[ubuntu-uk] Thinking about switching to linux

Adam McMaster adam at moosoft.net
Sun Mar 4 22:27:46 GMT 2007


On 04/03/07, Benjamin Webb <bjwebb67 at googlemail.com> wrote:
> So, I've got a hardware firewall in my router, so I shouldn't need a
> software one.
>
> What about anti-virus software though? Is there any software that
> scans for Linux viruses, or do they all just check for windows ones?
>
> I'll make sure I use a different password for my Ubuntu install (I'm
> terrible for using the same password all the time at the moment).
>
> Thanks for all your help.
> Ben Webb
>

ClamAV was mentioned earlier in the other thread -- that does
primarily scan for Windows viruses, but it will also detect malicious
Linux binaries (as well as other things, such as malicious PHP
scripts).

Earlier this evening, I happened to watch a video of a talk given by
Bruce Schnier[1] in which he mentions the tradeoffs which come with
security measures. In this case you're trading the CPU time required
for scanning (most of which is spent looking for viruses which can't
affect you) for peace of mind. The question you have to ask is, is it
worth it? As a Linux user it isn't  -- the risk of encountering an
effective Linux virus is exceptionally small, and my computer runs
slow enough as it is.

That obviously doesn't apply to servers which handle files for Windows
users (file servers, email, etc.). In that case ClamAV is very useful.
But for a single desktop machine you're just wasting your own time.

1: http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2007/02/schneier_on_vid.html

-- 
Adam McMaster <adam at moosoft.net>



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