Linux Malware: Are We There Yet?: Page 2

Many Linux users believe their system is safer than it truly is.
Posted October 25, 2011
By

Matt Hartley


(Page 2 of 2)

The point I'm making here is that just because it's not an issue yet, that doesn’t mean it won't be an issue in the future. Is Linux on the desktop less of a malware target right now? Sure, it's quite safe from a security point of view. However, should someone opt to run a webserver on their local Linux box without securing it safely, let me tell you, malware will find you quite easily.

Remember, perspective is everything when it comes to malware threats. Remember this old adage: today's joke is tomorrow's crisis. As dumb as malware prevention might seem on desktop Linux today, tomorrow it's likely to become a reality.

Securing the Linux desktop

What would happen if we went against our gut reactions and decided to start scanning our Linux desktop PCs as if they were running Windows? An absurd idea, right? But what if getting into this habit turned into something that saves you a massive security issue a few years down the road? Still think it's a waste of time?

Consider for a moment, using ClamAV and one of the available front-end interfaces such as ClamTk on a weekly basis, just to be 100% sure everything is on the level.

Remember that ClamTk is easy to schedule for automatic scanning. So this removes any perceived wasted time being spent tracking down malware. Just set up the software, leave the PC on and go on with your day. Now I certainly can't speak for everyone, but this doesn't sound like such a big sacrifice.

Malware in a Linux future

For those of you who choose not to bother with the idea above, that's certainly fine. Perhaps you're skilled enough that the idea of malware infecting your Linux installation borders on ridiculous. While I'll grant you that the likelihood of Linux malware being an issue is still a couple of years off, you just never know when something might sneak up on you.

Remember, a ClamAV-based scanning solution means you're using malware definitions that are not just for Linux-based threats, but also detects malware from Windows and OS X as well.

Still think that scanning for malware on Linux is a waste of time? Then think of it this way. Worst case scenario, you do a scan and it detects a Windows virus in an attachment you were about to send to a friend. Either way you look at it, you're forming healthy habits for the future and potentially saving a friend from their own operating system.

Even though most of you reading this will never bother with a malware scan on your Linux system, at least when the time comes that it's necessary, you'll be able to look back and remember that I told you so.


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Tags: Linux, Security Software, malware


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