First virus to infect Windows, Linux apps appears

Antivirus software manufacturers are reporting the appearance of the first virus to infect applications on systems running either Linux or Microsoft Corp.’s Windows – although it presents little danger, they say.

The virus, known variously as W32.Winux, Linux.PEElf.2132, Linux.Winux or W32/Lindose, is carried in Linux or Windows executable files, and when an application infected with it is run, it spreads to other executable files in the same or adjacent directories in the file system.

The virus originated in the Czech Republic, according to anti-virus software vendor Central Command Inc., which said in a statement Tuesday that it has an update to its AVX software available that can identify the virus.

Unlike viruses such as Loveletter or Melissa, the Winux virus makes no attempt to spread itself by e-mail. Implementing such a function in a way that would run on both Linux and Windows systems represents a major challenge to virus writers, according to Andr