Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

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Newbe3
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Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by Newbe3 »

Hi!
I have some files on a Windows computer that I want to move to a computer with Mint. Could this be a risk when it comes to spyware, viruses etc?
I have tried to find the answer to this question, and I realize that it is very hard to get spyware and viruses in Linux in general, but the problem is that the Windows computer is, according to AVG, infected, and even if the threats are being removed, other ones (or the same one, not sure) keeps showing up.
Even if most Windows spyware, viruses etc does not affect Linux, I've read that some of them do?
What should I do? Should I worry?

And what types of files can carry spyware and viruses anyways? Can they be inside jpg/txt/mp3 files?
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by Cosmo. »

What is the goal of moving the infected file?

If you believe, that your Windows box will be "clean" and reliable again, you are in error. Read this: You can’t clean a compromised system by an MS Security Manager.

To your last question: Nearly every file type, inclusive txt-files can contain malware.
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by austin.texas »

I am not an expert in this area, but, in general, the virii you find in Windows will be written to exploit Windows vulnerabilities, and would have no effect on linux.
There may be some exceptions for browser exploits.
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by trapperjohn »

Hi,

What files and what maleware were detected?
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by Pjotr »

austin.texas wrote:the virii you find in Windows will be written to exploit Windows vulnerabilities, and would have no effect on linux.
There may be some exceptions for browser exploits.
That summarizes it neatly. :)

In order to prevent potential browser exploits becoming a problem (unlikely, but you never know), create a new dedicated user account, log into that new account and access the files then. After your perusal, you can delete that dedicated user account again. Potential browser exploits will die with it.
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by mike acker »

Generally speaking -- Linux is not susceptible of the hacks preferred by the miscreants who have perpetratrated the debauch know as Computer Hacking upon the world today--

Billions spent on security ....and the hacking goes on

anyone interested in computer security today will be familiar with the Snowden Story, Hacking Team, and now the Equation group and now the Shadow Brokers;

this is major cloak & dagger stuff..... we ought all best be aware that some very highly skilled operatives are working without rest to obtain access to information they think they want.... and these operatives will be very aware that their targets will be using the most secure software available;

but these are not "script kiddies" -- who just purchase hacking kits on the Darknet; consequently, for most of us, taking precautions as recommended by "Best Practices" -- is what we can do -- what we should do;
¡Viva la Resistencia!
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by trapperjohn »

Humm...

I don't mean to be Chicken Little here, but there are cross-platform exploits and the OP might have one.

To properly answer the OP's question, we need to know the names of the infected files and what malware was detected in them?
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by phd21 »

Hi "Newbe3",

Welcome to the wonderful world of Linux Mint and its excellent forum !

I just read your post and the good replies to it. Here are my thoughts on this as well.

It would help to know more about your system setup. If you run "inxi -Fxzd" from the console terminal prompt, highlight the results, copy and paste them back here, that should provide enough information.

If you even think you have malware and viruses, then I highly recommend creating a bootable CD/DVD or USB flash drive stick of the great "Kaspersky" rescue disk, booting to it, running it on all drives and partitions to check and fix or remove those, before copying them anywhere. If you have external drives, like backup drives, then you can connect and check those too. You can run it overnight because it will take awhile. Even though Linux Mint is much more secure and not likely to be affected by any MS Windows viruses, why take a chance that something nastier might be lurking in your Ms Windows system.

Another post: "email account blocked due to virus [SOLVED]"
In this are instructions and download links for Kaspersky and other useful information.
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=221956&hilit=kaspersky

Hope this helps ...
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by Pjotr »

trapperjohn wrote:Humm...

I don't mean to be Chicken Little here, but there are cross-platform exploits and the OP might have one.
Then show me one that 1. hasn't been blocked yet by the regular security updates of Mint, 2. is a threat to *desktop* Linux, 3. can't be circumvented by using a dedicated user account as I advised earlier in this thread and 4. is present in the wild, i.e. has spread. Just one example that meets all of these four requirements will do.

If you can't, you should realize that you're spreading FUD.....
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear,_unc ... _and_doubt
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by trapperjohn »

Hey, maybe we'll find one.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation. - AA Big Book


Have a read: http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/sec ... troduction if you are open to alternate perspectives. The first few paragraphs are of special interest.

If we start by entertaining a positive, then we can prove a negative. If we start by assuming a negative, then we do nothing. The original question is unanswerable without further information. Ultimately, the OP decides where this goes.

Oh, and, let's not go down the FUD path. I asked for more information.
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by Pjotr »

trapperjohn wrote:Hey, maybe we'll find one.
There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance—that principle is contempt prior to investigation. - AA Big Book


Have a read: http://www.linuxjournal.com/content/sec ... troduction if you are open to alternate perspectives. The first few paragraphs are of special interest.

If we start by entertaining a positive, then we can prove a negative. If we start by assuming a negative, then we do nothing. The original question is unanswerable without further information. Ultimately, the OP decides where this goes.

Oh, and, let's not go down the FUD path. I asked for more information.
I fail to see the relevance of this highly philosophical and theoretical approach, which has an inordinate level of fuzziness.

It's plain and simple: you state that there's a threat. I ask you, to substantiate that statement with one proof. Just one proof, that meets the four requirements that I've outlined in my previous message. Of course pertaining to the matter at hand, which is: opening contaminated files originating from Windows, in Linux Mint.

If you can't do that, I'm afraid you're just spreading FUD.
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by trapperjohn »

Would you please lighten up.

I asked a simple question:
What files and what maleware were detected?
Given the file(s) and/or a means of reproducing the maleware, we stuff it an immutable Linux VM and observe its behaviour and, if it's active, we characterize the process. Is a miscreant communication going out over port 80 as in a reverse tunnel, etc?

