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Old 08-27-2008, 07:33 PM
Chris Tyler
 
Default Virus software? do I need it?

On Wed, 2008-08-27 at 12:18 -0700, Jeffrey Engle wrote:
> Is virus software a must have? I'm trying Fedora 9, used Mac OS X for
> years without it. What say you? Jeff

Jeff, if you've used OSX for years without antivirus software, then
you'll probably be comfortable running Fedora without it too. There have
been Linux viruses, but the usual open source response is to fix the
vulnerable software -- and quite quickly -- instead of creating virus
scanners and updating signatures. This is effectively treating the
sickness and not the symptom, and has generally worked well. In
addition, tools such as SELinux effectively reduce the attack surface
for viruses and malware. Of course, good system administration (leaving
SELinux on, updating frequently, using strong authentication, close
system monitoring, and so forth) is essential too.

(Most AV software I've seen for Linux concentrates on detecting Windows
viruses on shared storage and in e-mail).

-Chris

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Old 08-27-2008, 07:33 PM
Anne Wilson
 
Default Virus software? do I need it?

On Wednesday 27 August 2008 20:18:37 Jeffrey Engle wrote:
> Is virus software a must have? I'm trying Fedora 9, used Mac OS X for
> years without it. What say you? Jeff

If you serve windows boxes, for instance as a mail server, then you need AV to
protect them. So far there has been no need for AV for linux. You probably
know that windows viruses don't run under linux, and it is very much harder
to write a virus that can get to system files in linux, but sooner or later,
IMO, someone will at least manage to write one that damages your user data.

So - do you need AV? Probably not, at the moment, but ClamAV is good, free,
and not difficult to use.

Anne
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Old 08-27-2008, 07:34 PM
"Mikkel L. Ellertson"
 
Default Virus software? do I need it?

Jeffrey Engle wrote:
> Is virus software a must have? I'm trying Fedora 9, used Mac OS X for
> years without it. What say you? Jeff
>
I hope you mean anti-virus software. If you use Samba serve files to
Windows machines, then an anti-virus program to scan the Windows
shares can be handy. There are several free ones.

For Linux, something like Check Root Kit software is probably a good
idea.

Mikkel
--

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!

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Old 08-27-2008, 07:34 PM
Bruno Wolff III
 
Default Virus software? do I need it?

On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 12:18:37 -0700,
Jeffrey Engle <macguy47@gmail.com> wrote:
> Is virus software a must have? I'm trying Fedora 9, used Mac OS X for
> years without it. What say you? Jeff

You might want it to filter email on a mail server so messages don't get
read by users on machines where they are more likely to be a problem.
If you aren't running a mail server and are asking about desktop use,
then no you don't want to use a virus scanner.
SELinux (along with better designed apps) is a better approach to dealing
with that kind of malware.

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Old 08-27-2008, 07:40 PM
Uwe Kiewel
 
Default Virus software? do I need it?

Jeffrey Engle schrieb:
> Is virus software a must have? I'm trying Fedora 9, used Mac OS X for
> years without it. What say you? Jeff
>

I think, I might be a good idea to have a mail virus scanner for
detecting system independed toxic things like phishing emails or
something like that.

HTH,
Uwe

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Old 08-27-2008, 07:41 PM
"Arthur Pemberton"
 
Default Virus software? do I need it?

On Wed, Aug 27, 2008 at 2:34 PM, Mikkel L. Ellertson
<mikkel@infinity-ltd.com> wrote:
> Jeffrey Engle wrote:
>> Is virus software a must have? I'm trying Fedora 9, used Mac OS X for
>> years without it. What say you? Jeff
>>
> I hope you mean anti-virus software. If you use Samba serve files to
> Windows machines, then an anti-virus program to scan the Windows
> shares can be handy. There are several free ones.
>
> For Linux, something like Check Root Kit software is probably a good
> idea.
>
> Mikkel
> --
>
> Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons,
> for thou art crunchy and taste good with Ketchup!
>
>


Could the sum of these responses be added to the wiki in a visible
area? My account seems to be inactive.


