Linux antivirus software?

Friday, 18 April 2003, 12:44 PM EST

It's an insurance company's dream: Sell policies for something so unlikely to occur that you'll get to scoop up premiums and never have to pay out. That's pretty much what's going on with companies selling antivirus products for Linux. Since there are so few Linux viruses in the wild, who knows if the products actually work?

At best, the Linux antivirus hawkers are jumping the gun -- trying to capture a market that isn't quite there yet. At worst, they're advancing a cynical ploy to separate Linux newbies from their cash for something they couldn't possibly need.

Note that I'm not talking about antivirus products that run on Linux to try to detect viruses in files stored on a Linux server . For example, there are a number of companies that store important data on Samba servers. Sometimes, one of their workers might just have an infected file -- and it's a good thing indeed to be able to catch that at the server if possible. No, I'm talking about the products aimed at desktop Linux users and the advertising that tries to convince them that their systems are targets for viruses.

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