Thursday, November 29, 2012
Desktop Linux needs anti-virus like a fish needs a bicycle
You don't need an anti-virus program on Linux: I've said it before, but Don't Surf in the Nude started because of an interest in internet security, so I can't resist trying out anti-virus programs in Linux.
I noticed today that Comodo has produced a Linux anti-virus program with real-time scanning. Files are checked as they are accessed or created- for example as they are downloaded from the Internet.
I couldn't resist trying it out. They've created the Windows AV experience on Linux, but like crime in multi-storey car parks, it's wrong on so many levels.
When you install the package, you're faced with a long User License Agreement in the Terminal. If, like me, you're tempted to scroll through the I-agree-to-sell-my-soul-to-the-devil script by pressing enter, you find you've accepted and the installation program is running.
Run the installation script as requested and you see various kernel modules installed. As I found out later, they are not removed by uninstalling the package.
After downloading the 100MB of virus definitions, the Windows AV experience is complete. A lengthy scan of system files (Linux AVs usually only scan user space) found no viruses.
Real-time scanning works: I tried downloading the Eicar test virus only for Comodo to warm me that it was a virus.
This is actually a very well made bicycle, but that doesn't alter the fact that fish don't need bicycles. Why? Because I'm not downloading suspect files form the internet and trying to install them. The thing is to make this switch to being an aquatic craniate rather than buying a bicycle because you think you still have limbs.
Now to try and remove those kernel modules.