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  1. #1
    SitePoint Zealot unformatik's Avatar
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    using linux to prevent from viruses

    hello world!

    I can't find the "best" anti virus to protect my PC using XP
    I Googled.. some says that bitdefender is #1 others says no the Kaspersky is the "best".
    I think i will migrate to linux to protect my self from viruses!!

    which anti virus you use

    thanks

  2. #2
    SitePoint Zealot mjkovis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by unformatik View Post
    I can't find the "best" anti virus to protect my PC using XP
    I Googled.. some says that bitdefender is #1 others says no the Kaspersky is the "best".
    I think i will migrate to linux to protect my self from viruses!!

    which anti virus you use?
    If you are using the AV for home or personal use I highly suggest Avira free or AVG free. They are just as good, if not BETTER than some of those out there that you pay high dollar for. They update their definitions daily and you can schedule your scans. What more do you need? After installing and choosing one of those AV's you should look into protecting yourself further. Using freeware and shareware such as Spy-Bot S & D, Spyware Blaster, SUPER Anti-Spyware and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware.

    Those programs all come HIGHLY recommended from myself and the many other PC enthusiasts that have used them!

    As far as 'migrating' yourself to Linux to protect yourself from viri, trojans and other nasty bugs, that is a false statement. You still need to protect your PC from infection no matter what OS you use. Linux may 'seem' safer to the naked eye because it isn't targeted as much as Windows is. Hackers want to infect the largest amount of PC's they can, but that doesn't mean they won't mess with the little guy.

    If you do switch over to a Linux distro, I still firmly suggest you protecting your PC with Avira free or AVG free along with the other software I mentioned. Just because it is freeware does not mean that it will not function as well as a $50 security suite or AV. Hope this helps!

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    I use both windows and linux, I find linux to be faster, safer and better nearly all round, I only carry on using windows for multimedia stuff and laziness on my part for finding software, ie stuff to resize batches of pics similar to acdsee does, video editors and convertors, I assume linux has all this free but I can't be bothered trying out a dozen programs to find something suitable to do the stuff I need to do, and its nothing to do with the price, windows is $3 here best not to try and update it though, get an old hdd and chuck in a linux distro, you will be impressed, also on dodgy hdd's linux can run from the cd so you can boot up and transfer the stuff from the dodgy drive that windows isn't able to open, you can also set up a dual boot option on one drive and choose your os that way, give it a try, you will be impressed I think.

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    Another thing with windows, I find I have to reboot them every day or 2, linux just keeps on running without clogging up.

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    Switch to linux is better and free. You can install vmware player and and have windows inside linux's box.

  6. #6
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Just remember that if you switch to Linux you still need an anti-virus program. There aren't anywhere near as many viruses target Linux as target Windows (due to the lower number of users) but there are still some. Also since Linux hasn't had all the security patches applied as a result of the constant attacks that Windows gets, Linux is a lot less secure than Windows once people turn their attention to attacking it instead of attacking Windows. Basically it has the better security reputation just because it hasn't been seriously attacked yet the way Windows has.
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    Spyware and malware are more of a threat than any virus. Viruses are becoming less and less popular because spyware & malware are more profitable. Malwarebytes' Anti-Malware and Superantispyware is all you need.

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    SitePoint Guru hgilbert's Avatar
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    no you don't an anti-virus for Linux - let's not go there again, it's boring.

    The threat to the Unix family of operating systems is very different from Windows where viruses are still not - and will unlikely ever be - one of them


  9. #9
    SitePoint Zealot mjkovis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hgilbert View Post
    no you don't an anti-virus for Linux - let's not go there again, it's boring.

    The threat to the Unix family of operating systems is very different from Windows where viruses are still not - and will very unlikely ever be - one of them
    YES, you do need an AV while using a Linux distro. No OS is safe from any sort of attack. I will not get into a heated discussion about this.

  10. #10
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Just remember that if you switch to Linux you still need an anti-virus program. There aren't anywhere near as many viruses target Linux as target Windows (due to the lower number of users) but there are still some.
    I've been running GNU/Linux only on my computers for four years. No anti-virus, just the built-in firewall (iptables). Fedora 8 also features SELinux, which alerts me to thwarted intrusion attempts occasionally. Never had a virus, though, which I did when I used Windows – despite using a good anti-virus program.

