Anti-Malware for Linux Computers

Is Linux “safer” to use than Windows?  Is it immune to malware?  You may be under the assumption that Linux is not vulnerable to the same exploits that plague Windows systems.  If so, you would be incorrect.  Linux has its very own set of vulnerabilities and working exploits, and Linux servers and computers need anti-malware software protection just as much as their Windows counterparts.  Today we will look at some suitable options.

Maybe you are one of the few people using a Linux distribution such as Mint or Ubuntu on your laptop or desktop computer.  More likely, you are using the Linux operating system to run your web site or provide server services on your website.  There is little doubt that Linux is the most popular open-source operating system for computers or servers.  According to Wikipedia, in the desktop arena, Linux holds a 21.7% market share, compared to 26.2% for Apple’s MacOS, and 52.2% or Microsoft Windows.  In the server sector Linux and Unix systems represent 67.8% of web and other servers, and Microsoft has a 32% share.  There are plenty of Linux systems that need protection from various attackers and exploits.

Here are some great options:

  • ClamAVClamAV is open-source and free to use.  It is made especially for email gateway servers, but ClamAV can also be installed on other Linux systems.
  • Sophos AV for LinuxSophos for Linux is not open-source but is still free to use on web and other servers as well as Linux desktop endpoints.  It can be configured for on-access, on-demand, or scheduled scanning.
  • ckrootkit/rkhunter – This pair of tools are specifically designed to detect rootkits in Linux.
  • Lynis – This is a free and open-source security auditing tool that can be used to harden Linux servers.  Lynis can be configured to automatically run other tools such as ckrootkit and ClamAV, or used as a penetration testing tool.
  • ISPProtect – This is a malware scanner for web servers.  ISSProtect works well for CMS sites such as WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.  It can also detect outdated versions of software and plugins.  An ISPProtect license costs about $100 annually.

If you are using a LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, and PHP) server for your website, or other Linux servers or desktops, it is critically important that these network assets are protected by anti-malware software.  Today we have given you several viable options to harden and protect your Linux systems.





About the Author:

Cybersecurity analyst, pen-tester, trainer, and speaker. Serving small business owners in the St Paul, Minneapolis, and western Wisconsin area since 2001. Cybersecurity and hacking have been a passion of mine since I entered the computer and networking business in 2000. I hold several cybersecurity certifications including Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP), Certified Advanced Security Pratitioner (CASP), and Certified Ethical Hacker (CEH). Other computer industry certifications include A+, Network+ and Microsoft Certified System Engineer (MCSE). As Cybersecurity Analyst at The WyzCo Group, I help our clients experience high levels of security on their computers, networks, and websites. In addition to consulting on security products and services, we also conduct security audits, vulnerability assessments and full penetration tests. We also work with companies and organizations that need to certify compliance with regulations such as PCI-DSS (credit card processing), HIPAA/HITECH (medical records), and GLBA. We also provide Cybersecurity Awareness Training for clients and their employees. I am a frequent speakers at cybersecurity conferences such as the Minnesota Bloggers Conference, Secure360 Security Conference, the (ISC)2 World Congress, and the ISSA International Conference, and many local community organizations, Chambers of Commerce, SCORE, and several school districts. I have been blogging on cybersecurity since 2008.

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