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virus effect in unix/linux

By vivek_sriwastava ·
Is it true that linux/unix is having less threat
for viruses rather than windows.
If yes then which feature of linux/unix makes it saved it from virus attack.

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by TheChas In reply to virus effect in unix/linu ...

There is an ongoing argument about just how much safer Linux is than Windows.

So far, Linux appears to have fewer "holes" in the code that virus writers can exploit.

One of the BIG reasons that Linux seems more secure than Windows is the impact of virus attacks is much lower.
This is in part because there are significantly fewer Linux systems in use.

IMHO, the biggest reason that Windows gets hit with a lot of virus attacks is that the typical virus writer holds a grudge against Microsoft and enjoys exploiting the holes in Windows.

As Linux moves from open source to commercial software it too will become a target for the virus writers. Time will tell if the code is truly more secure.

As to the second part of your question, a virus is written to exploit a weakness in the code of the operating system. The holes in Windows and Linux are very different. While not impossible, to date nearly every virus attacks only 1 OS or the other, not both. Just as you cannot easily run a Windows program on a Linux system, neither can a typical Windows virus infect a Linux system.

Chas

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by xdark1 In reply to virus effect in unix/linu ...

the other fact why the virus are less threath for linux than windows is the way of files are handle
on linux, in linux you have file access permissions(rwx, read, write, execution) for owner,groups and the rest of the users and have user and group id, the different on windows almost any file is executable.

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by john In reply to virus effect in unix/linu ...

There is a debate about which is safer and one of the the best pieces of information can be found here http://www.theregister.co.uk/security/security_report_windows_vs_linux/#ftn3

The number one reason Linux is safer from virus/spyware/vulnerability attacks:

Normal linux user accounts do not have the ability to damage operating system files. That's why you should never use the "root" account except for required administration tasks. When you look at Windows, default users run as administrators (don't believe me - install XP and look). Therefore, when a user runs a dangerous file, views a malicious website, or any other normal day-to-day task, the entire computer system can be infected.

The second reason Linux is safer:

Linux was designed from the beginning as a multi-user, network enabled, modular system. This provides better security by allowing each user to pick and choose which services are installed and enabled.

The third....

I could keep going, but you should read the article I mentioned before. It does a very good job of explaining things.

Hope this clears things up.

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by master3bs In reply to virus effect in unix/linu ...

I know this question is so old that nobody is likely to be reading it anymore. But I was browsing older questions and other's might as well

All of these answers given are absolutely correct. Not being logged in as root is probably the biggest technical reason.

Another one is that windows dominates the market. I think something like 90-95% of desktops run some version of windows. If you're going to write a virus to attack people; you're going to do it where it can cause the most harm: ie 90-95% of desktop owners.

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