Is Knoppix really safe?

Posted on 2005-04-11
Last Modified: 2010-04-22
As soon as my w2k infected by virus (trojan), there will be a popup from my AV Personal. But if I use Knoppix then without any protection of antivirus package, isn't that more dangerous? Because I think though the virus or trojan can't survive a reboot in Knoppix, it still can infect the ram drive in that particular session of use to steal data. Or does it have to wait until the next reboot to steal the data etc?
Question by:simala
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    You have to understand, Knoppix is not Windows.  It does not run like windows and without installing Wine, you can't even run windows programs.  Knoppix is MUCH safer than windows in LARGE part because the vast, VAST majority of viruses/trojans/adware out there is designed to affect ONLY windows.  (There ARE things that can affect all systems, but those are so relatively rare nowadays, it's not really worth worrying about them for a simple boot/reboot).

    Knoppix doesn't use a registry like Windows and this is where the LARGE portion of spyware starts from.

    Knoppix doesn't start ANYTHING from your Windows harddisk sets it so you can only access it read only by default.

    Author Comment

    thanks for your prompt reply, leew

    I understand Knoppix runs without a harddrive and I also understand that viruses mainly target Windows. But if Knoppix (in that particular session) is infected by a virus (though it is rare) which can steal data (in its ram drive) and if the  virus doesn't have to wait until the next reboot then the fact that the Knoppix is totally clean after each reboot simply won't help to prevent the stealing.
    LVL 95

    Accepted Solution

    Let's be clear, NOTHING is 100% secure that is also connected to the internet.  Knoppix, SELinux, Windows, Mac OS X, NOTHING.  If you want to be ABSOLUTELY certain nothing is ever stolen electronically, don't connect the machine to a network, including and especially the internet.  AND don't connect a modem either.

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