Saturday, September 17, 2005

Viruses: not a Linux problem?

Ever heard the phrase "I use linux, so I don't have to worry about using a virus scanner. Linux doesn't get viruses!" Famous last words! has an interesting blog post on the topic.
Viruses: not a Linux problem? : Virus Analyst's Diary - "More and more organizations are starting to use Linux alongside Windows, with a Linux file-server storing Windows applications. These files can be infected at desktop level, with infected files then being stored on the server. Organizations must therefore accept the necessity of scanning the Linux server to protect against malicious code attacks.


J.L. said...

(Read article)
Hmm. Anyone using Linux is probably more aware of the risks their systems face than Windows users, and are probably in a better position to protect themselves. A good configurable firewall is a must, for starters. Only installing verified source, changing passwords, setting limits on executables and partitions, etc, are good methods of limiting the risk.

But why should Linux users automatically come to the aid of Windows users and offer them protection? There's no love lost between the Linux and Windows worlds in my experience. Indeed, Gates would like to see the end of Linux. He'd like to see an end to freedom of choice when it comes to operating systems. I see MS as the enemy. If MS can't make a secure OS, and people go ahead and buy it in full knowledge that it is insecure, well that's their problem!

James said...

Hi JL,

I agree with you that the current collectionly the majority of linux users a more tech savvy and security conscious than the average windows user. However as linux starts to become more user friendly, and more people start using it virus writers will be more likely to target it...

There are a few things that help make linux inherently safer than windows, but It is not really all that much!

I think that I miss read that sentance I copied into my blog post as well. I *think * the author is trying to say that organisations using linux file servers, might have to start scanning the servers for windows based viruses on behalf of their clients? Better to do it at the server than to wait for client side antivirus software? Remember we are talking about a company (not an individual) here. So it is in the best interests of the company to protect their IT Assets in what ever way they can. I don't see this as Linux running to windows aid.

However I will not be surpised if one day, it is just as important to run a linux based Antivirus software on your linux desktop as it is to run it on windows.

James said...

Here's an example of a virus infected file distributed on the mozilla server!