Linux remains almost entirely free of the malware threats that plague Windows and Macs. However, Ubuntulady reports that a multi-platform Trojan that has some effectiveness under Linux has appeared. Ubuntulady provided a number of good links in her post for background.
According to Dr. Web, under Linux the Trojan only attempts to steal passwords from Firefox, Chrome, Opera, Pidgin, Thunderbird, and a few others. It then attempts to send them back to a control server with a fixed IP address. Without root access, that’s about all that it could do. Simply blocking that IP address at your router will provide total security against this Wirenet.1 Trojan.
The basic precaution never changes – don’t click on questionable links or run questionable software. Inherent Linux security limits what any malware can do, but there’s no limit to what stupid can do. Firefox extension Web Of Trust (WOT) can provide good advice on the safety of websites. I’ve been using it for a few years with good effect. In addition, I use Perspectives, WorldIP and Conspiracy to evaluate websites.
Also, I no longer use Firefox or Chrome’s password capability. I’m using LastPass, which has been very handy and works better than any browser’s password or form filling capablity. Your data is encrypted locally using 256-bit AES, and you can access your data from any computer. Although basic LastPass is free, a well-worth-the-price $1/month service is available to enable your smartphone to access LastPass.
Security isn’t rocket science, but tactics and techniques evolve over time. The above system currently works for me. Together with Linux and some smarts about avoiding questionable links and programs (i.e., porn sites and pirated software), a few simple tools keep my Internet computing experience worry-free.