Are Ubuntu, iOS and Linux Users Immune From Malware?

Ubuntu, iOS and Linux Users Don’t Need Security Software?

PC Matic recently received feedback that if users transition to different operating systems (OS), there is no need for security software.  This couldn’t be more false.  Now, is the perfect time to clear up this misconception.

Neither Linux, Ubuntu or iOS users are immune from cyber attacks.  It is believed these operating systems are more secure than the Windows OS.  But why?  In the feedback PC Matic received, a clear explanation was never provided.  Therefore, it can only be assumed why users believe these OS choices are better than Windows.  It is assumed, users believe Linux, Ubuntu and iOS are more secure because in most malware cases, Windows users are the victims.  Although it is true, Windows PCs are highly targeted, this is only because of their large market share.  Meaning, hackers can cast a wider net when targeting Windows PCs than if they were to target Linux, Ubuntu or iOS.

However, this does not mean these users have not been targeted in the past, or won’t be in the future.

Linux

In 2016, reports suggested the Linux operating system was the primary target for DDoS attacks due to the potential vulnerabilities within the system.  A major contributor of the issue, is the lack of security software that is available for this particular OS.

Also, Nayana, a web hosting company located in South Korea, was hit with ransomware on June 10, 2017.  The ransomware variant, Erebus, successfully infiltrated 153 Linux servers, allowing the cyber criminals access to encrypt over 3,400 business websites hosted by Nayana.  This ransomware attack resulted in the largest ransomware payout in history, one million dollars.

Ubuntu

In the last 30 days, Ubuntu has patched 49 software vulnerabilities.  All of these security gaps could have been used by cyber criminals for malicious purposes.  Although no reports of malware exploiting these vulnerabilities have been reported, it doesn’t mean there won’t be.

iOS

Just months ago, Apple declined comments to the BBC regarding the recent malware target that has been placed on their back.  In June of 2017, ransomware targeted iOS devices.  The ransomware creators did a poor job managing the decryption keys, which left every victim’s files locked without the ability to be decrypted.

Spyware also began targeting iOS devices earlier this year.  The spyware variant identified was logging keystrokes, accessing the microphone, and had the ability to take screenshots.

Conclusion

Operating systems differ in several different ways.  However, they all have one thing in common — software vulnerabilities.  Regardless of the operating system users choose to put on their devices, they must also have a security solution in place.  While searching for a security solution, be sure it is compatible with the OS.

It is also important to research the solution’s malware detection rates.  The Virus Bulletin Reactive and Proactive (RAP) test is a free, independent third-party, malware detection test offered to all security solution providers.  Users can see the most recent test results here.  If a security solution is not listed, it is because they opted out of testing.  Users can make their own assumptions why…

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2 thoughts on “Are Ubuntu, iOS and Linux Users Immune From Malware?

  1. linux and ubuntu need not worry. Their OS are so full of bugs and glitches that only geeks waste their time using them. They will probably never be victims of malware because so few people use them.

  2. I’m glad to see someone at long last dismissing the “Linux is invulnerable to malware” myth. After all, that is what used to be said of MacOS — until the Mac got popular enough for malware writers to take notice of it.

    When the couple of dozen people using Linux become hundreds of thousands, we will probably see a mass malware infestation like never before.

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