I'm working on a Javascript webapp and trying to figure out how to add documentation. It seems like the only option is to install something that lives on a server. I thought maybe I'd try JSDuck. It has a gem to be installed. So I went to the Software Center and looked for Ruby to get the gem installer.

When I found the package the most recent review was over six months old. It claims that either Ruby itself or the Ubuntu/Debian package has a virus. I find that hard to believe. However, in all this time no one has either confirmed or refuted it. Does anyone know for sure that the ruby1: package is safe?


I couldn't find another way to locate the review rather than hack into the raw review api for the ruby package. Here's that review (I've trimmed some of the metadata):

"rating": 1, 
"reviewer_username": "JmHGnMf", 
"usefulness_total": 7, 
"usefulness_favorable": 0, 
"summary": "Warning Virus (PUA)", 
"review_text": "Warning This Program Has A Virus!!!!!!!!!! PUA<---", 
"version": "1:", 
"date_created": "2014-05-26 17:39:13", 
"reviewer_displayname": "Ray", 

"Ray" could have been a lot more descriptive. What virus? Where's the proof? Unsurprisingly none of the 7 people voting on this review found it useful. Username looks like junk too.

Given the lack of detail, I think somebody's trying to grief Ruby developers. I'd ignore it.

I'm not saying that I've scanned Ruby and its dependencies. You are more than welcome to do that on a virtual machine if you really want to. I'm saying that I trust the Ubuntu development process more than one-liner Ray.

Trusty's Ruby package gets security updates backported to it until April 2019. After then maybe I'll consider Ray's review worth listening to.

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  • Thank you for the time you took to reply. I DO trust the Ubuntu dev process and I have for quite some time. I did say that I found Ray's comment hard to believe, though I should have said VERY hard to believe. The small amount of concern that I had stems from the fact that for quite some time now nobody has denied it. I don't understand your first sentence. I have Ubuntu 14.04 & in the software center it's the very first review. You were very quick to rephrase my question so that (I assume) people don't miss the '?' and think I'm bad-mouthing Ruby. No one in the software center seems to care. – dsgfloss Dec 11 '14 at 19:42

I'd expect that review from "Ray" could be a false-positive from an over-zealous heuristic anti-virus scanner (likely run from windows). There are lots of anti-virus programs of wildly varying quality, I've read that some of them will even pop up false positives just to make it look like they're actually doing something.

Lots of malware disguises itself as anti-virus software too, probably pointing at random files and calling them viruses. I wouldn't be surprised if that could be the case either.

That is if it's not a "revenge virus" warning made up by "Ray."

And the source code should be available if you'd like to take a look for yourself, though that may be difficult (I might not spot any virus-like code even if it were staring at me ;-)

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