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Hi all,

I am a newbie to Linux. I am finding it interesting but i am wondering why Linux is not having any Antivirus or some security tools? wont this pose any security threat when we are accessing Internet?

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There are Linux antivirus products. There are just far fewer Linux antivirus programs when compared with antivirus programs for Windows. There are a few reasons for this:

  • Virus writers want attention. Since most people that interact directly with the OS interact with Windows, why not make a virus to infect Windows since you will annoy the most people?
  • Stereotypically, a larger proportion of Windows users are vulnerable to making mistakes that allow viruses to infect their system when compared to Linux users.
  • Windows is more vulnerable to attack. This is a very debatable topic, but it is widely believed that there are more exploitable holes in Windows than there are for viruses.
  • It is also argued that potential holes are found and patched in Linux versions faster than in Windows versions because of the fact that more people look at, analyze, and test the actual code that builds Linux distros and much of the software that runs on them. This is due the the fact that most of Linux software is open and able to be viewed by anyone.

It should be noted that while Linux doesn't suffer from most of the software considered to be viruses, there are still large batches of software that "infect" Linux machines. The worst kind of software to get on a Linux machine is a rootkit. Rootkits allow someone to gain top-level system access and control while not alerting the actual users of the system that anything has changed. These rootkits can modify and spy on data or run programs in the background without any of the processes or data accesses appearing to the legitimate users. The fact that another user logged into or is still logged into the machine could also be completely hidden. Other kinds of malicious software and data that can find its way on Linux machines are loggers, poisoned DNS entries, backdoor botnets, harvesters, spam gateways, etc.

As you can see, Linux machines are not free from security concerns. The main difference between security on a Windows machine and security on a Linux machine is how you keep a high level of security. In Windows, you want to make sure that you have a strong firewall, observant antivirus, thorough antispyware/adware, and careful eye on what to watch for on your system. With a Linux machine, you want to configure a tight firewall, run nightly updates (up2date, etc) to ensure that critical patches are installed and software is updated, ensure that all unnecessary daemons and programs are disabled and locked away, and that all code added to the system is secure and monitored for abnormal behavior/use. The differences mainly stem from the fact that most Windows machines are used as desktop productivity or gaming machines while most Linux machines are used as different types of servers (web, email, DNS, proxy, FTP, IRC, etc).

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Responded to OP's question without taking sides.
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also there may be a lack of linux viruses but linux mail servers etc... can give windows viruses to windows clients

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Actually as far as I know, most of the people who use Linux or depend on it are a little more introduced to computing and had already been a victim of a virus attack more than once on a Windows Machine. So they
know the loopholes and are less susceptible to virus attacks.

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Another reason why virus writers write for Windows, is they aren't open source, and in the hacker community, they can tell others that they did this on a non-open source operating system. ALso, since Linux is open source, the holes are patched within a few hours - days.

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there are alot more people trying to find exploits in Windows Os's than there are for any other OS type. FireFox is a good example, people thought it was way more secure than Internet Explorer untill it became super popular, now exploit finders are finding the same kind of issues with FF

Another consideration is the amount of 'STUFF' bundled with windows unlike *nix which is very modulated, the more there is the more there is to go wrong.

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There is no need of any antivirus on the Linux os

:D


Believe nothing of what you hear, and only half of what you see!

Some of the points the others have made are very valid, however my advice would be...... be cautious of any software that you utilize over the network.

As linux gains in popularity, it also presents a challenge to the writers of malicious code and their evil intentions!

Dont live in a 'fools paradise', they also have linux in their sights!
Only problem is, there are so many distro's, they dont know where to start...lol!

Regards to all!

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It's just right.
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My linux mail server keeps sending mail infected with windows viruses to my windows pc (for some reason my virus scanner only finds linux viruses?) - any way to fix this?

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My linux mail server keeps sending mail infected with windows viruses to my windows pc (for some reason my virus scanner only finds linux viruses?) - any way to fix this?

are you using this? might be what your looking for :)
clamav

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My linux mail server keeps sending mail infected with windows viruses to my windows pc (for some reason my virus scanner only finds linux viruses?) - any way to fix this?

what do you use for a mail server?

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Not that hard. You just need to play aboout with textfiles alot for configuration. Its pretty well documented.

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Windows is full of viruses because all hackers hate Bill Gates and love to attack the BIG GUY. Microsoft did NOT write their code based on security... security came AFTERWARDS and was more like a FEATURE than a standard.

Security should be a standard... not a feature.

When Ubuntu or whatever distro finally gets a 50/50 market share with Microsoft, we WILL see attacks on Linux. Because, hackers want to attack the OS with the most usage for maximum damage.

