Is my Linux getting a cold?

February 6, 2011 by . 0 comments

Super User’s Question of the Week [31 Jan – 7 Feb]


If you’re a linux user you typically know what you’re doing and what to avoid when it comes to attracting virus’s on your pc.  But there’s a growing crowd out there that’s integrating Linux into their everyday lives, and they aren’t your typical hacker or programming enthusiasts.  They’re average users.  This brings up the wonderful question posed by ykombinator:

How is Linux not prone to viruses, malware and those kinds of things?

I am unable to figure out, how is linux protected against viruses?

I am no cracker. It was just out of curiosity that I am asking this question.

And a good question it is.  You hear about the hundreds of virus that are released each year.  But most of these viruses are geared towards windows.  Where are, if any, the viruses for linux distro’s?  Well Super User’s give us the answer:

It’s just less subject to hackers developing viruses that target Linux systems. Consumer grade computers usually run on Windows and thus, when targeting a wide audience, Windows is the way to go.

  • harrymc gives some more good insight as to why there is not as many virus’s for linux as there are windows:

The main reason is that Linux geeks do not make rich targets.

Organized crime aims at the people who buy a simpler system with a desktop and all their applications already installed and well known. And currently the vast majority of such people are using Windows, which makes Windows a much more profitable target.

There are plenty of other great answers and speculations as to why there are more virus’s for Windows than the linux environment but it’s important to emphasize that there are definitely linux attacking virus’s out there.  It’s still smart to get an anti-virus software for your machine whether it’s linux, mac, or Windows.  AVG has a free solution for all environments, and many other have multi platform support.

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