I have seen this asked here and there, but I just can't find an answer on it, does ClamAV scan for Linux viruses as well as Windows ones? Or does it at least have heuristics capabilities which would allow it to potentially detect Linux malware? I understand from this that it is best for detecting Windows malware, but can it also detect Linux malware?


ClamAV does detect viruses for all platforms. It does scan for Linux viruses as well. However, there are so few viruses ever written for Linux that a Linux virus is not a huge threat.

Unix-like systems (which eventually led to Linux) has been around for roughly 30 years, and Windows has been around for about 20 years. In those 30 years, only 40 viruses have been written for Linux, whereas more than 60,000 viruses have been written for Windows.
Here is an interesing article on all Linux malware (notice how it fits on one page ^_^):

Hope this helps. If you want more information, wikipedia has a page titled "Linux Malware".

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    Linux is becoming more popular for malware, just because the community is not aware, does not mean that there is actually a very small amount of viruses made. – user364819 Aug 27 '15 at 14:52
  • Linux has been with us since 1992, or were you referring to GNU? – xangua Aug 27 '15 at 14:53
  • @xangua Thanks. I edited. Linux was somewhat based on Minix and other systems that existed at the time. – user345524 Aug 27 '15 at 14:55
  • Well it still is more than twenty, less than thirty years for now. – xangua Aug 27 '15 at 14:57
  • @ParanoidPanda Yes, Linux malware is becoming more popular. However, its so difficult to write malware in the same way you can for Windows that it will be a while before it becomes a real problem (if it ever becomes such a problem). Shellshock has ben the only serious vulnerability in the recent years. And most major distros have been patched against it. The increased use of Ubuntu (mainly since the release of Windows 8) has made it more popular for malware. – user345524 Aug 27 '15 at 14:59

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