Linux antivirus and firewall beta from Panda

Panda Software released a new public beta Tuesday for DesktopSecure, their antivirus and firewall program for Linux. It's available as a free download from their Web site, and should run on major distributions including Redhat, SUSE and Debian. I've got it running right now under Ubuntu (Breezy Badger).

No, there isn't any huge new influx of Linux malware to be addressed: CTO Patrick Hinojosa says it's meant more to help Linux users be good neighbors by getting rid of Windows trojans and the like that might be lurking on a Linux box. He said the app does protect against known Linux threats, though, and it's always good to have a firewall.

The bi-directional firewall is more like available Windows firewalls than Linux firewalls that I've used. Meaning that you get a pop-up asking whether you want to allow or deny new inbound or outbound traffic, instead of the up-front policy charts in programs like firestarter. It does have an option to automatically allow common, known programs like Firefox to connect to the Internet, and you can set individual rules based on port, protocol and the like in the advanced settings.

You have to register with Panda to get the download (take note of a number of checkboxes towards the bottom of the registration page to opt-out of marketing emails).

When it's finished, Hinojosa says the base program will be free, and virus signature updates will come with a "Linux friendly" price tag. Expect it to cost a fair bit less than updates for Panda's Windows product. Both products will check for the same signatures.


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