[AntiVirus + Ubuntu] was - Re: And another Ubuntu convert!

Smoot Carl-Mitchell smoot at tic.com
Thu Jan 22 16:45:56 UTC 2009

On Thu, 2009-01-22 at 08:10 -0500, Bart Silverstrim wrote:

> Today malware is all about:
> 1) capturing your keystrokes - so they can get into your bank records
> 2) providing backdoor access
> 3) contributing to botnet traffic so they can turn the user's machine in 
> to a zombie and/or contribute to spreading more of the malware.
> Believe me...destroying personal data is kind counterproductive for the 
> malware team to do when they want to make money, not like the good ol' 
> days of displaying cleverness and creating headaches for "noobs."

Creating vectors for the spread of malware seems to be the main threat
these days.  To go back to the disease metaphor, running AV on a desktop
Linux box might be the equivalent of a young healthy person getting a
flu shot. The risk of side effects from the shot may be greater than the
benefit.  However, if the young person spends a lot of time with his
grandmother, then it may be worthwhile for that young person to get a
flu shot to protect her grandmother who is in a high risk group. Think
Windows desktops served by a Linux mail server.

So whether you run AV software comes down to a risk assessment.  In the
aggregate, I think the current Linux desktop user community is probably
in a low risk group.  That could change as desktop Linux becomes more
popular with less sophisticated users.
Smoot Carl-Mitchell
Computer Systems and
Network Consultant
smoot at tic.com
+1 480 922 7313
cell: +1 602 421 9005

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