Can Ransomware Infect Linux Backup Servers?


Customers and prospects have shared some interesting questions with us following our recent ransomware webcasts. Questions that suggest there's some serious misinformation floating around about the security of Windows-based backup servers vs. Linux-based systems. So, to our question: Can ransomware infect Linux?

The short answer is yes.

Frankly, it makes no difference which operating system you use, as malware criminals love Linux systems too.

Yes, web servers continue to be a favorite target, but as you can imagine, ransomware is spreading rapidly. Those Linux encoders are getting more sophisticated and IT industry experts are warning enterprises to brace for impact.

Paolo Rovelli, from endpoint and network security company, Sophos, begins a blog post on Linux security myths with this powerful statement:

"We are well into the 21st century, but it is astonishing how people can still believe that Linux-based operating systems are completely secure. Indeed, “Linux” and “security” are two words that you rarely see together."

Protect your backup server from ransomware

Whether your backup server runs on Windows or Linux, you can reduce your ransomware vulnerability with these strategies:

  • Follow the strictest protocols in terms of network, storage, access, and security
  • Use best practices by having offline copies; for example, don’t use email or pull up webmail (and check attachments) on the machine that hosts the backup server (I know some of you have done it)
  • Train your users and your IT folks; end user education is your first line of defense against ransomware
  • Get great anti-virus and threat detection technology for added data security
  • Finally, stay current with OS security patches (at Arcserve, we let customers download and install security patches from Microsoft as soon as they become available, avoiding lag time and potentially missed patches

Vendors who suggest Linux isn't vulnerable to ransomware are dead wrong

Don’t fall for vendors that tell you their Linux-based solutions are less risky – that’s blatantly untrue (or they’re very misinformed).

In the end, all systems are vulnerable, regardless of your data protection solution. But, robust data security and backup best practices can help protect you from these ransomware threats.

Linux security best practices: Get up-to-speed

Knowledge is power. These data protection articles can help you gain a greater understanding of how to best protect your Linux backup servers from ransomware attacks: