Wine & viruses

Ben Klein shacklein at
Tue Feb 17 16:24:53 CST 2009

2009/2/18 Martin Hinner <martin at>:
> Hi,
>  I will start one more hot discussion. Sorry if it was discussed
> earlier, I am not regular reader of this mailing-list. I tried to
> search google, found several discussions, but no real result:

It won't be very hot.

> wine-devel mailing list google results
>  The problem is that some (almost all?) distributions simply execute
> .exe file when you click on it. I was amazed when testing JTAGTest on
> Linux! This is in my opinion quite big issue as ordinary users do not
> have problem clicking on "New folder.exe" on their flashdisk etc.

Well, that's a problem with, at most, the distribution or, at least,
the user being silly.

> It's good that wine is so compatible that it runs even viruses, but I
> think there should be some (optional) protection. The biggest
> problem seem to be removable media, in many distributions mounted
> under /mnt or /media.

Removable media can be mounted literally anywhere. It'd be easier to
find it with HAL, but it's not something suitable for Wine.

> Please think about this twice before writing "problem is in
> Microsoft not in Wine", "it's not a bug but feature", etc. It's too
> childish IMO.

Hmmm, let me think about this ... and again ... it's not a bug, it's a
feature. There is no 100% fool-proof way to determine whether the user
is about to run some malware or some legitimate application.

> - What about creating a configurable list of directories, where wine
> would first ask if you really want to execute the program? It would be
> up to distribution what is set-up by default.

Again, this is not something suitable for Wine. Perhaps getting the
distributions to mount removable media with the noexec option would
help. Of course, this wouldn't help if .exe files were associated with
Wine via the file managers, but maybe you think that should stop too.

> - It's long time I have been interested in viruses, but I think that
> 90% of most common virus infected/trojan .exe files can be pretty
> easily identified. Almost every modern virus is trying to connect to
> the internet either by opening socket or using few standard DLL
> functions.

Gee, this sounds like ever other networking application. Why? Because
GOOD viruses, trojans, worms etc. are suitably disguised as genuine

> What about adding some checks to Wine that would check the
> calling function code sample against some small database to see if
> this is a virus and ask user? Or adding some "API" functions to allow
> someone to write such program?

What you're suggesting is to include a standard virus scanner in Wine.
Not going to happen. Use clamav instead. It's opensource and has
*nix-native versionns.

> I have done quite a lot of work with PE loading and code
> modification and I think it could be moved to level when it works
> without crashing anything.
> I understand, that none of this is system solution. But are
> anti-viruses system solution? They solve real world problem.

"System solution"? Anti-viruses are the only reasonable solution.
History of computer science has shown us that the harder you try to
prevent something the harder other people try to do it. Anti-virus
programs mitigate some of that, detecting known viruses and
quarantining or deleting them. They're not perfect, but they're a lot
better than what other options we have.

A new version of Wine is released every 2 weeks. This is too long to
keep a virus database up-to-date, and a lot of people don't upgrade as
soon as the release comes out any way.

> Regarding API I have mentioned above I mean some hookdll() function
> that would re-direct GetProcAddress() or PE loader for defined
> functions, i.e.:

Redirecting GetProcAddress() sounds more like a security hazard than a
security feature to me. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

> Obviously this would have to be global for wine (, not as
> a PE exported API function. Pre-loaded "antivirus" would be able to
> hook Winsock functions + some other important stuff and then check if
> the binary code is not on the list.

Check out clamav and other *nix-native virus scanners. They're much
more suited for this task than adding a full-blown virus scanner to
Wine as standard. Who wants to maintain something like that?

2009/2/18 Mihai Donțu <mihai.dontu at>:
> I think that soon there will no longer be a need to hack wine in order to
> prevent the spread of malware. There is already work in progress on an API (a
> derivative of dazuko) that will allow for antivirus scanners to intercept all
> filesystem accesses and scan for, well, viruses. It seems to me that this is
> the right way to go.

Wine is not intended to prevent the spread of malware. It is assumed
that the user is careful and sensible, just like it is assumed on
Windows. What you mention here sounds like an API to allow
Windows-based virus scanners to run, checking both loaded apps and
scanning hardisk when changes occur, but there are better solutions
for virus scanning on *nix systems. I keep mentioning clamav.

More information about the wine-devel mailing list