However, Linux and Open Source comminity are ULTRA FAST at fixing the virus, spyware problems compared to Microsoft because Microsoft is Buerocratic and SLOW to respond.

Linux has antivirus software ready and waiting on Stand By called CLAM/AV. It is not in use or needed at the moment!!! But, as a previous post stated Linux users should not live in a fool's paradise meaning... Oh Linux is superior and immune to viruses.

You see... it is about who actually cares in the end. More people that do actual code FIXES care about Linux and Open Source then the 50,000+ Microsofty's at M$.

It is all about numbers and Open Source / Linux clearly has more and that means will dominate in the end.

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hackers don't want to attack bill gates, they want to attack the os with the most users, and security is now a standard in windows.
and the whole linux getting 50/50 market share, it will be a really really really long time before that happens, and if it happens.

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Linux = servers

servers = money

hackers like money.

therefore it stands to reason that linux must be pretty good

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hey jbennet, you should take a look at the thread i posted in the geek's lounge, it's about modded xbox's.

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TheNNS: You say that they attack the largest OS not Bill himself... if you read my post that is ultimately what I meant... and I compounded that remark with the 50/50 market share... but you have to admit... with loads of movies and images that make Bill Gates out as the BORG and pics of him getting shot dead in the face is a CLEAR indication of peoples discontent for his deceptive business practices... you can not deny that.

Anyways, you do not think linux will get 50/50 from Microsoft any time soon?

Where are you man? You need to read more! Ubuntu is being sold on DELL ( baby steps YES ) but the point is not only will Linux getting better in terms of DESKTOP because people will write into DELL asking why does my computer not load my DVD or run my MP3 ( basic user friendly stuff that non-linux users typically have problems with that us Linux users find ways to make it work )... will get that user friendly problems FIXED because ubuntu comminity are proud of the fact their Distro is #1 and on DELL ...

Simply out Ubuntu already have amazing Forum support for below average linux users ( people that are not terminal users or programmers ) that coupled with DELL supplying all this data about what questions are most asked about why Ubuntu does not work 'out of the box' will only help the situation...

I say 10 years man Ubuntu will have no less than 10% DESKTOP of not more... It took Ubuntu only 3 years to go from nothing to being #1, sold on DELL and showing off BERYL Desktop Effects etc...

Yes I agree that Diversity is the way it should be ( in other words having as many distros as the free world wants.. ) But it gets to a point that if everyone is just re-inventing the WHEEL ( like a new package system for every distro ) is ridiculous. Personally I think apt-get is the best one so far since it can easily be ported to RPM DEB or any other types of packages...

That is besides my point... point is Ubuntu is taking the best of all the Distros and making a Distro to enter the Desktop. We already know Linux has the SERVER.

As far as viruses.. yes they are directed at the masses... but you can not say that most hackers dislike M$ Windows... and it IS part of the virus equation.

Also your comment about Windows having Security now as a Standard. This is absolutley WRONG. In fact in a recent article I read Vista uses annoying POP UP windows you must click to confirm you are Administrator before the command is executed... this pop up requires NO PASSWORD to be entered!!! It is point less.. also all of this security enhancements ( if that is what you want to call them ) where added in Vista... no in 98, not in 2000, no it XP.. only NOW.. and it is a layer that is on top of the running OS.. that means it is a FEATURE not a STANDARD... a standard meaning hard coded deep in the bowels of the Kernel ( like linux ) and in the firesystems etc etc... It is a feature not a standard.

In other words Vista is an unstable OS and every review I have read states that it is unstable...

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>this pop up requires NO PASSWORD to be entered!!!

only if you are an administrator. you gotta use vista before you start ripping on it. i've been running vista on a laptop and have had no problems what so ever. and mac os x has the same security feature, if you do something that requires administrative priviliges it'll ask you for the password, same with linux, when installing something or changing a setting it'll prompt you for a password.

> Anyways, you do not think linux will get 50/50 from Microsoft any time soon?

software compatability. people want to run their programs with out any problems, and without having to confiure settings, wine is not the solution, as there are many problems with programs and it would be to hard for a regular user to do. linux is not ready for the world of every day users, they want something that they can use for every day things, music, movies, email, web, and yes linux has these capabilities, but they want itunes, quicktime, outlook, divx, windows media player, internet explorer. the only way i see linux having market share 50/50 is if ms goes bankrupt, which i don't see happening any where in the near future; or if ms is beat by another company like apple, which could happen, but not every one is ready to cough up $1200 for a computer when they can pay $600-800 for a decent hp or dell.

i don't see why people would hate bill gates other than jelocy over his money. his done great things, he's made foundations to benefit africans, he's giving away his money to charity.

