Possible Duplicate:
The myths about viruses in unix/linux

I've never used Linux before and I heard that you don't need to worry about malware on Linux. So, as the title said, is Linux really malware safe? Or do people just not bother creating them for Linux because Linux is not popular for standard end-users ?


Linux is not malware safe, run something like rkhunter on a Linux machine and see a large number of potential pieces of malware it scans for. However most linux malware is aimed at linux servers giving the attacker slightly different pay offs than owning a desktop machine. Eg there would be no point in them installing a keylogger or advert popup generator but they might run an irc server or spam mailer.

This means that if by standard end-user you mean someone running Linux as a desktop machine then there is no much targeting them but anyone running a linux (or any other) server should be vigilent.


Having been root-kitted, I will tell you that scripted malware is alive and well for Linux. While the machine wasn't hit by a virus per-se, the un-passworded user account (non-root) was hit with a series of local exploit tests that were successful on breaching the system (just installed, hadn't run apt to scan for security updates yet).

See the "Myths about Viruses in unix/linux" link above.

Thinking anything is "Safe" is the first step in allowing yourself to be pwn'd.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.