Re: anti-virus software for Gnu/Linux
MJ Inabnit wrote:
I have read several opinions regarding AV for Gnu/Linux. The last one is Rick's rant <http://www.linuxmafia.com/~rick/faq/index.php?page=virus>. However, the information is dated.
So what is the opinion now-a-days? I just read a post last week where a new Gnu/Linux user strongly advocates AV for all new users. The claim was something along the line of "What if I send you an Email with an executable attachment like [cd, rm -r]". I still don't buy the claim that I need AV on my box, but I'm also very open to sound security advice.
Well my opinion is, you do not need an antivirus for linux. There are of
course virii and worms for linux, but they never spread in a greater
number and for these 20, rather theoretical threats, you really do not
want to spend money.
There are antivirii, as clamav.elektrapro.org, a GPL one which is really
good and several commercial ones, but the idea behind these antivirii is
to protect Windows users from getting dangerous emails or picking up
virii from a network share.
The example with "cd; rm -r" is a good one, but remember:
- No sane Linux user works as root, except for configuration stuff. So
such a virus cannot damage your system, but just the user specific stuff.
- Why should an attachment be put onto your disk with executable flags?
This would be a severe security breach by your email software.
- As only your user specific data could theoretically be threatened by a
virus, make backups. But this is nothing new, as you do backups anyway ;-)
Another story is of course if you're using Windows apps, like MS Office
via crossover office / wine. Then it wouldn't hurt to check the files
for makro virii.
My 2 cents...