Example of KDE widgets on Desktop

How is Linux vulnerable to spyware and phishing

Example of KDE widgets on Desktop

Example of KDE widgets on Desktop

People using Linux today choose one of the window managers – often it is KDE or Gnome. Both of these window managers allow users to further extend the system via special widgets.

There are tons of widgets – they can be system or disk monitors, satellite image screens, weather forecasts or even the games. Some of them notify you about a new email, some will allow you to create to-do lists and keep track of your tasks. All of these widgets are free to download and made by community – i.e. developers donating their time to their pet projects.

When I download some widget, I often think about its code and structure – specially, when it requires you to fill in a username and a password to some service you are using. I keep thinking if it’s really safe to give the required data to the widget I have never heard of before. What if the developer was not a volunteer donating their time, but rather a criminal trying to get a hold on unsuspecting users’ private data including their usernames and passwords?

I am sure somebody would find that over a period of time, but it can be too late – private data of tens (or hundreds) of users could have been already stolen and misused.

I predict we will hear about the case of spyware on KDE or Gnome soon.

PS: Of course, any of this can easily happen on MS Windows as well.

  • Asti

    RE: PS
    But the number of Windows users deadly exceeds Linux base so the time of detection is just a fraction compared to linux
    Windows is more secure : )

  • Daniel

    But Linux users are more educated, usually know some programming languages, so should be able to check the widget code themselves. Otherwise, your argument is correct, of course.

  • Rodrigo

    The two are wrong. Nowadays any user is able to use a Linux desktop distro.

    Windows IS unsecure itself (much more with the use of Internet Explorer or without Security Packages), it’s a prime need to use an anti-virus, firewall, anti-spyware, etc. and security education; while Linux is 99,999% (to be really fair) secure against malwares, because people work in the OS because of passion, not greed; and there are constant updates to the software, primarily on security efficiency. :)

    However, this kind of phishing exposes anyone not aware of the dangers of untrustful applications – and doesn’t matter the OS the victim is using. What matters is intelligence/expertise to see these applications couldn’t be safe. :)