BitDefender Antivirus for Unices
Reviewed: Just because you use Linux, it doesn't mean your computer doesn't have viruses or worms. They are just lying dormant, embedded in the EXE files on the NTFS partitions, or hiding beside those DLLs on the dual-boot computers, waiting for you to send them to your Windows-using friends.
Unless you sadistically enjoy seeing your non-Linux peers suffer, you should act responsibly and get yourself an anti-virus scanner that runs on Linux. One such is the latest BitDefender Antivirus Scanner For Unices. If you agree to use it on your home computers only, you can have it for free - that's free as in freeware, not Richard Stallman free.
Virus is a catch-all phrase, and BitDefender's designed to catch them all - from executable viruses, script viruses, macro viruses, to backdoors, trojans, spyware, adware, diallers, and more. BitDefender looks inside files created by over 70 packers, compressors, and installers, from the most common ones such as Zip, 7-Zip, and .tar.gz to more exotic ones such as UPX, ASPack, PECrypt, etc. We found that it even picked up an infected file inside an archive split into multiple volumes. To avoid being caught out by Zip bombs, BitDefender has an adjustable compression depth.
BitDefender has a native Linux graphical user interface, making it very easy to get started with.
You can also let BitDefender loose on archived emails as long as they are in the Mbox format. The scanner will read messages, scan all attachments including archives, and list the infected emails by their subject. To scan files in remote partitions or in removable devices, just make sure they are mounted on your local filesystem.
If you've got files you don't want scanned every time, like huge distro ISOs, you can exclude them from the scans by their extensions or file size. You can also drag and drop files to scan them immediately or add them to a scanning queue.
When BitDefender comes across an infected file, it first tries to cleanse it. This isn't guaranteed to work with all viruses, and it didn't work for any of the infected files on our computer. So the only options now are to either quarantine the file, which moves it to a pre-marked folder, or press the trigger and zap it into oblivion. For the truly malevolent, there's also an ignore option, which leaves the infected file where it is.
Integration with your desktop means that virus scanning a file is just a couple of clicks away.
BitDefender also packs in a heuristic analysis algorithm that can find suspect files that don't match any of the known virus signatures. These can then be submitted to the BitDefender Antivirus Lab for further interrogation.
BitDefender has an excellent GUI, the flexibility of the command line, and you benefit from the constant stream of definition updates available to paying customers, without disturbing the moths in your wallet.
Verdict: Powerful, feature-packed scanner designed for new and experienced Linux users. 10/10
First published in Linux Format magazine