    There are, allegedly, some Linux viruses out there, but as far as I know they are quite harmless and not very widely spread.

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Also since Linux hasn't had all the security patches applied as a result of the constant attacks that Windows gets, Linux is a lot less secure than Windows once people turn their attention to attacking it instead of attacking Windows. Basically it has the better security reputation just because it hasn't been seriously attacked yet the way Windows has.
    I'm surprised at this sort of FUD from you, Stephen.
    Although Linux isn't built with security as the first priority, it is constructed very similar to Unix operating systems. While not entirely immune to malware, it is by design far more resilient than Windows.

    On Linux you don't run with administrator privileges in your daily work, which a lot of Windows users do (even in corporate environments). So if you do get targeted by malware – which is unlikely in the first place – the amount of damage that malware can cause is rather limited.

    Using anti-virus software on GNU/Linux may be recommended, but it's nowhere nearly as vital as it is for Windows systems.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

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    You do need an av with linux, most windows trojans and spyware you can download quite safely onto your linux system if you want to have a play with them also most windows viruses you can download quite safely, wouldn't recommend it though if you have anything important on your hard drive and are not sure what you are downloading though unless you are willing to reformat if/when things go wrong. most malaware, viruses etc are aimed at windows and designed to work with windows applications, ie poxy outlook, some other poxy application that windows tries to force you to have that runs in the tool tray and is a pig to get out of your registry.

  12. #12
    SitePoint Zealot unformatik's Avatar
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    Good discussion! thanks for all!
    I think in this days a linux option, it is more secure due the little number of its users, and ubuntu is a good one

  13. #13
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    I'm surprised at this sort of FUD from you, Stephen.
    Although Linux isn't built with security as the first priority, it is constructed very similar to Unix operating systems. While not entirely immune to malware, it is by design far more resilient than Windows.
    Windows is far more secure than Linux simply because most of the security holes in the operating system have been found then exploited then patched. Linux is less secure in that no one has actually looked for any significant security holes to exploit. Linux is the safer operating system to run not because it is more secure but simply because it isn't worth anyone's time writing viruses etc to actually attack it. Linux is also generally used by people with a greater knowledge of computers who are therefore more likely to turn on the security options that are available unlike many Windows computers where many people using it know little about computers and have their computer set the way it was when they got it. That leaves them exposed to all the threats and that's why Windows gets targetted. With appropriate security in place both operating systems are unlikely to have security issues - Windows because it can block the threats when configured properly and Linux because there are few attacks anyway and what security options Linux has will block them anyway. If all the newbies switched to running Linux instead of Windows then there'd be a repeat on Linux of what Windows has gone through with security holes being discovered, exploited and then patched because then Linux would become a worthwhile target.

    I have run both operating systems with equivalent security in place on both and in neither case has anything got past the security.
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    Felgall, which type of server would you use though? Linux or windows?
    Also browsers, ie that comes with windows or firefox that comes with linux?
    Email thingy, outlook that comes with windows, or whichever it is that comes with linux?

  15. #15
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Windows is far more secure than Linux simply because most of the security holes in the operating system have been found then exploited then patched.
    Do you have any facts to back up that claim? Windows is closed source. How can you possibly know that 'most of the security holes ... have been found', unless you're a Microsoft employee with access to the code?

    Linux, on the other hand, is open source. Thousands of developers have eyeballed the code and reported security issues. Have they found all of them? Not likely, but chances that security holes will be found and plugged are significantly better than for a closed-source system which a much smaller number of developers can scrutinise.

    (Closed source doesn't automatically imply bad security – just look at Opera! – but you must admit that Microsoft's track record in this area isn't exactly inspiring confidence.)

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Linux is less secure in that no one has actually looked for any significant security holes to exploit.
    Again: proof? It's open source, and I'm convinced a lot of people have looked at that source trying to find security holes.

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Linux is the safer operating system to run not because it is more secure but simply because it isn't worth anyone's time writing viruses etc to actually attack it.
    Ah yes. The old claim that's always parroted by FUD-ing Microsoft fans.

    Yes, there's not as much commercial incentive to create malware for a smaller target. But you're only looking at the desktop market; when it comes to servers Linux has a much larger market share. I would be very surprised if some of the organisations that use Linux servers wouldn't be considered worthwhile targets by malicious groups.

