The increasing frequency of attacks on Linux and Linux-based systems can be contributed to the rising use of virtual machine and containerized infrastructure since many of the underlying systems that power virtual machines and containers are running Linux-based operating systems, says Shawn Smith, Director of Infrastructure at nVisium, a Falls Church, Virginia-based application security provider.

“Attacking the infrastructure that houses VMs or containers can yield a much higher reward for time invested; for example, if you compromise a host that is hosting several other systems, you have effectively compromised all of those systems as well.,” Smith adds. “Since attackers are now targeting Linux-based systems that house VM and container infrastructure, it’s relatively easy for them to adapt their malware to also attack normal Linux workstations and servers.”

Smith believes we’ll see “many more equal opportunity offenders that aren’t targeting specific kinds of systems, but are targeting everything under the sun that they can profit from using such adaptable techniques.”

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