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Is Linux Safe?

Posted by Renk81 on Aug 15, 2011

I've heard the reviews/rumors, and I am prone to believe them. Linux is less prone to viruses than a windows based system. But there continue to be skeptics.

So, does any one out there have any valid proof of a Linux attack, or proof of its durability against viruses/malware?


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Reply Level 9 1 Immortal on Aug 16, 2011

First of all no system is 100% safe from an attack, but linux is rarely the target group for viruses mainly because the permission system of the platform. You can hardly get infected by your mail because the files from your browser and email are not given execute privileges. Never use your linux as a root for normal usage. Make a normal user and if you need to execute some command as an admin use "su" or "sudo". Linux systems are easy to crack if you have physical contact to the machine you can reset the root password with only one line in grub, so if you have critical information you might consider BIOS password as well.
If you want to have a safer system get a good understanding of file permissions...don`t put 777 on everything :) if you have any questions feel free to ask.

Reply Level 9 2 Immortal on Aug 16, 2011

PS. You can use intrusion detection system as well. The IDS is a system that logs traffic and look for certain patterns used for malicious purposes. Snort is one good IDS system for linux.

Reply Level 2 3 addicted on Aug 16, 2011

Personally, I'm not aware of any real example of hacked Linux system, although I'm sure that there are cases that can prove that. On the other part of the question, here are a couple of lines why it is considered durable against viruses/hacking:

In general UNIX/Linux has been developed from ground up to be multi-user networking environment, with proper privilege separation, as pointed out above. Basically there's no way a program to execute and install itself without prompting for password, making it really strong against remote hacks and malware. Plus you can't do any harm to the OS without being logged in as root (sudo command above).

Couple of other reasons, particularly in comparison with Windows for example, is that Linux OS is open source and there are plenty of people that can fix any vulnerability found, while Windows depend only on it's in-house engineer forces to do that.

Last one, LINUX isn't as popular as Windows, and doesn't have the number of users windows have, besides, I think most of Linux users are pretty much aware of the threats and are slightly more careful with obvious spam/malware. Thus making it not as desired target as Windows is, for instance.

I believe that the latest Ubuntu 11.04 will bring a lot more users and I find it very good for an open source development. It is considered to be a lot safer "out-of-the-box" than any windows version.

Reply Level 3 4 Renk81 on Aug 17, 2011

Generally what I have heard, folks.

Security step one: Lock your front door. If they get your hands on your computer, your stuff is theirs.
Step two: use your brain: (ie Firefox, which will not update via email). Generally Linux users are more Tech savvy, too.

Most people just say, "they just don't make viruses for Linux or Apple." Generally true, because who wants to make a virus for themselves? ( A lot of hackers use Linux). So when the day comes that attention is turned on them heavily, look out.

As of right now, I hear why Windows is such a big target is that it IS also the most used OS, professionally ( i want to say like 90%) thus attracting on average most of the viruses. Plus since the pro world uses so much it is also prone to most targeted attacks for financial reasons.


Reply Level 5 5 Dexter on Aug 17, 2011

If you put into consideration not only user PCs, but the web servers running Unix as well, the number will change significantly. As far as I know linux is very common choice for web server software, and is pretty attractive target, too. I guess that fact speaks for itself.

Recently I landed on an article about linux pc infected with malware used for denial of service attack, and guess how it was accomplished? The user was tricked. Made believe that it is a harmless desktop screensaver. I guess no one is 100% protected. On the OS X i use, I have installed ClamX AV (available for linux too, google ClamAV), no matter that I'm pretty careful with unknown apps and internet stuff, just for the peace of mind. You never know how the social engineering will trick you some day. :)

Reply Level 3 6 Renk81 on Sep 09, 2011

Well, I guess here is a great example all around of the Linux hack ability and durability​/c/a/News/Kernelorg-hacked/

Reply Level 9 8 Immortal on Sep 12, 2011

Nothing is unhackable....but that is not a relevant example of how unsafe linux is :) if they start writing about every hacked windows server there won`t be any other news...they found a hole but I assure you it is already patched :)

Reply Level 5 7 Dexter on Sep 12, 2011

Would be quite interesting to find out how they got to the root privileges.


Another 2 sites has been taken down for the same reason - hacked and user credentials possibly compromised. So if any of you are having accounts there, which are used on other sites as well - hello!, it's time for a change. Sites taken down are:
and all subdomains and services in connection.

Here's the statement that comes up when you try to load -

The webmasters at are considering the attack connected to the

Any of you have any idea who might be behind that? And for what reason? Can it be the famous Anonymous group?

Reply Level 9 9 Immortal on Sep 12, 2011

If Anonymous did hack them they would have given a statement by now...if there is not an official statement on the site the reason is probably "because they can" :) they found a security glitch and exploited it I`m sure the linux society will keep us informed when they get more info about the attack

Reply Level 3 10 Nitro on Sep 19, 2011

I don't know how safe it is, but it is definitely 1000 times safer than Windows :)

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