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Alternate OS as a solution to persistent malware?


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6 replies to this topic

#1 pacificdenizen

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Posted 22 May 2011 - 02:23 PM

I don't know why, but I have been a target of repeated malware attacks. I am in the help forums now trying to figure out if a rootkit is involved...but I am seriously at the point of throwing my machine out the window.

Do you worry about malware on an alternate OS? What is the picture there?

Sorry if this is a dumb question. Thanks in advance for your patience. :)

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#2 Ramchu

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 05:59 AM

With Linux/Unix a program should not have the ability to run with out you giving it permission to first.

Now, of course it doesn't matter what OS you are running. Whether it's Linux, Windows, or Mac, a virus/malicious program can be written for it.

But, because of the permissions on a Linux/Unix machine it should be very difficult for a program to get on your system and run with out you being the one downloading and running it.

Now, that isn't to say that you couldn't download and install a malicious program from the internet thinking that it is a program you want. But, that is where package managers and repositories come in. Unless you are an advanced user who knows what they are doing, there is no good reason not to use the repositories. Even as an advanced user there is little need to. If you are using a good distro, that is well maintained it's should have everything you need and be secure.

There is no 100% guarantee you will never get a virus on a Linux Machine, but the chances are very slim if you follow some basic rules. If a malicious package is going to get through all the developers, repository maintainers, and testing before it makes it to the stable repose chances are an anti-virus program will miss it too.

In closing, Anti-Virus is only good on un-secure machines. And if you system is not secure, you need to stop and ask yourself why.

#3 Capn Easy

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 06:59 AM

Hi, pacificdenizen! You might get a kick out of this thread I started last year. The kids have had no trouble getting used to Ubuntu.

#4 cryptodan

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 09:22 AM

One question, I would have you ask yourself is the following:

What are my browsing habits, what am I doing online, and how can become safer?

Another OS may be only a temporary solution.

#5 macrip3

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Posted 24 May 2011 - 06:08 PM

Pacific Citizen, This Ubuntu has been great for me for an replacement OS. I have not had any big problems. Good O/S.

#6 pacificdenizen

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Posted 30 May 2011 - 08:38 PM

Your responses give me food for thought...Thank you. I am impressed by the Ubuntu endorsements, and, CapnEasy, that is a marvelous story. Your daughter is sharp. :)

Cryptodan, that is exactly my concern...that an alternate OS will be only a temporary solution. I honestly am not sure what I am doing to make myself vulnerable, but I have even wondered if I am part of a botnet being repeatedly targeted. I am not the only one who uses this computer, so perhaps we all need to get together and do a fine comb over browsing habits. We do use a "safer" browser and highly rated firewall and antivirus protection, as well as on-demand spyware/malware scans...

Thank you all again for the input. This is a really great community.

#7 cryptodan

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Posted 31 May 2011 - 05:24 AM

Let me just put it to you this way:

If it was designed and made by man, then it can easily be destroyed by man.

With that said, a program contains over a million lines of code, and a patch today may address one issue, but open the doors for another way in.




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