cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

Community Veteran
Posts: 1,116
Thanks: 6
Registered: 28-08-2007

Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

I never really got to the bottom of this before as most people don't really think their necessary but how many Linux users of any flavour use AV or FW on their systems?
Just recently someone used my missus bank card details to top up £30 on a mobile phone, police are involved but I don't have much hope. She doesn't use the card online much and it usually involves verisign which is a touch safer and the only out of the ordinary thing that she did was bought a kids fancy dress costume which arrived without a problem. Other than that it's only been used for reliable companies like taxing the car.
It's got me thinking is there phishing stuff about or dubious code specifically wrote for Linux machines? I'm not trying to put the two things together here just reviewing my online security using Linux and Firefox as the browser.
Maybe I'm assuming too much that using two of the safest ways of surfing the net are ok stand alone.
I suspect though it's something to do with this costume place.
14 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,605
Thanks: 209
Fixes: 15
Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

On my main pc's I don't use ANY firewalls or AV. I have Bitdefender installed ONLY to scan M$ stuff for friends, my router is my firewall now, I used to run a Smoothwall firewall but had to switch it off to save money, been that way for >2 years with no issues and I do buy stuff on-line all the time.
On my EEE I have the UFW installed, but  only since I use a 3 dongle which gives a REAL ip address when I use it, most of the time it is off.
I am unaware of any maleware that attacks Linux systems, when I run BD it never finds anything anyway  Grin
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,116
Thanks: 6
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

That seems to be the census of opinion m8. I wonder as Linux seems to be getting ever more popular at what point the bed wetters out there will start writing malicious code.
Surely it's only going to be a matter of time  Shocked
custos
Aspiring Pro
Posts: 315
Thanks: 45
Fixes: 1
Registered: 28-06-2007

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

If you respond to phishing e-mails or use fake websites it makes no difference what OS you are using  Smiley
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,644
Thanks: 204
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

I don't use virus checkers either.
It's rather difficult for the virus writers to get files with executable privileges onto a Linux machine without the users explicit permission.
If you never click on email links and enter bank details then you are safe from interference since https sites use end-to-end encryption.
Phishing stuff works for all OS's - if you fall for it.
There is quite a high risk if you use your card in person or via telephone.

Community Veteran
Posts: 4,937
Thanks: 355
Fixes: 16
Registered: 10-06-2010

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

The Linux firewall is iptables in the kernel. However the Windows concept of a "firewall" is quite different to the networking concept of a firewall.
Don't forget Adobe flash as an extra source of possible security flaws. I use flashblock, but that's mainly to block animated and noisy adverts.
I don't use an anti-virus scanner in Linux, I don't think there are any widely used ones, there's no security centre informing you that you're doomed if you don't have one either.
Denzil
Grafter
Posts: 1,733
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

There is ClamAV, which is widely used on Linux, but this is generally if you are running your own mail server and you want to avoid passing on incoming Windows viruses onto other Windows users.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

many people think that virus writers don't attack linux because it has a small footprint compared with windows.  the writers don't attack linux because viruses won't propogate.  it's easy to undermine windows because users always run as administrator, whereas linux users generally run as user and only call on administrator privileges when they need to alter something in the system.
phishing and social engineering proves more successful against linux users as anyone can be conned.
Ellis
Grafter
Posts: 213
Registered: 04-02-2011

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

I've used Ubuntu/Linux OS since 2006 and had no problems at all. As said before, you don't run as Admin and nothing can be written to the system unless you give the password for it to be done. If anything asks for the password when you are not doing it yourself, you refuse.
Linux doesn't get bogged down with rubbish like Windows as it does an efficient job of "housekeeping" and removes temp files etc which are a month old.
N/A

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

Sorry about that - I do sympathize as it must be very unnerving.  Like others in this thread, I use the UFW and no virus checker.  
Two of my friends had problems with card fraud and it was picked up straight away by the bank before any damage could be done.  One (jmdlp) did not involve the computer but the other one did. Of the latter, the bank said that it was not computer security that was the problem but staff of the company that she ordered from.  Someone had taken the details and tried to use them fraudulently - in this case it was in the USA (she had ordered a camera online). So I agree with you in that the fancy dress company does sound a bit fishy.  You can take steps to improve security but can't do much about the criminal elements in company staff.
With regards to general Linux security, as it is becoming more popular (or so I read) I suppose that in time we will all have to view this a bit differently.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,136
Thanks: 2
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

Chances are your wife's card was cloned in a cash machine with a skimmer on it.
As for AV and Firewalls, I use ClamAV to scan all my incoming mail and a fairly heavy firewall to block external access to services I can't lock down to local only.
F9 member since 4 Sep 1999
F9 ADSL customer since 27 Aug 2004
DLM manages your line the same way DRM manages your rights.
Look at all the pretty graphs! (now with uptime logging!)
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,116
Thanks: 6
Registered: 28-08-2007

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

We never did find out what happened, the card company won't even reveal who's phone was topped up and neither will O2! They say they will answer to the police if they ask which I'm sure they're too busy to investigate much. They should release this information to us, if we knew where and when this happened it would certainly throw some light on it. Chances are if it was local it could have been some from work who could get at her bag in the staff room or if it was away probably something to do with the online order.
garlic
Dabbler
Posts: 17
Registered: 17-01-2011

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

There's always the free Avast for Linux:-
http://www.avast.com/en-gb/linux-home-edition

- and the free Firestarter firewall for Linux:-
http://www.fs-security.com/

Q: When did you first become paranoid?  Shocked
A: When they started plotting against me!  Angry
pnf
Grafter
Posts: 266
Registered: 07-11-2007

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

I use Avira Antivirus (http://www.avira.com/en/support-download-free-antivirus) and Shorewall / iptables FW in Mandriva 2010.2
grimme
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-08-2007

Re: Firewalls & Antivirus on Linux machines

I have Netcraft toolbar and phishtank installed as add-ons to Firefox on my Mepis desktop.