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Mon May 22 23:16:24 2017 e.s.t.
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New York Linux Scene Journal
Point of View - Mail Server Anti-Virus Protection for Linux?


By Dennis Bella

And so began the breakout of Linux. The impact of Linux reflect the stern emotions of the IT world: Enough of the one-OS-show! Break the Microsoft mold!

Linux is said to be invulnerable to virus attacks - so far. Alternatively, a growing number of fellow penguin followers agree: Linux viruses will soon haunt the Internet alongside their Windows brethren . Linux began to be used at an institutionalized level worldwide. Enterprises and organizations at every level show increased interest in Linux on their servers and desktops.

The pace has grown worldwide. Recently, the top three IT market leaders in China agreed to Linux. South Korea has ordered 120,000 open source office solutions and projects a savings of up to 80% from previous costs. Great Britain plans the mandatory introduction of open source software in the public sector. Even Big Blue itself, IBM, started to provide Linux technical support. The introduction of open-source software in the German Parliament (Bundestag) has generated a heated debate: Linux means economic competition in the open market, democracy principles, and the local advantages of open source such as cost efficiency and flexibility.

The development of secure software with openly accessible source codes plays a central role within the EU commissions IT initiative "e-europe". ( www.bundestux.de ; www.ibm.com ; www.turbolinux.com ) The Linux marketing advantage resides on two fronts: while being a very stable platform, it is practically free. Linux is about to surpass the open-source personality as it leaves the limited environment of individual/informal community use. This new century will see Linux as the OS of enterprise organizations - running on high performance servers and getting the broad attention it deserves.

Protect the Penguin? While some argue that there are only a handful of Linux viruses, only several of them were actually seen in-the-wild. Others say any system can become infected with a virus if the owner is careless enough to install unchecked binaries as root. The truth: Linux can also act as a "carrier" despite the fact that it can't become infected with Windows viruses. Linux can store viruses and infect a Windows partition or a Windows platform. In this case, you need an anti-virus with a unique engine, such as RAV Anti-Virus, which uses a multi-platform technology, thus detecting all viruses, irrespective of the OS they're made for. With such an anti-virus program, you can manage the security for both systems: scan a Windows partition and share from a Linux platform, or conversely.

Things become even more complicated when it comes to mail servers managing a mail flow that point to different OS's. In the case of unprotected mail servers - regardless of OS, a clients' vulnerability is a fact. The administrator does not know which types of files are going through the server.

An unprotected Linux server may be safe for Linux users, at least for the short term, but may also store and transmit infected files to Windows users. A mass-mailed worm is a threat for all servers, since it doesn't damage a particular system, but fills the server's bandwidth, causing serious system damage. Hence, you have anti-virus protection for the Linux OS. There are only a few solutions that address this, and they're not at all cheap.The optimal solution would reside in combining the following features in a single anti-virus program:

Optimal pricing policy, perhaps a "per domain" or "per machine" and not "per mail box" licensing system would be best
Multi-platform engine
Reliable, certified product
Especially designed for protecting mail servers
Group configuration is a plus
Content filtering and spam filtering as a value-add

The program we took for example above provides per domain licensing, a powerful multi-platform engine, content filtering, and group configuration, which is a very important feature for ISPs who want to create specific client groups and perceive a fee from them, depending on clients' security needs. You should visit www.ravantivirus.com.

With the growing need for anti-virus on Linux, (even for all open source environments) the enormous exchange of information on mail servers gives rise to the need for such protection. Protection still comes down to the operator. The OS may be great, even perfect, but mistakes are part of human nature. The more people who use Linux, the higher the probability for increased virus attacks..

While there remains little threat for Linux itself on an "autistic" desktop, viruses are a great threat for Linux based mail servers. As the future of network communication grows and requires intricate cross OS support, an anti-virus program is needed to protect the rising star of the open source.