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Malware is an unwanted code that somehow made its way onto your computer in order to perform functions designed with malicious intent. Sometimes these programs slow down a machine or cause it to crash entirely. The creators may then demand a ransom in order to fix the machine. Sometimes malware uploads information to remote servers, giving someone access to your saved data or vital credentials that you type, such as passwords and credit card numbers. People tend to create malware for Windows because that’s the operating system found on the most PCs. This increases the odds that a virus will spread from one computer to another. Virus makers tend to target less technical users that are easier to fool with bogus web banners and phishing scams. Viruses also spread among people who know how to pirate music and TV shows but don’t understand how these files may be infected. There are antivirus programs for Linux, but even their purpose is often to help protect Windows users. One piece of malware has recently made news for targeting the Linux desktop. EvilGNOME runs on the GNOME desktop environment by pretending to be an extension. GNOME is the most common Linux desktop environment, found as the default interface on two of the most popular Linux distros, Ubuntu and Fedora, and on computers that ship directly from Linux manufacturers such as System76 and Purism. Legitimate extensions allow you to alter many aspects of the GNOME desktop. The malware known as EvilGNOME is able to take screenshots and record audio from your PC’s microphone. It can also upload your personal files. A more detailed breakdown is available in a report by Intezer Labs, who gave EvilGNOME its name. This malware didn’t attract attention for being particularly likely to impact large numbers of people. It was considered newsworthy because it existed at all. Linux is relatively rare on desktops, but it’s the most prominent operating system found on servers powering the web and managing much of the world’s digital infrastructure. Follow this thread on OUR FORUM.

 

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