Browsing the magazines in WH Smiths at Dublin airport waiting for my flight I stumble across a Linux Manual offering the usual free latest Distro (11.04) and a chapter on why we NEED to install BitDefender as the popularity of Linux has encouraged the great unwashed to create viruses for our beloved operating system.
Scare mongering or what?
Yep… the AV companies trying to broaden their base by scaring Linux users too.
I’m not saying the day won’t come when it might be advisable to use some kind of AV with Linux… it is after all possible to write Linux viruses, but they will be very unlikely to succeed in spreading because of the repository system, file permissions, and user space being separate from the rest of the system… so that day isn’t here yet, and is unlikely to do any “real” damage if/when it does arrive.
The AV products for Linux tend to be more about stopping the spread of Windows viruses… ie. to make sure you don’t pass on an infected file to a Windows PC… so they do have their place, but aren’t really necessary for the average desktop.
Well…it’s that time again. This time Linux format are encouraging us to install Clam AV. Has anything changed? Is our beloved operating system under a new threat. What do you think. I’m sensitive so no arrows please.
IMHO the answer is still “no you don’t need AV on a Linux desktop”… if there were any Linux viruses flying around they would be well publicised.
I don’t know what LXF’s reasoning is… maybe they think they are coming and it’s better to be safe than sorry, maybe they think it’s good practice to help keep the flow of Windows viruses down (waste of time), maybe they are talking about putting it on Linux boxes that act as servers to Windows boxes, or maybe (sorry to say it) they are just plain being sponsored by the AV companies… Future Publishing are a business after all.
But the choice is yours.
Perhaps they have nothing else to write about. I have never once had a problem of security with Linux, unlike the dreadful problems under Windows. I have even used my netbook at work when the server and desktops have been virus ridden and still no problems (using WiFi, exchanging dongles from machines etc). Best thing I ever did was switching.
Well said … as I’ve said before, install your software from the repo’s (whenever you can), keep backups of your important user files (which you should do anyway in case of hardware failure), don’t log on as root (which is difficult in Ubuntu), and don’t enable the execute bit then run unknown software ‘as root’… and if the day ever does come when Linux viruses arrive…
a) They’ll find it VERY difficult to get into the distribution channels, and therefore your PC.
b) They will find it nigh on impossible to spread, so will die a quick death.
c) They won’t have the required permissions to do any damage outside your user area (Home folder)… so in a worse case scenario, you create a new user, copy your user files from the backup, and delete the old user… sorted.
Maybe LXF are playing to the lowest common denominator … those who will do all of the above… but they’re pretty much guaranteed to screw their system on a regular basis without the help of a virus