Is Linux Immune to Viruses and Malware?

is linux immune to viruses and malware.

Is Linux Really Immune to Viruses and Malware?

Linux Immune To Virus

We must have known one of the reasons people switch to Linux is because Linux has better security. After switching to Linux, we no longer have to worry about viruses and other types of malware. But in reality Linux desktops aren't all secure. Then Is Linux Really Immune to Viruses and Malware?

Also Read: Most Frequently Asked Questions About Linux


1. Why is Malware Less Common on Linux Desktops?

2. Malware on Linux Desktop Exists, But It's Rare

3. Most Linux Malware Target Servers

4. Linux Design Is Not Completely Secure

5. 4 Reasons Why Linux Is Relatively Safe to Use

6. 1. Many Distros, Environments, and System Components

7. 2. App Store and Package Manager Protect Linux Users

8. 3. New Technologies That Actively Consider Security

9. 4. Open Source Code for Everyone to Read

10. Should We Be Afraid of Linux Malware?

11. Conclusion

Why is Malware Less Common on Linux Desktops?

Malware is unwanted code that somehow gets into our computers to perform functions designed with malicious intent. Sometimes these programs slow down the system or cause it to stop. The creators of this malware can then demand a ransom to fix the system. Sometimes malware uploads information to a remote server, giving someone access to our stored data or vital credentials we type, such as passwords and credit card numbers.

Also Read: 5 Things You Should Know Before Switching to Linux

People tend to create malware for Windows because that's the operating system found on most PCs. This increases the chances of the virus spreading from one computer to another. Virus creators tend to target less technical users who are easier to fool with fake web banners and phishing scams. Viruses also spread among people who know how to pirate music and shows. TV but do not understand how these files can be infected. There are several antivirus applications for Linux, and their purpose is often to help protect Windows users.

Also Read: 5 Free And Best Linux Antivirus Applications

Malware on Linux Desktop Exists, But It's Rare

A piece of malware recently made the news to target Linux desktops. EvilGNOME runs on the GNOME desktop environment pretending to be an extension. GNOME is the most common Linux desktop environment, found as the default interface on the two most popular Linux distributions, Ubuntu and Fedora, and on computers shipped directly from Linux manufacturers such as System76 and Purism. Legitimate extensions allow us to change many aspects of the GNOME desktop.

Also Read: The Difference Between Linux Desktop Environment Types And Which Is Best

The malware known as EvilGNOME can take screenshots and record audio from our PC's microphone. It can also upload our personal files. More detailed details are available in the report by Intezer Labs that gave EvilGNOME its name. This malware does not attract attention because it is very likely to have an impact on many people. It is considered newsworthy because it exists.

Most Linux Malware Target Servers

Linux is relatively rare on desktops, but it is the most prominent operating system found on servers that power the web and manage much of the world's digital infrastructure. Many attacks target websites rather than PCs. Hackers often look for vulnerabilities in network daemons that they can use to gain access to Linux-backed servers. Some install malicious scripts on servers that then target visitors rather than the system itself. Hacking a Linux-powered machine, whether it's a server or an IoT device, is one way to infect the web or create a botnet.

Also read: What is a Botnet and how to prevent it

Linux Design Is Not Completely Secure

The Linux desktop in its current form is not a fortress. Compared to Windows XP, where malicious software can gain administrator access without asking for a password, Linux offers much better security. Currently, Microsoft has made changes to close that gap. Since Vista, Windows has issued a prompt.

But worrying about the security of system files is almost off the mark. Maybe most of the data we care about is not stored in our root system folder. This is the personal data in our irreplaceable and most open home directory. Software on Linux, malicious or not, does not require our password to access this data and share it with others.

User accounts can also run scripts that activate our microphone, turn on the webcam, hit the log button, and record what happens on the screen. In other words, it hardly matters how secure the Linux kernel is, or the protection that surrounds the various components of the system, if vulnerabilities in applications and desktop environments that could put the data we care about most are at risk. EvilGNOME does not install itself among our system files. This virus hides in a hidden folder in our home directory. On the positive side, it makes it easier to remove.

4 Reasons Why Linux Is Relatively Safe to Use

Compared to other operating systems, Linux is more immune to viruses. While Linux is not immune to exploits, in everyday use, it still provides a much more secure environment than Windows. Here are some reasons.

1. Many Distros, Environments, and System Components

Application developers have a hard time developing Linux because there are so many supported versions. The same challenges face malware creators. What is the best way to hack into someone's computer? Are we sneaking code in DEB or RPM format? We can try to exploit a vulnerability in the Xorg display server or in a certain window compositor, only to find that the user has something else installed.

2. App Store and Package Manager Protect Linux Users

Traditional Linux package management systems place application maintainers and reviewers between users and their software sources. As long as we get all of our software from these trusted sources, we are most likely not going to find anything harmful. Avoid copying and pasting command line instructions to install software, especially when you don't know exactly what the command does and you're unsure of the source.

3. New Technologies That Actively Consider Security

New app formats like Flatpak and Snap introduce permissions and sandboxing, limiting the permissions of an app. The new Wayland display server can prevent apps from taking screenshots or recording what's happening on the screen, making them harder to exploit.

4. Open Source Code for Everyone to Read

The main advantage of Linux comes from being able to see the code. Since Linux is open source rather than proprietary, we don't have to worry about the desktop working against us, acting as spyware itself or suffering from undisclosed exploits for commercial reasons. Even if we can't understand the code, we can read a blog post or report from someone who did.

Should We Be Afraid of Linux Malware?

It's a myth that Linux users shouldn't worry about viruses, but if we stick to our distro's App Store or other trusted sources like Flathub, we won't find anything dangerous. No matter what operating system we use, it is important that we adopt safe digital habits. Don't make the mistake of believing that switching to Linux means you can download from incomplete sites without worry. But for most of us, the biggest risk is probably not malware. If we have created a large number of accounts online or rely on cloud services, phishing scams are a much bigger threat to our data, whether we use Linux or not.

Also read: 8 Tips for Maintaining Security While Online According to Experts


So Is Linux Really Immune To Viruses And Malware? We certainly know that no system is completely secure. Linux definitely has vulnerabilities like any other operating system. But the vulnerabilities that Linux has are much smaller than other operating systems.

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Hopefully, this article about Is Linux Immune to Viruses and Malware?, gives you a little insight. Also, read an article about Keep Windows 10 Start Menu and Action Center Black While Using Accent Colors that you may need to know. Thank you.

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