Linux Virus: A False Sense Of Security

Filed under
Linux
Security

There seems to be a false sense of security among some Linux users. The number of malicious programs specifically written for GNU/Linux has been on the increase in recent years and in the year of 2005 alone has more than doubled: from 422 to 863. Some security consultants will argue that Linux has fewer viruses/malwares because it is less attractive as a target for having a smaller user base (compare ~90.66% Windows vs ~0.93% Linux). You may call me a trader but I agree with that assessment. There is no reason why we will not see a rise of malware designed for Linux as it becomes more mainstream among ordinary users.

I’ve heard so many times from beginners “do I need an anti-virus?”, “Linux has no viruses”, “There’s no way a virus could infect a Linux box”. This is the false sense of security that many new Linux users are dealing with today. Most are just starting out as Linux users and have no idea about the risks and safe actions to take. Newbie Linux users tends to feel safe with statements they read about how the Linux OS could never be infected and if so could never be executed because of the way files works under Linux.

Linux does have its share of viruses, trojans and worms...