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    With appropriate security in place both operating systems are unlikely to have security issues - Windows because it can block the threats when configured properly and Linux because there are few attacks anyway and what security options Linux has will block them anyway.
    Yes, it's probably possible to make both systems secure. The difference is the cost of doing so, and how much you have to cripple the system.

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    If all the newbies switched to running Linux instead of Windows then there'd be a repeat on Linux of what Windows has gone through with security holes being discovered, exploited and then patched because then Linux would become a worthwhile target.
    Really? There'd probably be an increase of attacks, but I very much doubt that it would be anything like what Windows has gone through.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  16. #16
    Programming Since 1978 silver trophybronze trophy felgall's Avatar
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    I'll agree that provided that you don't run email on Linux that you can probably get away without needing anti-virus since you would only have Linux viruses to worry about. If you run an email program on Linux then the main security hazard on your entire system is that YOU are one of those people responsible for helping to spread WINDOWS viruses since any email that you send could have such a virus in it and you'd never know.

    Tommy, I wouldn't have expected you to be so anti-Microsoft over a couple of the few minor things that they actually got right - eventually. You have to give them credit for the one or two things they got right and save the Microsoft bashing for the several tens of thousands of things they got wrong.
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    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    I'll agree that provided that you don't run email on Linux that you can probably get away without needing anti-virus since you would only have Linux viruses to worry about.
    Even email is a lot less risky on Linux, since attachments cannot have the executable flag set. You can't 'accidentally' click on something and get infected. You actually have to save the attachment and tell the OS to let you execute it. It's like having a double safety on a firearm: you can still shoot yourself in the foot, but you have to try hard.

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    If you run an email program on Linux then the main security hazard on your entire system is that YOU are one of those people responsible for helping to spread WINDOWS viruses since any email that you send could have such a virus in it and you'd never know.
    Yes, if you blithely forward infected emails, that's true. Does a Linux anti-virus detect viruses that only affect Windows systems though?

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Tommy, I wouldn't have expected you to be so anti-Microsoft over a couple of the few minor things that they actually got right - eventually.
    I'm sorry, but I'm not quite clear on what those 'few minor things' we're talking about here.

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    You have to give them credit for the one or two things they got right and save the Microsoft bashing for the several tens of thousands of things they got wrong.
    I'm not one of those who despise Microsoft on principle, and I will – and do – give them credit when they get something right. In fact, I wish I could do so more often.

    But I also don't join the 'poor Microsoft getting bashed by anti-American commie terrorists' sniveling group. When you have almost a monopoly position, you have to expect to live up to somewhat higher standards.

    I'm forced to use Windows and Microsoft software in my job. I dislike it most of the time, not because it's made by Microsoft or because Microsoft is American, but because the software is bloated, buggy, insecure and unstable.

    We don't use the latest versions, though. We're using XP and Office 2003, so it's entirely possible that Microsoft has stabilised, secured, slimmed and debugged everything in more modern releases.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  18. #18
    SitePoint Zealot mjkovis's Avatar
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    If you are a tech savvy PC enthusiast and you have the common sense of what NOT to do wrong to mess up your system then you can make it without a lot of security measures on your system. If you AREN'T, then you need to protect yourself no matter what. Fact is, YES Linux is STILL susceptible to getting infected with some sort of malware or virus or trojan. NOTHING is 100% secure or perfect and Linux is far from it.

    My suggestion is protect yourself, but it is YOUR PC and YOUR data that will be on it, not mine. If you want to keep your data safe, then protect it.

    Quote Originally Posted by slappy12 View Post
    Also browsers, ie that comes with windows or firefox that comes with linux?
    Firefox, hands down on either OS. IE is crap, although in IE8 they did start to get a few things right.

    Quote Originally Posted by slappy12 View Post
    Email thingy, outlook that comes with windows, or whichever it is that comes with linux?
    Mozilla Thunderbird comes with Linux and you can use that as well on a Windows machine. Personally, I love it and will not switch back to OE or Windows Mail.

  19. #19
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjkovis View Post
    Fact is, YES Linux is STILL susceptible to getting infected with some sort of malware or virus or trojan.
    Since you say it's a fact (which I don't doubt, btw), could you provide some links to credible articles about Linux users who have had their systems crashed due to malware?
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  20. #20
    SitePoint Zealot mjkovis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    Since you say it's a fact (which I don't doubt, btw), could you provide some links to credible articles about Linux users who have had their systems crashed due to malware?
    Hold on a second here. So you are trying to tell me (and everyone else) that Linux is COMPLETELY safe from harm and that it DOES NOT need protection? Why don't you post some credible articles about this subject yourself and back that up? I would be curious to see this.

