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Topic Title: Avoiding virus and spyware
Topic Summary: using Linux OS
Created On: 17 January 2010 11:50 AM
Status: Read Only
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 17 January 2010 11:50 AM
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Backintime

Posts: 282
Joined: 11 April 2007

Recently I have been experimenting using the following Linux OS:
1. PCLinux OS
2. Scientific Linux
3. Fedora
4. Mandriva
5. Ubuntu

They all appear to be the same except they have either a Gnome or a KDE desktop. I prefer a KDE based Linux OS with a windows look alike interface - PCLinuxOS.

I was looking for a virus and spyware checker but according to my search results, it was said that there isn't any destructive virus or spyware targetting linux system. The main use of the virus/spyware packages are only to avoid passing the virus to Windows based machine through email file attachments.

Can you give your view on the immunity of LInux OS to Virus and Spyware please?
 18 January 2010 08:06 PM
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westonpa

Posts: 1771
Joined: 10 October 2007

Linux is not immune it is just that hackers and those who wish to infect our PC's do not generally target it.

Regards.
 19 January 2010 10:43 AM
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sjeapes

Posts: 12
Joined: 15 November 2002

Westonpa is correct, most hackers target Windows because the user-base is so big but I think there is at least one proof-of-concept virus for Linux.

The Linux security model is a bit different from Windows (certainly older versions) so a Virus does not have the permission to ruin as much of the system, although it will probably be capable of deleting all your home directory (which is the bit I care about).

I run Linux on the desktop and I do the following things:
-Backup my important data regularly (both by writing to DVD and using services like Flickr to act as a backup for photos and using Dropbox to backup my data

-I run AV software (ClamAV is free and has a nice GUI front end so it's quite easy to use)

-Make sure the Firewall settings are correct (again there are GUIs to help with this).

It's also possible to install rootkit detection and run security scans regularly depending upon how paranoid you are.
 21 January 2010 06:09 PM
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Backintime

Posts: 282
Joined: 11 April 2007

I have installed ClamAV and run the scan. All files appear to be virus free (will MOT my linux system periodically).

Thank you for the info.
 09 March 2010 09:33 PM
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lowson_i

Posts: 130
Joined: 23 June 2008

I have some advice for all those thinking of adopting Linux:

man iptables

or at the very least

iptables -L

If you can't be good, be safe!

-------------------------
Ian Lowson MIET

Do or do not, there is no try!
 30 March 2010 04:21 PM
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anat0010

Posts: 3
Joined: 03 November 2009

There are few viruses specifically targeting Linux. If you wish to scan email attachments for attached malware, ClamAV is quite a good free choice. However, be aware that approximately 25% of email distributed malware is not detectable by signature based scanners at the time it is received. There is a lag between a new strain of malware being released, and a new signature being developed and released. The malware writers are well aware of this window of vulnerability and attempt to distribute as many copies of their malware emails as possible before a signature is released. Just because your filter is not detecting any viruses does not mean that there are no viruses passing through the system.
Although the Linux platform is relatively secure against malware simply because there are less malware writers developing malware that targets Linux (IMHO), it is still a significant target for hacking attempts. Ensure that you have a suitable firewall securing access to the machine, keep the number of running processes to a minimum and keep up to date with patches. Also make sure you have a password policy for the machine, with any default passwords changed.
You may honestly find it cheaper and easier to pay someone to filter your email for you (disclaimer - I work for such a service).

Good luck,
Martin
 21 July 2010 09:09 PM
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virnik

Posts: 24
Joined: 06 April 2009

I agree, It's well worth having your emails scanned before they hit your PC. I've had this service for over 6 years now, and the only virus I've received is from my son on the sneakernet (USB stick). Most email providers will offer this as a service now.
Best Regards
Nick
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