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Protecting Against Linux Malware
[January 22, 2023]

Protecting Against Linux Malware

TMCnet News

Linux is a popular and powerful operating system, but it is not immune to malware. In fact, malware that targets Linux systems is on the rise. In fact, findings from Atlas VPN based on data from threat intelligence platform AV-ATLAS, claims that in 2022 there were 1.9 million new Linux malware threats, bringing the figure up 50% year-on-year.

Most of the new Linux malware samples were discovered in the first three months of the year, the report further claims. To protect your Linux system from malware, there are several steps you can take.

First, keep your system up to date. The Linux community is constantly working to improve the security of the operating system, and new updates and patches are released regularly. Make sure that you are running the latest version of your Linux distribution, and that you have applied all available security updates.

Next, be careful when downloading and installing software. Only download software from reputable sources, such as the official website of the software developer or a trusted Linux software repository. Be wary of downloading software from untrusted sources, as it may be malware in disguise.

You should also use a firewall to control incoming and outgoing network traffic on your Linux system. A firewall can help prevent malware from communicating with its command and control servers, and can also block incoming attacks. Many Linux distributions come with a built-in firewall, such as iptables, but you can also use a third-party firewall.

Another important step in protecting your Linux system from malware is to use anti-virus software. While Linux is less vulnerable to malware than Windows, there are still threats that can affect Linux systems. Anti-virus software can help detect and remove malware, and can also provide real-time protection.

In addition to these technical measures, it is also important to be vigilant and cautious when using your Linux system. Be wary of suspicious email attachments, links, and pop-ups, and don't click on anything that looks suspicious. Be careful when entering personal information online, and make sure that you are on a secure website (one that starts with 'https').

It is also important to be aware of the potential risks associated with running software as a root user. Root user has the highest level of privilege on the system, and any malicious software that is able to run as root can cause significant damage.

You can mitigate this risk by creating a non-privileged user account for day-to-day use, and only logging in as root when necessary. This will make it much more difficult for malware to compromise your system.

Another important aspect is to keep backups of your important files and data. If your system is infected with malware, you can then restore your files from the backup, rather than losing them permanently. This is also a good practice in case of any other system failure.

Lastly, it is important to be aware of social engineering tactics. Cybercriminals often use social engineering to trick people into installing malware, by disguising it as something else. Be suspicious of unsolicited phone calls, emails, or text messages, and do not click on links or download attachments from unknown sources.

In conclusion, protecting your Linux system from malware is an ongoing process that requires constant attention. By keeping your system up to date, being cautious when downloading and installing software, using a firewall, anti-virus software, and being vigilant and cautious when using your system, you can significantly reduce the risk of malware infections. Remember to also keep backups, be aware of social engineering and running software as non-root user.

Edited by TMCnet en espanol

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