The developers of UnrealIRCd server had to acknowledge its embarrassment in a post, after discovering their software was infected with a Trojan virus, says Intelligence in Software. This Trojan, for some reason, infected only the Linux version of the server's software, not its Windows counterpart. Although this scenario is relatively uncommon compared with Windows attacks, it's on the rise. Intelligence in Software points out that as far back as 2005, the amount of known Linux malware had doubled over the course of a year to 863 programs. What does this mean? The more popular Linux is among consumers and businesses, the more attractive it will be to hackers.

This only goes to show Linux lovers that their OS is not invincible. Even Linux VPS (or virtual private server) needs protection from viruses and malware.

Intelligence in Software says strategies applicable in the Windows world apply to Linux as well. Users should think twice about downloading free software and content. Running a Windows antivirus program lessens the chances the Linux PC or server will facilitate the spread of malware. Also, consumers should look at vendors that offer Linux security products and services.

The Linux Fix LLC, for example, has built a custom real-time malware detection and quarantine system. Its proactive malware monitoring stops a hacker before he or she can begin the dirty work. Security software inspects all new files and folders in real time and quarantines dangerous malware before it can affect a web-hosting account. This type of monitoring doesn't need interaction so the user doesn't have to keep a close eye on files.

WindowsSecurity.com addresses securing Windows desktops, which numerous consumers use. In fact, more than 90 percent of all desktops run Windows. Anti-virus protection is a start, but it's only as good as its latest signature file. Also, viruses morph, and can make it through security. However, WindowsSecurity.com notes people need this anti-virus protection to ensure that if malicious applications attack a computer, they are detected.

The Windows firewall that comes with Windows 7 is enabled by default, WindowsSecurity.com points out. It allows standard inbound and outbound communications and comes with advanced security capabilities.

However, firewall protection alone is not enough to protect Windows desktops. It won't protect your machine from applications that run locally, which include viruses and malware. It also won't tell you which applications are safe to run. A firewall is a great tool to ward off communications attacks, but more is needed to protect desktops.

White listing, according to WindowsSecurity.com, is a good way to control which applications can run on a computer. It provides a technology to check if an application is approved or denied before it can run.

Symantec, McAfee, BeyondTrust, and others provide data leak protection to solve issues related to copying/pasting to Internet and email, encryption of mobile devices and mass data transfer.

A good combination of many items, including anti-virus protection, firewall, white listing and data protection, should keep a Windows desktop secure.
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