>That is besides my point... point is Ubuntu is taking the best of all the Distros and making a Distro to enter the Desktop. We already know Linux has the SERVER.

and it should stay that way. imagine if linux owned the desktop and the server market. how many viruses for linux would there be? 400,000? if that was the case, there would be windows enthusiast out there, wanting other to use windows.

i love linux, but there are just problems with it being mainstream.
in my opinion this would be a perfect world
servers --> linux, unix
home users --> mac os x
business, school --> windows

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good post.
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The difference between you and me are probably pretty great.

1 - I worked at M$ on the Vista Firewall From June 2005 - June 2006 I found many security holes in the fire wall.. which I reported as bugs.. that was my job... however the deeper internals of the firewall are VERY easy to work around..

2 - The Security is a Layer which is added on top of the OS. You can turn OFF the annoying popups... remember that sudo only prompts you ONCE for a password per command. and if you want to run as root you can and you get no password prompts.

3 - I am a programmer. I have programmed games on Windows and apps and tools on Linux and manage 6 Linux servers some with 400+ days uptime.

4 - i am an avid reader of books, articles and lately been a journalist of sorts as well can coding. I try to stay fair. I think M$ made it possible for us all to have a 'PC in Every home'.. .NET is a great frame work. however I think Vista is built on code that is just not stable ...

They need a rewrite... Microsoft themselves have even commented that it is immpossible to make secure their OS because of all the layers of hacks that have made the security compromised in so many areas of the OS.

They need to rewrite... but that will never happen.

Also, the Mac OS is not really fair to hit apon for many reasons. First they do not have the market share ( like linux desktop ) to really want to be hacked. Second, mac innovated just about everthing GUI ( M$ copied it all... down to how their apps look and how the OS looks.. shiny windows and glimmering do dad's as well as the 'widgets'..

Anyhow, it is all opinion.

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he speaks heavy sense, obviously knows what he is talking about
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As i have said many times, i think microsoft needs to do what they did before, again.

Before it was Windows classic (DOS) and Windows NT. NT initially had many problems with compatibility but it was better.

NT was a whole new kernel but integrated well with existing GUIs, frameworks etc...

I think microsoft needs to do it again. I think they should make a new Windows family (lol windows NNT - New, New techonology), and possibly base the core on UNIX. IMHO it wouldnt be that hard for MS to port most of the existing windows stuff to a UNIX based core. The only reason things like WINE fail to do this is because large parts of the windowsa API are undocumented. Therefore, MS would be able to do it no problem.

Then users could use either vista era windows or the new era windows. There may be some compatibility issues but methinks that the stability and security of a completely rewritten windows would appeal to buisnesses, as most servers etc... run no third party software, just the standard IIS etc....

Also isnt the point of .NET thats its portable?

Therefore it should also be easy to port office etc...

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I agree with jbennet, but ms will never EVER, do something like that. i hate how you guys just rip on ms because windows "is not secure".
there will never be a truly secure OS, because you can always find a loophole, an exploit, or new way of getting into the system.

and yes ms did build vista from scratch. originally based on windows server 2003, they relized it was to unstable and just built it from the ground up.
> 1 - I worked at M$ on the Vista Firewall From June 2005 - June 2006 I found many security holes in the fire wall.. which I reported as bugs.. that was my job... however the deeper internals of the firewall are VERY easy to work around..

sorry, but you apparently don't know that much about vista.

>2 - The Security is a Layer which is added on top of the OS. You can turn OFF the annoying popups... remember that sudo only prompts you ONCE for a password per command. and if you want to run as root you can and you get no password prompts.

once for every administrative task you do.
also, running as root isn't very safe. just like in vista, running as administrator is not recomended.

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VIsta was built from SCRATCH you say? You mean from ZERO code to VISTA you say?

No... you are are wrong. Where is your proof? Vista is essentially NT 5.2

Maybe NT was stable as one point but since Vista got all these retarded 'security enhancements' has only made the OS unfriendly and just a little secure.

You hate people that bash M$ for security reasons? Ummm.... have you ever had to tell your Grandma or Mom that she needed to REINSTALL her Windows OS because the Spyware and MalWare took over her machine? Yes, I have bought so called 'Maleware removal tools' like Adware remover and some others and have even used 3rd party ones made by programmers and giving away malware/spyware fixes for free to the public... They still could not rid my Grandmas computer of all the virises!

And even if I was able to get all of them in just a few short days the spyware would return. I.E. has massive security holes via ActiveX and others...

That is why I complain about security.. also..

Did you know that 60% of all SPAM in the world comes from infested user machines ( Yes, windows is #1 so that makes Windows the User Machine sending the SPAM )... once a trojan is infected the Windows User machine ( like XP, NT, 2000, Vista whatever ) SPAM is being mailed.

