Linux may enjoy growth as more and more devices are powered by the operating system, but with its popularity inevitably comes scammers, with new reports claiming that the number of malware targeting software will skyrocket in 2022.
Atlas VPN findings based on data from the AV-ATLAS threat intelligence platform indicate that there were 1.9 million new Linux malware threats in 2022, up 50% year-on-year.
Most of the new Linux (opens in a new tab) malware samples were detected in the first three months of this year, the report continues.
Secure operating system
In the first quarter of 2022, scientists discovered 854,690 new strains. In the second quarter, that number fell by 3%, with 833,065 new strains detected.
Linux malware developers had to take a sabbatical in the third quarter of the year as the number of new detections fell by 91% to 75,841. In the fourth quarter of the year, the numbers increased again, increasing by 117% to 164,697.
Despite these discoveries, Linux is still a “highly secure operating system”, according to the researchers.
“The open nature of Linux allows for constant review by the technical community, which leads to fewer exploitable vulnerabilities. In addition, Linux restricts administrative privileges for users, and compared to widely used operating systems such as Windows, it still targets less malware.”
But fraudsters will not stop looking for vulnerabilities in the world’s fifth most popular operating system, and both businesses and consumers should always be on their guard, the researchers concluded.
Linux may not be as popular as Windows or macOS, but it is a widely used operating system. From Android devices (which are based on Linux), to Chromebooks, video cameras, wearables, to all kinds of servers (web servers, database servers, email servers, etc.), there are over 32 million endpoints.