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Thread: Virus question

  1. #1
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    Virus question

    I was wondering, that if I have a dual boot computer, with 3 partitions: one having Ubuntu and second having Windowz, and the third is common data storage for both (accessible from both), then is it possible that while booted in Ubuntu, if I download a file which has a windowz virus, and store it in the common drive, and later boot into windowz. So will the virus be activated then or what?

  2. #2
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    Re: Virus question

    yes, windows can catch a virus downloaded by ubuntu. clam AV is a good antivirus that is available for linux that will look for viruses in windows, you should give it a try and even scan your windows partition from ubuntu (definitely faster from ubuntu than windows)
    if you need a fast live cd for testing or anything really:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...70#post9715370
    boots live in just 82MB of ram, no swap!

  3. #3
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    Re: Virus question

    Quote Originally Posted by linux18 View Post
    yes, windows can catch a virus downloaded by ubuntu. clam AV is a good antivirus that is available for linux that will look for viruses in windows, you should give it a try and even scan your windows partition from ubuntu (definitely faster from ubuntu than windows)
    While that is the safe thing to do, keep in mind that a virus developed for windows (usually) works only in windows. The great thing about any Linux distro is that it is very painstaking to develop a virus to run in that distro. Sure, someone could develop one to run in Linux and Windows, but making that virus run in Linux-again- requires A LOT of development and also a lot of (victim) user input. When installing something w/ an infected file, package managers give a list of files w/in that package. Basically, it would say a virus was being installed. And even if that was installed in Windows, once agian, it would probably not run across multiple platforms. You probably won't often (if ever) download a virus/ infected file compiled for Ubuntu from w/in Ubuntu, and any virus compiled for Windows will be a rarity. Run a scan in Ubuntu (or whatever distro) periodically, but I don't think you have much to worry about. Have fun with Ubuntu!
    Last edited by tcopeland; August 9th, 2010 at 02:22 AM.

  4. #4
    beew is offline I Ubuntu, Therefore, I Am
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    Re: Virus question

    Linux18

    clam AV is a good antivirus that is available for linux that will look for viruses in windows, you should give it a try and even scan your windows partition from ubuntu (definitely faster from ubuntu than windows)
    With all due respect, if you decide to install an AV in Linux to detect Windows Virus I would suggest something like bitdefender or Avast for Linux.

    ClamAV is a joke, you may as well save the trouble and not install anything at all. Its detection rate is abysmal , it is slow, resource hogging and awkward to set up, update and use. It cannot remove a virus even if it actually detects one. It maybe adequate for Linux because Linux is not really under virus threat anyway, but I certainly wouldn't use it for scanning windows partitions. The only thing I heard that clamav is good at is detecting email virus. But if you are downloading stuffs in the windows partition then there are a lot more to worry about than email virus. Clamav manages to miss most Trojans, go figure.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clam_AntiVirus
    Last edited by beew; August 9th, 2010 at 03:33 AM.

  5. #5
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    Re: Virus question

    ClamAV tended to throw a ton of false positives at me. I switched to BitDefender and so far I've only had a few f/p's, but those were easily taken care of.
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  6. #6
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    Re: Virus question

    I've never used AV on linux, I threw clam out there because it was the only one on my mind at the moment, I've got to check out those other ones.
    if you need a fast live cd for testing or anything really:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.p...70#post9715370
    boots live in just 82MB of ram, no swap!

  7. #7
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    Re: Virus question

    Awesome, I didn't know bitdefender had a free version for Linux!
    Help me out! Go make a dropbox account from this link to get me more space! https://www.dropbox.com/referrals/NTU2ODUyNDY5 (You get the bonus space too!)

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    Re: Virus question

    I'm not sure about that. A lot of folks love clamav and claim it picks up just as much as norton or any other high end antivirus. Plus, being free, is also nice. From some of the studies I've found, it uses much less resources than most of the others. So guess it can go both ways as to if it's a worthy installation or not.

    I always find it funny how you can find one poll claiming it sucks royally, and another that says it's the best ever. Sometimes it makes it hard to figure out what's truly accurate. Eye of the beholder I guess.

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    Re: Virus question

    Quote Originally Posted by rvgsd View Post
    is it possible that while booted in Ubuntu, if I download a file which has a windowz virus, and store it in the common drive, and later boot into windowz. So will the virus be activated then or what?
    Viruses are not biological and they are not magic. The virus won't be "activated" merely by booting up Windows. You would either need to put the virus into a crucial location in Windows so that Windows starts it up automatically, or double-click the virus executable.
    I try to treat the cause, not the symptom. I avoid the terminal in instructions, unless it's easier or necessary. My instructions will work within the Ubuntu system, instead of breaking or subverting it. Those are the three guarantees to the helpee.

  10. #10
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    Re: Virus question

    Does AVG still make a Linux version? I used it when I had Windows. Liked it better than some of the others. But, like others it too would have false positives. Take all with a grain of salt?
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