of which could even think about embedding themselves in my file system. After this little experiment of mine, I'm even more confident about my challenge to my co-worker. My system is completely virus free, and I have absolutely no spyware.
Are any Windows users willing to try the same experiment on their almighty OS?