Do You Really Need An Anti-Virus For Linux?

Did someone tell you that you do not need to install an anti-malware for Linux? You mustn’t listen to that! It’s totally incorrect…

Today, there is an increasing popularity of Linux as Desktop. Linux uses Gnome Environment, which is slowly but steadily getting attacked by malware authors. So, the free OS is no way malware free! The worst part of the story is that there are a few cross-platform threats that are targeted at both Windows and Linux Environment. For example, SB.BadBunny, IRC.BadBunny, Perl.BadBunny, and Ruby.BadBunny are some of the cross platform malware threats that can attack your PC loaded with Linux.

Do you have NSF or SAMBA servers? These should be scanned periodically to check for infections. Remember even when you are reading your mails or surfing the Internet, you might get a virus attack. Do you want your project-critical server to trash just because you didn’t think it was likely to get infected? Definitely NO! Read on…

How do cybercriminals attack?

Linux experts are right in saying that the internal Linux servers have less risk of exposure from Linux-specific malware. The public-facing web servers are the major targets for cybercriminals. According to SophosLabs, an average of 16, 000-24,000 URLs are compromised every day by malware!

There are many vulnerable components of a website – CMS systems like Joomla and WordPress, application environments like PHP, and control panels like Plesk and cPanel. Thus, web servers should be protected with antivirus software, ideally with a web application firewall.

What if your Linux server is not infected?

Even if your Linux server is not infected, there is enough reason for you to worry. Linux servers when acting as document repositories or file servers can act as carriers of malware attacks. Additionally, compliance regulations like PCI-DSS require you to install antivirus software on computers that process or store sensitive and important data. If not done, it can expose your company to legal liabilities and fines if there is a data loss due to malware infections.

What can be done if there is no antivirus?

If you haven’t installed an antivirus, you can still stay safe by following some basic security practices. Given below is a list of few such ways:

You need to keep your software and applications updated. Remember, browsers and plug-ins are major targets. So you must stay up-to-date with the latest security patches. In Linux, it is possible to update all software with an integrated updater.

Beware of Phishing. It is the practice of creating websites that pretends to be other websites. It is dangerous! You might end up doing banking in website that is not a bank’s own site! The good news is Firefox and Chrome on Linux has anti-phishing filters.

Avoid running commands you don’t trust. In Linux the command prompt is powerful. Before using any command, ask yourself whether you can trust the source. Remember, there are certain deadly commands that you should never run on Linux.

It is always better to use a suitable anti-malware against all virus threats on Linux. It will keep you worry-free and safeguard your valuable files and documents.

Authors Bio: Timothy is an IT professional with a good sense of humour. He is into Linux server administration.  At present, he is writing a book on Linux and finding an English dictionary is helping him a lot.

1 responses to “Do You Really Need An Anti-Virus For Linux?

Hi.
I totally agree as I have the Conficker worm slowing me right down. The OS is Debian Wheezy all updated and running behind a Firewall and a NAT connected to the ISP via Wireless.
Clamav does NOT see any problem. The ISCI Netalyzr and Spamhaus do see the problem and even gave me the rough time of attack, but sadly not the IP Address of the originator who is probably unaware that Unix is now vulnerable to modern problems.
Unknown emails are always deleted and no links are ever used. I am the Admin and sole user of this system.
No Flash keys are ever used.
People are used to the security of no viruses being written for Linux. As banks change over from Windows and ATM machines are now not allowed to use XP any longer, they are using Linux. This is attracting a fresh crew of code writers.
Regards Nick

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