January 16 2023

What are the best antiviruses for Linux?

When is it necessary to install an Antivirus for Linux? Let's see together some common reasons.

Antivirus-for-Linux

Did you know that computer viruses are not a recent novelty? Their history even dates back to the 80s! In the beginning, viruses were mostly created by programmers as a sort of challenge between friends or as a technical experiment. Imagine a group of programmer friends competing to create the most elaborate or hardest to remove virus.

The first known computer virus was created in 1981 by two college students, Rich Skrenta and Tom Duff. This virus, called "Elk Cloner," was a simple floppy disk virus that spread by copying itself to shared floppy disks. It didn't cause any harm to the infected computer, but it was able to show a funny message every time the computer was started.

The Elk Cloner virus was one of the first examples of a new form of malware and was the starting point for the development of ever more sophisticated and harmful viruses. Although it was created as a simple joke experiment, it demonstrated that it was possible to create software that could replicate itself and spread from one computer to another.

Since then, computer viruses have become increasingly complex and sophisticated, and the threat posed by viruses has become increasingly important for organizations and home users.

With the advent of the Internet and the growing dependence on technology, computer viruses have become a real business for criminal organizations. Today viruses are mainly used to steal personal information, money or to cause damage to computer systems.

It is important to note that now viruses are not only written by individuals, but also by criminal organizations, which use the technology to earn money illicitly. Also, today's viruses are much more sophisticated and harder to detect than those of the 80s, so it's important to stay alert and protected at all times.

What is a Computer Virus?

A computer virus is a type of malicious software that automatically spreads from one computer to another, using system vulnerabilities to replicate and propagate itself. A virus may be capable of causing damage to the operating system, files, or data on the infected computer.

A Trojan, on the other hand, is a type of malware that looks like legitimate software but was actually designed to perform malicious actions, such as gathering personal information or opening backdoors to allow unauthorized remote access to your system infected.

The consequences of a virus or trojan infection can be many and vary according to the type of malware and the severity of the infection. Some possible consequences are:

  • The loss or corruption of data on the infected computer
  • Slow system performance
  • The possibility of being used as a starting point for cyber attacks against other computers or networks
  • The loss of privacy and personal security, due to the collection and theft of personal information
  • The possibility of using the infected system for illegal or malicious activities, such as spam or DDoS attacks

It is therefore important to always keep your operating system and installed software up to date, use reliable antivirus software and beware of phishing e-mails or suspicious links. In the event of an infection, it is important to clean up the system immediately or restore from a backup.

Viruses and Malware on Linux

In the past, it was rare to hear about virus attacks on Linux computers. It was commonly accepted that Linux was much more secure than Windows and that viruses for Linux simply didn't exist. However, this perception is changing.

Even if you are using Linux correctly, you are not automatically protected from viruses and malware. Antivirus software can play an important role in protecting confidential files, especially if you are using Linux devices for business purposes. In fact, today we hear about more and more attacks against Linux devices.

The number of viruses for Linux is growing gradually And while these attacks are less common than those for Windows, that doesn't mean they shouldn't be considered. Using an antivirus solution isn't a bad idea, especially when your business uses Linux. An attack can significantly affect productivity and disrupt business processes.

For this reason it is important to consider using a antivirus for linux. There are many products available in the market, so it is important to choose the one that best suits your needs.

Linux operating system is known to be very secure compared to Microsoft operating systems like Windows. This is due to the fact that most viruses and malware are developed to exploit vulnerabilities in Microsoft operating systems, as these are the most used operating systems in the world. However, there are some exceptions where using antivirus software on Linux can be useful. For example, if you use Linux to access files on a Windows system, or if you use software that was originally developed for Windows, you may need to use antivirus software to protect your system. In general, however, Linux is considered a very secure operating system and most users don't need to use antivirus software.

One of the first known Linux viruses was “Linux.Rst.b” created in 1999. This virus spread through vulnerabilities in the Linux operating system and caused file corruption.

Another example of Linux malware is "Linux.BackDoor.Gates", a trojan that spreads through vulnerabilities in the Linux operating system and opens a backdoor to allow unauthorized remote access to the infected system.

Another example of Linux malware is “Linux.Encoder.1” a ransomware that encrypts the victim's files and demands a ransom to decrypt them.

It is important to note that these malware are much less common than those for Windows and are often created to attack specific distributions or versions of Linux.

For this reason one might think that it makes no sense to talk about Antivirus for Linux or rather Viruses and Linux; however, looking a little more closely at the problem, one will realize that not only are things very different, but it is thanks to Antivirus for Linux that most Microsoft users can live more serenely.

Antivirus for Linux

Although, however, there are few cases of viruses for Linux, the antivirus market for Linux is increasingly flourishing, especially in those cases in which a Linux antivirus must run on systems such as File Servers, NAS, SAN, SAMBA network shares and Mail servers that target clients running Windows OS.

In other words, the services created on Linux need to protect Microsoft Windows users who use the services provided and provided by Linux.

In short, what would happen if a representative of a foreign company with an infected PC accessed our company network to be able to send an email, and in the meantime his infection managed to write to the shared folder of the company file server?

