Every month we hear news about the discovery of new malware on Linux. But after all, Linux is really immune to virus or not? You’ve probably heard that “Linux has no viruses” more than once, but this is true? The answer is almost.
There are a few dozen known viruses for Linux (compared to about 200,000 in Windows) but most of them are dead now. You can click here to get a full list of them and their histories. So in reality there may be one or two live viruses for Linux while in Windows there is more than anyone can count. Why? Well, there are a few reasons for this, and the most cited response by Windows users is that Linux has so few users that’s why no one cares to make a virus for it. Nonsense. The truth is below:-
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- Compared to Windows, it is extremely difficult to create a virus for Linux.
- The Linux security framework makes it much more complicated for users to install a virus on Linux.
- Viruses are broken up and become part of the kernel, meaning that the fifty-odd virus has made to Linux, only one or two are still active.
The truth is that it is much more difficult to infect Linux with a virus because its architecture is not very friendly to the hackers. On the other hand, make a virus for Windows is very easy. Just open a script and you have a virus for Windows can infect many machines in five minutes. The fact that executables cannot run on Linux without the user to enter the administrator password, and the fact that almost all applications can be found on the official repository (hence all they have been checked and approved), is very unlikely that you go to install a virus on your Linux system. It is no coincidence that Apple created the Apple Store and a whole rigid policy (guidelines), and today Microsoft is studying the creation of a repository for Windows.
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Today the Wikipedia list only fifty and few viruses and malware known to Linux, all already harmless. But somewhere there may be one or two still active. This means that you must install an antivirus on Linux? No! But if you are running a Linux server, then install an antivirus can be a good idea. To make sure you will not help to spread viruses to Windows using your machine with Linux, try to install ClamAV and chances that the only threats you find are some files with .EXE extension that do not run Linux anyway.