    Sure, Linux IS more 'secure' than Windows and we have already gone into this discussion within previous posts as to why. Therefore I am not going to argue these points again...

    Linux distro's are NOT for the average PC user. Any tech savvy user that uses Windows or Linux or OS X can get away with less security because they know what to look for and what not do. They are going to be a safer and a smarter user than the average person.

    Btw...

    http://www.lmgtfy.com/?q=linux+vs+wi...+virus+malware

  21. #21
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    from the number 1 spot which was wiki
    There has not yet been a single widespread Linux malware threat of the type that Microsoft Windows software currently faces; this is commonly attributed to the malware's lack of root access and fast updates to most Linux vulnerabilities

  22. #22
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    same source on

    Viruses and trojan horses

    The viruses listed below pose a potential, although minimal, threat to Linux systems.

  23. #23
    #titanic {float:none} silver trophy
    molona's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Windows is far more secure than Linux simply because most of the security holes in the operating system have been found then exploited then patched.
    I don't fully understand this reasoning to be honest. That sentence doesn't necessarily mean that Windows is more secure than Linux. It only means that Windows is now more secure than it used to be. But that has nothing to do with Linux.


    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    Linux is less secure in that no one has actually looked for any significant security holes to exploit. Linux is the safer operating system to run not because it is more secure but simply because it isn't worth anyone's time writing viruses etc to actually attack it. Linux is also generally used by people with a greater knowledge of computers who are therefore more likely to turn on the security options that are available unlike many Windows computers where many people using it know little about computers and have their computer set the way it was when they got it. That leaves them exposed to all the threats and that's why Windows gets targetted.
    Now, I agree with this. Yet, it doesn't have anything to do with which OS is safer.

    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    With appropriate security in place both operating systems are unlikely to have security issues - Windows because it can block the threats when configured properly and Linux because there are few attacks anyway and what security options Linux has will block them anyway. If all the newbies switched to running Linux instead of Windows then there'd be a repeat on Linux of what Windows has gone through with security holes being discovered, exploited and then patched because then Linux would become a worthwhile target.
    Can't fully agree with this. I am sure that unexperienced people started to use Linux, there would be more viruses created for this OS... but it is true that you never run Linux as the privileges of an administrator, as you do (very often) with Windows. But, again, this doesn't indicate if Linux is safer than Windows or the other way around.
    Quote Originally Posted by felgall View Post
    I have run both operating systems with equivalent security in place on both and in neither case has anything got past the security.
    Security should be always used, it doesn't matter which OS you use.

  24. #24
    SitePoint Author silver trophybronze trophy

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    Quote Originally Posted by mjkovis View Post
    Hold on a second here. So you are trying to tell me (and everyone else) that Linux is COMPLETELY safe from harm and that it DOES NOT need protection?
    No, I'm not saying that Linux is completely safe from harm. If you had read my previous posts in this thread you'd have seen that. I'm just saying that I've never heard of anyone who has suffered substantial damage to their Linux system due to a virus or trojan.

    It's possible to write viruses for Linux systems, but it seems to be difficult to make those viruses cause too much damage. At least unless you use a lot of social engineering to trick the user into actively letting your malware acquire root privs.

    The protection offered by iptables is quite sufficient for many users. An anti-virus app is probably a good idea, but I'm saying that it isn't as essential for Linux as it is for Windows.

    There's a funny article about running WIndows viruses with Wine.
    And here's a detailed instruction on how to run a malware app under Linux.
    Birnam wood is come to Dunsinane

  25. #25
    SitePoint Zealot mjkovis's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AutisticCuckoo View Post
    If you had read my previous posts in this thread you'd have seen that. I'm just saying that I've never heard of anyone who has suffered substantial damage to their Linux system due to a virus or trojan.
    Yes, I did read all of your posts, but I did misread:

    Since you say it's a fact (which I don't doubt, btw)
    and thought that it read "which I doubt, btw" which in turn threw me completely off from what you had said before. My apologies, it actually caught my eye just now. I thought for an instant that you were condescending yourself!


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