Kaspersky Introduces Malware Scanner for Linux Systems

Kaspersky has launched Kaspersky Virus Removal Tool (KVRT) for Linux, an essential addition to the cybersecurity landscape aimed at addressing the growing threats targeting Linux-based systems. While Linux has often been perceived as more secure than other operating systems, recent incidents, such as the infiltration of malicious code into XZ Utils and the implementation of the DinodasRAT malware, have disproved this myth. KVRT aims to provide an effective solution for detecting and eliminating such threats.

Key features of KVRT

KVRT is a free, stand-alone scanner designed to detect and remove malware, adware and legitimate programs that can be reused for malicious activities. It supports 64-bit Linux distributions, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, CentOS, Linux Mint, Ubuntu, SUSE, openSUSE and Debian. The tool scans system memory, boot objects, boot sectors and all operating system files, including archived files.

Operational limits

It is important to note that KVRT does not offer real-time protection. Users must manually download and run the latest version from the Kaspersky website each time they wish to perform a scan, as there is no automatic antivirus database update mechanism. This ensures that the tool is equipped with the latest threat definitions, but requires proactive involvement on the part of the user.

User guidelines

KVRT can be run via a graphical user interface (GUI) or the command line, making it versatile according to user preferences and system status. For optimum performance, it is recommended to run the tool with superuser privileges to ensure full access to system directories and critical areas. However, it can also run under a normal user account, with certain functionality limitations.

Community reception and concerns

The release of KVRT has met with mixed reactions in the Linux community. While many appreciate the availability of a malware scanner dedicated to Linux, some are concerned about the use of a closed-source tool with root access, particularly from a company headquartered in Russia. These concerns highlight the current debate on trust and security in the cybersecurity sector.

On the other hand, some users claim that open-source solutions such as ClamAV, combined with tools such as sshguard, fail2ban and a well-configured firewall (ufw), offer adequate protection without the need to use uncertified packages from external sources. This sentiment reflects a more general reluctance to adopt closed-source security tools, especially those not certified by the distribution’s security protocols.

In summary, Kaspersky’s KVRT for Linux represents a significant step forward in addressing the security needs of Linux users. By providing a robust tool for analyzing and eliminating threats, Kaspersky aims to dispel the myth of Linux immunity and encourage users to adopt better security practices.

Photo credit: Kasperky / Andreas Prott – Stockadobe

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Stan Deberenx

Stan Deberenx is the Editor-in-Chief of Defensorum. Stan has many years of journalism experience on several publications. He has a reputation for attention to detail and journalist standards. Stan is a literature graduate from Sorbonne University, with a master's degree in management from Audencia/University of Cincinnati.