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In 2024, Linux malware reached a new peak

There is some good news for Linux: more and more devices are choosing to run it as an OS. Unfortunately, with success comes criminal activity, and there are predictions that malware attacks against Linux will increase dramatically in the year 2022.

Data from the threat intelligence platform AV-ATLAS, upon which the findings of Atlas VPN are based, indicates that there were 1.9 million new Linux malware threats in 2022, an increase of 50% year over year.

The research also states that the majority of new Linux (opens in new tab) malware samples were found in the first three months of 2018.

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There were 854 690 new virus strains reported in Q1 of 2022. The number fell by 3% in Q2 to 833,065 newly discovered strains.

The number of new Linux malware detections dropped by 91%, to 75,841, in the third quarter of the year, suggesting that malware authors took a break. The fourth quarter saw a surge in numbers, jumping 117% to 164,697.

Scientists maintain that Linux is still a “very secure operating system” despite these results.

There are fewer exploitable security flaws in Linux because of its open-source nature, which permits ongoing scrutiny by the IT community. In addition, Linux restricts administrative access and yet receives fewer attacks than Windows and other popular OSes.

The researchers concluded that criminals will not stop looking for holes in the fifth most used OS in the world, therefore users and companies alike should be vigilant.

Linux is a popular OS that has a sizable user base, even if it isn’t as well-known as Windows or macOS. More than 32 million endpoints run Linux, including Android smartphones (which are based on Linux), Chromebooks, video cameras, wearable devices, and servers of various types (web servers, database servers, email servers, etc.).