Look, I do this, and you can't tell me how to best serve the OP's question. I was willing to take the time. You claim immunity but I'll bet you don't click on ratty attachments to your emails.

FUD has an antonym fella and you are demonstrating it with a rant that naively assumes that Linux is immune to maleware. You are not serving anybody, just pumping-up your ego. Take it to some skin-head forum.

I assume the OP went back to his/her original OS after this useless digression.

Subscription removed, this is a dead end thread.
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xenopeek
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by xenopeek »

Let's all back off a bit and not make this personal.

I agree with Cosmo. and trapperjohn and we kindly want to know from Newbe3:
  1. What is the goal of moving the infected file to Linux?
  2. What files and what malware were detected on Windows?
With that we can help give suggestions how to proceed.

While in general Linux isn't susceptible to Windows viruses, if you've installed Wine—which you can use to run Windows programs on Linux and which you might not be aware you have as some commercial games for example come packaged with Wine—or you've left Mono installed—which can run .NET Windows executables (like Banshee and Tomboy)—then you may open yourself up to infection.

See also the Wine FAQ about Windows malware infections https://wiki.winehq.org/FAQ#Is_Wine_mal ... patible.3F. While Windows malware is probably unlikely to escape the user's home directory, still risky for all Windows programs installed on Wine.
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by NChewie »

:shock: Keeps head down and quietly adds: :shock:

There is also the potential of moving an infected file from Windows to Mint without any issues for Mint, then inadvertently passing it on to a friend's Windows machine...

The earlier advice to clean up any files prior to moving them is sound.
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by Pjotr »

NChewie wrote:There is also the potential of moving an infected file from Windows to Mint without any issues for Mint, then inadvertently passing it on to a friend's Windows machine...

The earlier advice to clean up any files prior to moving them is sound.
There are better alternatives for that, like using virustotal.com. Also, webmail like Gmail has its own excellent built-in professional antivirus. No need to install AV in Linux for that....

You might want to read my attempt to refute that common misconception:
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinux ... dows-users
(item 4, right column)
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by kwisher »

My advice would be to download a live disk of Kaspersky or AVG and boot to that and run the scanning functions. After all bad stuff has been detected and removed I would do as someone else mentioned to create a temp Linux user account to access the Windows partition and copy the data files only and then install and run clamAV on them from Linux.
The instructions suggested Windows XP or better, so I installed Linux :)
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by NChewie »

Hi Pjotr,
webmail like Gmail has its own excellent built-in professional antivirus. No need to install AV in Linux for that....
You might want to read my attempt to refute that common misconception:
https://sites.google.com/site/easylinux ... dows-users
(item 4, right column)
I certainly see and understand your viewpoint. I should not have to waste my resources to act as a cleaner for files passing from a dodgy system to an insecure system. :)
I use gmail for my private email, for that reason.
However, my work email cannot be sent through gmail as I am a lawyer operating using a proprietary in-house email system (that is required to uphold the group professional indemnity/data protection insurance and is also used to access my pgp public key).
I often get attachments sent to me by clients, to be sent on to other clients and I know that if one of them is infected, I will get a lot of **** from the end user, disclaimers or not!

Just so you understand that I agree with your viewpoint... I do NOT clean up attachments which I have to forward through my work email. I rely upon my workplace IT to play its part and on the recipient to have some common sense.
[As an aside, I have yet to come across a solicitor who wishes me to sign/encrypt any of my emails :shock: so much for common sense ]
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by Pjotr »

@NChewie: I see. I agree that your particular professional situation might complicate matters....
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by Newbe3 »

Wow, thanks for all the replies.
I assume the OP went back to his/her original OS after this useless digression.
I would rather use a typewriter than going back to Windows.. I've just been very busy the last weeks.

So, a little bit more information:
The goal of moving the files is simply that these are personal files (music, text documents etc) that I would like to keep. AVG did not find any viruses/malware in these files, but then again it did not find anything in any place on the computer, even if it kept popping up «threath removed» or something like that (not that often, maybe 1-3 times every week). And even if the treath was «removed», it obviuosly was still there? So can I then trust AVG that the files does not contain anything bad?

What files and what malware were detected on Windows, I sadly dont remember, and I have already discarded the old windows computer. The files are currently on a USB stick. Last time AVG popped up I remember it had found threats in some important windows files (dont remember the names, but I remember it was some important ones).

I do not plan to install Wine.
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Re: Moving infected files from Windows computer to Mint computer

Post by Newbe3 »

Alright, finally I've got the time to fix this! Kaspersky seems really awesome, but I'm also not a fan of stuff that are not open source..

Quick summary so you don't have to read trough the whole thread:
- My old Windows PC got infected by viruses or malware or whatever
- AVG removed it, it said, but it kept coming back again
- I want to move some files (music, text documents etc) from the Windows PC to my new Mint PC. Files are currently on a USB and the Windows PC does not exist anymore
- I'm afraid the bad stuff on the old PC might affect the new Mint one when transferring the files.

So just a last question: since AVG did not find anything bad in the files (however AVG kind of failed anyways, see my last post..), if I also scan them with ClamAV, would that be sufficient?

While in general Linux isn't susceptible to Windows viruses, if you've installed Wine—which you can use to run Windows programs on Linux and which you might not be aware you have as some commercial games for example come packaged with Wine—or you've left Mono installed—which can run .NET Windows executables (like Banshee and Tomboy)—then you may open yourself up to infection.
Thanks, I've just removed Mono. Is there any other preinstalled stuff than Mono that should be removed?
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