 

Probably in a few days the entire network would be infected, putting the company's data and business continuity at risk. It is therefore important to understand with this trivial example that an antivirus capable of scanning files written on the network shares of a file server created on Linux is of fundamental importance for the protection of computer security and organization data.

Another similar example can instead concern a mail server built on Linux using Sendmail or Exim or Postfix, managed by the technical department of a bank which receives countless communications every day for thousands of employees, emails managed via Microsoft Outlook and which have many attachments.

What if a malicious attachment arrives disguised as an internal statement, which can grant access from outside the bank, or encrypt all branch terminals effectively rendering a branch non-operational to the public?

As you can imagine, reasoning from this point of view, the problems are really many and it is increasingly clear and evident that an Antivirus on Linux is often installed in order to scan files intended for Microsoft users.

It is precisely for this reason that many companies have developed Antivirus software for Linux that perform both standalone scan functions and integration with file servers and mail servers, both for sending and receiving emails.

Let's see some of them with their relative references.

ClamAV antivirus

clamav

ClamAV is one of the most popular open-source antivirus for Linux. It was developed in 2000 by Tomasz Kojm and has evolved over the years to become one of the most used security software on Linux. ClamAV includes a wide range of security features, including real-time scanning, scheduled scanning and protection against viruses, worms and Trojans. In addition, it includes a command line interface, a library for development and an API for integrating with other software.

ClamAV is available for most Linux distributions and can be used both as a standalone program and as a component of other security software. There is also a web interface called ClamAV-Webmin which allows you to manage ClamAV features through a web interface.

ClamAV can also be used to protect mail systems on Linux. There is a plugin called “ClamAV-milter” which allows you to integrate ClamAV with mail systems such as Postfix and Sendmail. This plugin allows you to scan incoming and outgoing email messages and block infected messages. In addition, ClamAV can be used in combination with other security software such as Amavisd-new which allows you to manage email scanning more efficiently and comprehensively.

Overall, ClamAV is a reliable and comprehensive tool for protecting Linux systems from cyber threats. Due to its wide range of features and the ability to integrate with other software, it is a popular choice for protecting mail systems and for general system security.

Sophos AntiVirus and Sophos for Linux Mail

Sophos-antivirus-for-linux

Sophos Anti-Virus is commercial software available for Linux. It was developed in 1985 by Jan Hruska and Peter Lammer, with the aim of protecting Macintosh systems from viruses and malware. Over the years, Sophos has expanded to support other operating systems including Linux.

Sophos Anti-Virus includes advanced security features such as real-time scanning, scheduled scanning and protection against viruses, worms and Trojan horses. It also offers an intuitive user interface and a remote management console for device management.

Sophos Anti-Virus can also be used to protect mail systems on Linux. There is a plugin called “Sophos for Linux Mail” which allows you to integrate Sophos Anti-Virus with mail systems such as Postfix and Sendmail. This plugin allows you to scan incoming and outgoing email messages and block infected messages.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus

kaspersky-lab-logo

Kaspersky Anti-Virus is commercial software available for Windows. It was developed in 1997 by Eugene Kaspersky, Natalya Kaspersky and Alexey De-Monderik with the purpose of protecting computer systems from cyber threats. Over the years, Kaspersky has expanded to support other operating systems, including Linux.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus includes advanced security features such as real-time scanning, scheduled scanning and protection against viruses, worms and Trojans. It also offers an intuitive user interface and a remote management console for device management.

Kaspersky Anti-Virus can also be used to protect mail systems on Linux. There is a plugin called "Kaspersky Security for Linux Mail Server" which allows you to integrate Kaspersky Anti-Virus with mail systems such as Postfix and Sendmail. This plugin allows you to scan incoming and outgoing email messages and block infected messages. Furthermore, Kaspersky Anti-Virus can be used in combination with other security software such as Amavisd-new which allows you to manage email scanning more efficiently and comprehensively.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus for Linux

ESET Antivirus for Linux

ESET NOD32 Antivirus is commercial software available for Linux. It was developed in 1992 by the Slovak company ESET, with the aim of protecting computer systems from cyber threats. Over the years, ESET NOD32 Antivirus has evolved to support Linux operating systems as well.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus includes advanced security features such as real-time scanning, scheduled scanning and protection against viruses, worms and Trojans. It also offers an intuitive user interface and a remote management console for device management.

ESET NOD32 Antivirus can also be used to protect mail systems on Linux. There is a plugin called “ESET Mail Security for Linux” which allows you to integrate ESET NOD32 Antivirus with mail systems such as Postfix and Sendmail. This plugin allows you to scan incoming and outgoing email messages and block infected messages. In addition, ESET NOD32 Antivirus can be used in conjunction with other security software such as Amavisd-new which allows you to manage email scanning more efficiently and comprehensively.

Conclusions

Bottom line, cybersecurity has become increasingly important as online threats have increased. Even though Linux is considered to be a more secure operating system than Windows, that doesn't mean it is not susceptible to virus and malware attacks. Therefore, using antivirus software can be a good idea to keep your data and devices safe. The market offers many commercial solutions for all budgets, and even open-source solutions such as ClamAV Antivirus can be enough to deal with online threats without having to invest large capitals. In any case, it is important to consider your specific situation and choose a solution that best fits your needs.

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