Sophos announces on-access virus scanning and protection for Linux users

March 22, 2006 Sophos Press Release

Sophos, a world leader in protecting businesses against viruses, spyware and spam, has announced the new version of Sophos Anti-Virus for Linux, which now includes on-access scanning for Linux platforms.

SAV for Linux version 5.0 detects and disinfects viruses, Trojans, worms and spyware targeting Linux, Windows and other platforms whenever files are accessed on a Linux computer. Designed for enterprise environments, it scans at extremely high speeds, minimising the impact on Linux servers. It includes support for new kernels released by more than 20 distributions, catering both for customers who use standard Linux distributor-supplied kernels as well as users that customise their Linux kernels.

Protecting Linux servers is now just as vital as protecting Windows PCs, since those Linux systems are increasingly used to serve information in formats such as files or web pages to Windows clients. Although the majority of threats target Windows, threats can use insufficiently protected Linux machines as a vector into an organisation's network, allowing cyber criminals to gain access and steal information or cause further damage.

"With today's high-speed and sophisticated threats, it is vital that all entry points into an organisation's network are protected against attacks. Without protection, even threats designed for other operating systems, such as Windows, can reside on Linux machines," said John Shaw, senior product manager at Sophos. "Quality protection, including on-access scanning at each Linux server, will block all known threats from being run regardless of who they are targeting - whether they come from email, internet, instant messaging, or other vectors."

SAV for Linux version 5.0 supports more than 20 distributions of Linux, including the main versions of RedHat, Suse and TurboLinux. With low CPU overheads, the software operates seamlessly in the self-contained Linux network environment and installs on both servers and workstations. Extensive file, directory, filetype and drive exclusion options ensure that administrators have complete control over only what needs to be scanned, to optimise server performance.

Administration, configuration and detailed logging can be achieved through the command-line interface or through a secure web browser interface. Virus identity files are automatically updated, while the software can be kept automatically up-to-date or version controlled. Sophos offers options to update SAV directly over the internet, or via Windows or Linux servers to optimise bandwidth usage within an organisation's network. Email and desktop alerting ensures administrators are kept up-to-date of any virus related incidences in real time.

Anti-virus software is the prime component in effectively protecting computers against viruses and spyware, though Sophos warns that network administrators and users should also strengthen their technological defences by adopting other sensible measures, such as safe computing.