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virus scanning on linux

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tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21

(I intended to put this in "entertainment". That's where it belongs.)

I let clamav check my home directory. It found two viruses!
One was something you get by surfing the web with java enabled, which was in java's cache. It only affects windows, but if you visit a page with this evil applet it WILL end up in your java cache on linux too.
The other was a fishing email in my inbox. Not even a real virus.

Rolling Eyes Laughing Laughing

I cleared my whole .java directory, and I'll disable java applets, they're usually not useful anyway. (no, not for security, just to make sure I'll find zero viruses next time)

supermike's picture
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Joined: 2006-02-17
Re: virus scanning on linux

Yep. This stuff is common. I get this all the time with clamav. Just as long as it's not in other directories, and my system is constantly upgraded as soon as I hear of some dire need, I'm cool.

Clamav -- a fantastic tool. Most people don't check to make certain it is working properly after installation, or that freshclam is working properly.

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

GNU/Linux is alot like a fortres due to its advanced and always enabled user management system. If you know how to use su or sudo and therefore know what it means, you're bound to be secure.

So even if you'd get a virus directly to your /home/user directory what could it do? Not much, because it is still offlimit to the really sensitive system parts. The worst thing that can happen is you loosing some files and settings in your /home/user and I never heard of a case like that.

I don't even use Java so that's pretty much a non issue for me anyway.

So, while we GNU/Linux users have fun watching at virus scanner results, windows users are fighting battles to keep their system functional and secure. Laughing out loud They do have a way out, they just have to choose it (or if they don't know about the better choice we have to let them know) Smiling

tbuitenh's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-21

I have to disagree here. The files in /home are MUCH more important than those in /etc . Configuration files can be repaired in no time, the pictures of your exgirlfriend not re-taken :-P . I'd like to remind everyone of the three B's: Backup, Backup, Backup!

But you're right, the worst that can happen "easily" on linux is losing some files and sending some virus email to friends. The worst on that other OS, and happening much more easily, is complete control of your computer being taken over without you noticing it.

Anyhoo, I've never heard of a linux user who had any type of problem because of a virus, except of course getting their inbox filled with windows viruses Rolling Eyes

libervisco's picture
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Joined: 2006-05-04

Well, actually, good point. I use a separate partition for that kind of stuff (photos, music, videos) on /mnt/data, but then again all that is under normal user permissions so if an attacker would somehow get control over the normal user (which is theoretically easier than taking over root user because you're surfing, chatting and doing whatever on the net with normal user) it could cause significant damage to the precious data..

Well, you're right, backup is important there, but then again from experience and reputation of GNU/Linux we don't have to be too paranoid about that either. Smiling

a thing's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-20

You could keep your all your super valuable data in a directory and make everything immutable (chattr +i for ext2/3, chattr is part of e2fsprogs).

But still backup incase of hardware failure.

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