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by Franki

There has been an open source anti virus application for UNIX/Linux systems for sometime now, and I’ve been hoping that they would release a version for Windows for almost as long. It turns out that they have released a Windows version and I just didn’t know about it.

Before I go any further, I should explain that the reason that there was a UNIX/Linux version was not because either of those operating systems has a virus problem, in fact quite the opposite. Pretty much every installation of Clamav (the anti virus app in question) I’ve seen has been to enable Linux file or mail servers to protect Windows client machines, not to protect themselves.

All the Linux servers under my control have Clamav (or Clamd) installed, I use it to scan all email in and out of the mail servers for virus’s, and on the file servers to make sure that no virus infected file is stored on any public share. On average the systems catch well over 100 virus infected files every day so it has proven to be an exceptionally worthwhile installation.

The great thing about Clamav is that allot of the work is done by the actual guys in the trenches fighting virus infestations, mail server administrators and the like, the very guys most likely to find out about new virus’s before they gain widespread attention. In many cases, Clamav has patterns for new virus’s before the commercial guys have released their updates.

The Windows installation is very simple and integrated, simply download the set-up file, run it and follow the prompts, just like any other Windows application. The ClamWin user interface is pretty basic, you won’t need instructions to use it, there are only a few options and they are well explained, but there is a full PDF manual supplied in the installation. (Accessible under the “help” menu.)

Even if you already have an anti-virus application installed, it sometimes doesn’t hurt to double up your protection, many recent virus’s will try to shut-down the anti virus application on the infected computer, so having more then one means there is less chance you’ll get caught out. Not only that, but a new virus can infect many thousands of computers before the anti virus companies release an update that detects it, so by doubling up you have a much higher chance of being protected when the inevitable eventually happens. (On a fast system, you will not really notice any difference by running two anti virus applications, but on slower systems with less RAM, it’s a case of “try it and see”).

Clamav/ClamWin have the potential to really throw the billion dollar anti-virus industry into turmoil. It’s already a robust solution for multiple platforms, but if a large company like IBM (for example) starts supporting it, it could force the big anti-virus companies like Symantec (Nortons), Trend (PCcillin) Mcaffee’s and so on to really start lowering prices. And that can only be a good thing for users.

Mac, Linux and UNIX systems don’t really have a virus problem, it is much harder to write a virus that can spread widely then it is for the Windows platform. Why that is, is a question for another day, but if you have a Unix/Linux or Mac server on your network, you can use it to provide a level of protection for any Windows machines you might have. If you don’t have a UNIX/Linux or Mac server, (or even if you do) it’s not a bad idea to install the Windows version on the client machines as well.



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  Time  in  Don's  part  of the world is:   August 16, 2018, 8:08 pm
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New Windows Virus Alerts
also by sophos.

17 Apr 2011 Troj/Mdrop-DKE
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For details and removal instructions, click the virus in question.