- Hackers and virus producers stand to gain more by targeting Windows due to its large user base; therefore, malicious software often targets Windows as opposed to less user-oriented Linux OS which tends to attract less hackers and virus producers.
- Linux stands out with a more stringent permission scheme to further protect its file system, making malware much less effective at entering. Furthermore, most Linux users abide by secure measures which lessens vulnerability to viruses or other forms of malware.
- Linux may seem immune from malware attacks; however, as its popularity continues to expand so do Linux-specific viruses that pose threats and do damage such as stealing information or corrupting files or even stopping systems from functioning normally.
- Unfortunately, though these safeguards exist against it happening on any platform including Linux; thus leaving itself open for attack by potential threats like hackers who posing as computer security software vendors and are out to make money selling "secure" operating systems like Ubuntu at will.
- History shows a series of Linux viruses have been detected and documented. Red Hat Linux in 2001 became victim to Ramen virus which severely compromised web servers while altering homepages to display messages from its designers. This caused severe website damages.
- Linux.Rexor is another infamous piece of Linux malware, infecting multiple distributions and over 130 servers worldwide. Designed specifically to target DNS servers and disrupt online activity by taking advantage of an exploit in BIND domain name system software (DNS), Linux.Rexor was recently discovered.
vThere have been multiple instances of Linux-based malware targeting Internet of Things devices over recent years. For example, in 2016 Mirai botnet infiltrated over 600,000 devices with Linux malware resulting in severe internet disruptions and considerable internet downtime.
vLinux users must take precautions against malware by regularly updating their OS and applications, using strong passwords, and being wary when downloading from unfamiliar sources. Furthermore, installing antivirus software designed specifically for Linux could provide further peace of mind
- Self-Replication: One of the primary tasks of a Linux worm is self-replication - copying itself onto other computers by attacking executable files which then spread and copy themselves again on their destination computers.
- Modifying Files: One thing Linux viruses do is make changes or modifications to files on a machine they attack, whether by adding malicious code into existing ones, overwriting existing ones, renaming files or changing their names - changes which often render these affected files obsolete and thus lead to data being lost forever.
- Gathering Personal Data: Some Linux bugs have the ability to collect private information stored on computers they infiltrate, such as login credentials, credit card details or personal details of users logged on, which could then be used by criminals to take people's identity or commit fraud, potentially having severe negative repercussions for those targeted by these attacks.
- Installing Backdoors: Backdoors provide hackers unauthorized entry points into a system without prior consent, often via Linux viruses that enable access from outside to steal information or launch cyberattacks on affected machines from afar.
- Denial-of-Service (DoS) Attacks: Linux bugs can also be exploited to launch Denial of Service (DoS) attacks against websites or computer networks, with the goal being flooding it with too much data, leading it to crash or stop working for real users.