Sunday, July 22, 2007

A good reason to have an antivirus on your linux machine - a first-hand account

My Linux box was recently infected by the Brontok virus - well, not Ubuntu, but the Wine installation that I have. However, because newer versions of wine integrate the wine desktop with your actual desktop and some other wine folder with your home directory by default, my home directory had hundreds of copies of the virus, which was highly irritating.

I traced the source of the virus infection to a USB drive that my friend had used for transferring data to my computer. She is a windows user and it seems that she had a virus on her windows USB drive. She accidentally clicked on an exe file when she opened the USB drive on my box. I wasn't really worried because I was running Ubuntu 7.04 and didn't realize that wine would automatically run the exe without first asking; but this is what it did and thus got itself infected.

After I realized, I tried cleaning the .wine folder in my home directory, but that didn't suffice because of wine's integration of the wine-dows desktop with the actual desktop and a bunch of other similar things. Thus I decided to get myself an antivirus on linux - to prevent my machine from spreading windows viruses. See my next post for the details of installing a good antivirus on Linux. (Ubuntu 7.04 in my case, but the procedure is pretty general.) I also managed to get the on-close scanning feature to work correctly and completely without affecting my system performance.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Okay, thanks! I have had similar problems - I am waiting for your solution!

--Isaac

hypercube said...

@Isaac:
Thank you for your interest. I am working on the howto posts and will post them as soon as possible.

Dalila said...

Thanks for writing this.