If you are new to Linux, forget about anti-virus or root-kit scanners. The danger of malware infection is much much smaller than with Windows, for a variety of reasons. chkrootkit and the like are professional tools that are deployed on servers to identify malware. If you don't run servers, you probably won't ever need it.
The greatest danger for newcomers is "bad" advice, with "bad" meaning either incorrect or malicious. Be very cautious of scripts or commands published on the net that help "solve" whatever problem, especially when running the command/script with "sudo" (root) permission. If you see for example sudo rm -r ..., be wary! If you are not familiar with a command, check it first! For example:
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will give you a short explanation on what this command does and the syntax on how the command is used. The -r option makes the command recursive
, going into all subdirectories. With little effort one can create a command that wipes your whole disk clean. Other powerful commands are "dd" or "fdisk". There are plenty more.
When taking advise, make sure it comes from a respectable source. Crosscheck if in doubt. This is of course also true for Windows users.
With Linux, the malware dangers you are exposed to depend largely on the following factors:
1. Is your PC behind a router? Most notebook users will have to answer no. Likewise, your desktop PC should be connected to a router, if not, get one!
2. How many people have access to the PC?
3. Are you installing software only via the official repositories?
4. Have you disabled remote desktop?
5. Have you disabled remote root access (for example via ssh)?
You can check which ports are accessible from the outside by running an online port scanner: https://pentest-tools.com/discovery-probing/tcp-port-scanner-online-nmap
If you see that ports are open (not "filtered"), or if you are using a notebook, you may want to use the firewall - see https://help.ubuntu.com/community/UFW
A comprehensive network configuration guide (perhaps a bit too much for a newcomer) can be found here: http://community.linuxmint.com/tutorial/view/814This is for information only, if you want to dig into it a little deeper.
Unlike with Microsoft Windows where you never know how and where it can hit you (it's closed source so everything remains a guess), Linux vulnerabilities are usually well known. In most cases they are either based on network attacks, by getting users to run dangerous scripts or applications with root (sudo) privileges, or by gaining root access (for example remote access via ssh or remote desktop). In Linux it takes little effort to prevent malware or unauthorized access, and all the tools are already in place.
Here is a take on Linux malware: http://www.linuxinsider.com/story/78748.html
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