Linux malware is an increasing threat to businesses and organizations that run Linux-based systems. According to a report, Malware Attacks on Linux-based devices increased by 35% in 2021, primarily to enlist IoT gadgets in DDoS assaults. It’s important for system administrators and IT experts to stay up to date on the latest malicious threats and how to protect against them.

Linux malware is growing in prevalence and becoming increasingly more sophisticated. Malicious hackers are taking advantage of the increasing popularity of Linux-based operating systems to target users, networks, and businesses. Here we’ll look at Linux malware and how you can safeguard your devices against it. So if you’re concerned about this growing threat, keep reading!

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What is Linux Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software designed to extort money from users of Linux-based operating systems, such as those found on desktop computers, servers, and mobile devices.

The information on the device is encrypted, and then the user must pay a fee to decrypt the data. If their demands are not satisfied, the attackers behind it will frequently threaten to delete or compromise the encrypted material.

There have been many reports of ransomware attacks on Linux systems worldwide, and the victims have ranged from individual users to massive businesses. Due to the adaptability of the threat and the relative absence of detection mechanisms, it is unfortunately anticipated that many more incidents will occur.

Is Linux Ransomware a Serious Threat?

A few essential statistics highlight why Linux users should worry about ransomware:

  • The prevalence of ransomware that may spread from Linux to iOS to Android has increased.
  • In the first half of 2022, there was a staggering 75% rise in ransomware assaults aimed at Linux systems compared to the same period in 2021.
  •  Almost half (47%) of all new software in 2021 was built on Linux.
  • Linux is the most popular operating system for servers and supercomputers, even though Windows holds a commanding lead in the desktop market
  •  According to projections made by industry analysts, the size of the worldwide Linux market will increase from its current valuation of $5.33 billion in 2021 to $22.15 billion by 2029.

Top 5 Linux Ransomware Attacks to Look For

Linux users are not immune to the threat posed by ransomware. Throughout the years, there have been several violent assaults that have resulted in a significant amount of destruction and inconvenience. A look at the five most notable ransomware attacks that target Linux systems is as follows:

1. SamSam Ransomware

This specific ransomware, which has also been referred to as MSIL/Samas or SamSa, was discovered for the first time in 2016 and has since grown to become one of the most devastating strains of malware that are currently known.

 It exploits flaws in the remote desktop protocol to target particular networks and services (RDP). It encrypts the files on a computer system that has been compromised and then demands money for the decryption keys.

2. WannaCry

This 2017 attack affected over 200,000 Windows operating system computers. It was also found to be attacking Linux systems with outdated versions of Samba installed, software used for file and printer sharing over a network.

3. ExPetr / NotPetya

This 2017 ransomware attack affected computers running Windows and Linux operating systems by taking advantage of the EternalBlue exploit released by the Shadow Brokers hacker group. It encrypts files on the computer’s hard drive and demands payment for decryption keys.

4. Crysis Ransomware

This strain of ransomware first appeared in 2016 and targeted both Windows and Linux OSes. It encrypts all files, including those in external storage devices connected to the infected system, and network shares across the local network.

5. Dharma Ransomware

This 2017 ransomware attack is known to target Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. It encrypts all files on the infected computer system and demands payment for decryption keys to regain access to the encrypted data.

These are only a handful of the countless Linux ransomware assaults that have taken place over the years, demonstrating that nobody is safe from these harmful dangers.

It is essential to make a significant financial investment in solid security measures such as frequent updates, correct firewall setups, and dependable anti-malware solutions to defend oneself against them. If you do so, you can assist in guaranteeing that your digital assets are protected from potential danger.

How to Protect against these Attacks?

As Linux malware grows, it pays to take steps to protect your system. Here are some simple tips for keeping your computer safe:

1. Keep Your Operating System Up To Date: Security patches are regularly released by software developers, and these should be installed as soon as possible after they become available. This helps to ensure that the latest security measures have been applied and that any weaknesses have been eradicated.

2. Use Firewall Protection: Firewalls help prevent unwanted connections from accessing your system, so make sure you have one enabled. It’s also worth considering a third-party firewall if you want an extra layer of protection against threats.

3. Install Anti-Virus Software: This should be a no-brainer, as it’s essential for keeping your system safe from malicious software. Keep it up to date and regularly scan your system for any threats.

4. Use Strong Passwords: Create strong passwords that are difficult to guess, using a combination of letters, numbers, and symbols. Interestingly enough, don’t forget to change them every few months and never use the same password twice!

5. Be Cautious When Downloading Files: Be cautious when downloading files from websites, especially if they’re unfamiliar or not trusted sources. Always try downloading files from legitimate sources and scan any downloads with anti-virus software before opening them.

Bottom Line

Despite its reputation for being safer, Linux machines are not immune to malware attacks. As we’ve seen, a range of malware is out there targeting Linux systems, and the number of attacks is rising. While you may be unable to protect against every attack 100%, being aware of the most common ones and taking steps to harden your system will go a long way in keeping your data safe.