--
Fedora 7 : sipping some of that moonshine
( www.pembo13.com )

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Old 08-27-2008, 09:05 PM
James Wilkinson
 
Default Virus software? do I need it?

Jeffrey Engle wrote:
> Is virus software a must have? I'm trying Fedora 9, used Mac OS X for
> years without it. What say you? Jeff

There is a school of thought that says both traditional viruses and
traditional anti-virus are becoming obsolete. Malware is changing, and
traditional anti-virus is not keeping up.

Desktop systems these days are most likely to be compromised either
through bugs in browsers (or browser-related software such as flash, or
conceivably an office suite, if the user can be enticed to open a Word
document), or through users deliberately installing something that’s
presented as (for example) a video codec.

Very often, the user will be encouraged to visit a website hosting the
malware through spam. The malware won't be in the spam, and traditional
anti-virus techniques won’t spot anything. Anti-spam techniques *will*
stop most spam, but no credible anti-spam technique claims to stop 100%
of spam.

In any case, the malware will be hosted on a computer that is controlled
by the BadGuys. They get to choose which version of the malware they
make available, and they can change it at a moment’s notice. By the time
the anti-virus companies have got signatures out, the BadGuys can have
changed the malware five times. The BadGuys are in league with serious
criminals, and have serious amounts of resources. The anti-virus
companies are losing this race.

And malware is no longer aimed at the computer, or the OS. They’re after
money – either through getting the computer to send spam, or steal
credit card details, or extortion, or whatever. If malware can run as
you, then they’ve got nearly everything they want.

What does this mean for Fedora (and Mac OS)?

Firstly, security updates are your main line of defence. They are as
important as anti-virus ever was.

Secondly, the BadGuys will get to know of security vulnerabilities fast,
possibly before Fedora does. You can help protect yourself by limiting
your exposure. SELinux won’t do you much good (yet), but something like
NoScript (a Firefox add-on) which disables Javascript and Flash, except
when you really want them, will mean that you will probably be running a
lot less code should you visit a website controlled by the BadGuys,
which means there will be less security bugs lurking.

Thirdly, the scarcity of Mac and Linux installs aren’t helping as much
as they used to. The BadGuys can detect what you’re running and launch
an appropriate attack. They’re already doing this for Firefox and
Internet Explorer on Windows.

Most importantly, a thinking user is a *lot* less likely to get infected
on any platform. If you wonder “why is this postcard site getting me to
install this add-in?” then you might not install the malware. If you
just click “OK” (or “Allow”) without even reading the associated
messages, treating “OK” as the computer equivalent of “use a hammer on
it”, then you’re much more likely to “OK” a virus install.

Unfortunately, it’s still way too easy on Fedora to install third-party
Firefox add-ins.

James.

--
E-mail: james@ | Blinking text seems awfully archaic and old-fashioned in
aprilcottage.co.uk | these days of flash and javascript atrocities, but we had
| to manage to get annoyed at the technology that was
| available at the time; you youngsters won't understand.
| -- http://lwn.net/Articles/140450

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Old 08-27-2008, 09:33 PM
g
 
Default Virus software? do I need it?

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Jeffrey Engle wrote:
> Is virus software a must have? I'm trying Fedora 9, used Mac OS X for
> years without it. What say you? Jeff

linux says, 'we don't need no stinking anti-virus software'.

for some more info as to security of linux, other than virus software,
have a look at these;

http://project.honeynet.org/

http://www.channelinsider.com/c/a/Solution-Builder/Honeypots-the-Hottest-Thing-in-Intrusion-Detection/

http://baitnswitch.sourceforge.net/

honeypots.sourceforge.net/open_proxy_honeypots.pdf


- --
tc,hago.

g
.

in a free world without fences, who needs gates.

learn linux:
'Rute User's Tutorial and Exposition' http://rute.2038bug.com/index.html.gz
'The Linux Documentation Project' http://www.tldp.org/
'HowtoForge' http://howtoforge.com/
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