In this article you will see the word Windows a lot. Because the viruses feel like home in the Windows systems.
Do viruses for Linux exist?
Yes, viruses for Unix and Linux systems do exist. The 100 % secured operating system does not exist, unless it is read from a read-only memory. The first computer virus was first tested on a *BSD system. But, because of some logical reasons, the viruses affect more the Windows systems.
Reasons why Windows is more vulnerable than Linux:
1. The Linux distros are very different one from another, so the implementation of a portable Linux virus is almost an impossible task.
An executable that runs on Windows 3.1, for example, may well run on Windows 7. So, the malware coders do not have to rewrite their aplications for the newer versions, like they often have to do for Linux.
2. The Linux OS is open-source. For the Linux and Mac systems, there are official repos containing trusted software, while for Windows you have to google for your aplications and download them from where you can.
The Windows OS has proprietary licence. Because of this, people often use cracked software. And it is not difficult for a cracker or a random internet joker to bind a virus in the crack.
3. The user-group-others permissions make the Linux OS more secured than Windows, that has weaker permission rules. Also, the trend in Linux is to use a normal user and, when needed use the root priviledges, while in Windows almost everybody uses the Administrator as a default user.
4. The Linux user base is pretty small and under Linux it is much harder for a virus to do much harm as the user model is pretty restrictive in contrast to Windows. So, the targets for viruses are the Windows systems.
Since the number of exploits is proportional to the number of computers it makes sense that the amount of malware is greater on Windows.
Getting viruses in Linux with wine?
Yes, it is possible to get viruses through Wine. But it is unprobable that the Windows Trojan/Worm you accidentally get to be able to harm your Linux OS. If your Wine gets infected, it doesn’t mean that the viruses can control all your files. Deleting the ~/.wine will remove also the wine viruses and will not delete most of your settings.
Antivirus Aplications for Linux?
There are also AntiVirus applications for Linux, from the AV titan companies: Avast, Bitdefender, Kaspersky, AVG, McAfee etc.
But the main existance reason of Antivirus software on Linux, is not to protect the host system, but for the problems that could affect other (weaker) systems, such as the Windows operationg systems.
You don’t need to use an Antivirus aplication for your Linux box, unless you share important data with Windows systems.