Ever wonder why they can not seem to stop spam? goto www.spamhaus.org and read all about spam news.

An OS should secure our computers not allow spyware which makes you buy MORE software to remove software. Stop 60% of all spam. In an eccommerce world how safe are your credit cards when you buy from online?

You wonder WHY in the world are people so mean to M$ about security??? Just stop and think about it... I would rather have a crappy OS then have a decent one that is spying on me and contributing to spam and making my grandma spent more and more just to make her machine WORK .. simply work is all she asks.

Security is #1 and is not at M$.. they are all about it NOW.. but ... too late.

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Vista IS NT 6

2k was NT5
XP was NT5.1 (XP is 85% win2000 and NT4 code btw)
Server 2003 AND xp x64 are NT 5.2

NT 6 = Vista and Longhorn Server

Yeah, i must say that no way was vista built from scratch, you got confused

what actually happened:

they started making vista but then it took so damn long that 2003 SP1 came out so they had to basically rewrite the alpha vista to fix all the flaws that SP1 had exposed in the 2003 code.

Then, after they had just done that, 2003 RC2 came out, so they had to rewrite nearly all of thier potential vista code to include the enhancements RC2 had braught along.

and planetxmail, vistas UAC popups, though annoying are exactly the same as you would get under Linux or OSX, so be quiet.

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OK thank you for the details there.

Look I am not anti-vista. I would never install it. I stick with XP if I 'HAVE' to use Windows.

Microsoft employees A LOT of people and therefore feeds a lot of families. That is great!

However, we can not dismiss microsoft for what it has gave to computers. If anything Microsoft has taught us this... Do not allot a single company so much power else single CEO's chairmen and Executives that do not code anything get insanely rich.

Imagine a world where Open Free Software did NOT exist... imagine the POWER Microsoft would have. Complete control of not only the internet with IIS and IE but also of the Desktop and Server and say.. Nasa space missions needing 3D simulators for their planned space missions ( Linux does that job by the way )....

It is easy for us to now 'Give Microsoft a break' when we all see how short it comes with compared to Open Source.

Imagine a world of only one choice... Microsoft. It is easy for us to now start defending Microsoft after all the bashing it has gotten. We can start to feel sorry for the 'crumbling empire'. But, some only feel that way because of Linux and Open Source... let us not forget that.

Vista does not compare to Ubuntu and BERYL. Open Office is free.

Did you know that the minda / Bill Gates Charity foundation was formed to spend charities money in order to avoid the I.R.S. ? I do not feel sorry for all the BMW driving a-holes in Redmond that do not contribute a line of code yet take golfing trips and enjoy all their money and freedom while M$ outsources programmer jobs from India, Germany, Russia and China and Japan and... on and on...

Did you know most the Windows code was not written by Born Americans but rather other countries... Yet it is the White Executives walking away with all the money... sure a programmer gets paid $30-$100 / hr but that is after drilling their brains for weeks on end sometimes 80+ hour weeks while the Exec's get to play golf.

In the open source free world it dont work what way... you EARN your reputation by contributing actual WORK. Linus deserves his BMW and his house but he is in no way as rich as Bill Gates... yet Bill Gates quit coding Decades ago but he will be making Billions of Dollars even after he is DEAD!

Linus Torvalds as I type is hard at work online at conventions speaking writting code for the Kernel and he just invented 'GIT' a distributed Software Control Version System.

Would you rather live in a world where there are those so far 'above you' that they can buy the Moon and have money left to spare while the struggling beta testers, programmers are wasting away eye sight and sleep to make a couple hundred Executives rich while they sleep nicely after the GOLF game.... ?

That is why I hate Windows...

Now lets begin on why Windows is an unstable OS on a technical level...

Top to Bottom Left to Right... M$ has GOT to go away... or disperse ( I love the XBOX for example )...

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Imagine a world where Open Free Software did NOT exist... imagine the POWER Microsoft would have. Complete control of not only the internet with IIS and IE but also of the Desktop and Server and say.. Nasa space missions needing 3D simulators for their planned space missions ( Linux does that job by the way )....

Um, wtf, i disagree. If linux did not exist MS would not have total power.

a) You are forgetting the fact that a huge number of mainframes like the ones nasa uses run UNIX
b) UNIX is also used by big business and the govt.
c) 20-25% of web servers run UNIX - thats the same as IIS does
d) 5 - 10% of desktop pcs run OSX

UNIX and OSX are not free and IMHO if linux did not exist then it would be a close battle between windows and UNIX on the server, and windows and OSX on the desktop

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