5 Ways to Safeguard yourself from Linux Malware
There was a time when people thought Linux devices were safe against malware. But last year’s Mirai botnet attacks, which turned a number of network devices running Linux into remotely controlled bots that targeted consumer devices like IP cameras and home routers via Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, clearly serve as an indication that Linux machines are not totally hack-proof.
And if recent studies from IT security experts are anything to go by, Linux malware is on the rise and it’s time the Linux Community strengthened itself by taking appropriate security measures against various security threats. Because although a decade ago, Linux was obscure outside the server world, now it has become a worthy target for malware.
Linux is becoming ubiquitous. No doubt about that. Android apps are using it. Linux-based routers, home automation gizmos, and other devices have entered the relatively unprotected home scene. Therefore, considering the popularity of these Linux devices, hackers these days are increasingly finding them to be a worthy target.
The fault lies not with Linux developers. Since it’s an open-source software, the chances of its issues being found out and corrected are greater, but with vendors who release routers, consumer electronics, and IoT gear with outdated Linux kernels without offering any kernel updates, it is usually left to the users of the software to find, download, and install the update.
Evidence that Linux machines are becoming a big target emerged when reports surfaced that a very potent Linux malware called OutLawCountry was being deployed by the CIA to infiltrate various Linux systems. This was a huge development since many people thought Linux was far more secure than Windows when it came to these types of threats.
So What Can Linux Users Do to Safeguard Themselves? Here are some suggestions.
1. Install Antivirus: A basic precautionary step which can go a long way in securing your Linux device. Antivirus solutions offer great protection against malware of various kinds. Make sure you have installed one.
2. Keep Your System Updated: Just like with other Operating Systems, keeping your Linux up-to-date can ensure security holes or vulnerabilities are patched up. This implies that the chances of malware attack are less.
3. Install Firewall: You can also install and run firewalls in Linux. These keep outsiders from making unwanted connections through the network. Linux users have a number of tools which are both versatile and easy to use, that allow a great degree of granular control over who is given or denied the access to the network. Select and install one of them.
4. Don’t Trust Public Networks: Public Wi-Fi’s are a big liability. Anyone with the right software and wireless setup can sniff the unencrypted Wi-Fi traffic buzzing through the air. So avoid them at all costs. They are breeding grounds for various kinds of malware which will inject themselves into your device the moment you connect to them.
5. Backup your Data: Last but not the least, be sure to back up your data. Another basic step which can prove very useful in case you end up losing some precious data because of some sort of malware attack. There are several ways to backup your data to external sources. Use one of them and frequently back up your system data.
Julia Sowells280 Posts
Julia Sowells has been a technology and security professional. For a decade of experience in technology, she has worked on dozens of large-scale enterprise security projects, and even writing technical articles and has worked as a technical editor for Rural Press Magazine. She now lives and works in New York, where she maintains her own consulting firm with her role as security consultant while continuing to write for Hacker Combat in her limited spare time.