Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Apple Systems and Services > Mac Basics and Help

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jul 22, 2013, 06:22 AM   #1
Zackonmac
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Is it worth getting an antivirus these days?

Hey guys.

I'm a programmer and am becoming increasingly concerned with hackers, keylogging and malware these days.

The recent attack on the apple developer site sent alarm bells ringing in my head. So i'm wondering if it's finally time to get an anti-virus on my mac. Do you guys think it is? and if so, which one?

Even if it's still not essential to get one, I wouldn't mind having one even just for the peace of mind... But I don't want something that is going to eat up my cpu and make my day to day work sluggish as a result.

Opinions/Recommendations please

Last edited by Zackonmac; Jul 22, 2013 at 07:56 AM. Reason: Title change
Zackonmac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 06:25 AM   #2
maflynn
Moderator
 
maflynn's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Boston
You're better off performing safe computing habits, then installing a piece of software that will make your computer behave slower, and less stable.

Antivirus software does not protect you against hacking, and if you're careful of what you install/download you'll not have to worry about malware. Phishing can be avoided by being smart about emails, i.e., not clicking on the links in them
__________________
~Mike Flynn
maflynn is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 06:35 AM   #3
Apple fanboy
macrumors 603
 
Apple fanboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: United Kingdom
I'm with Maflynn on this. One of the things that attracted me to Macs in the first place was not having to use antivirus software. It's not just the money. Everyday my Norton programme would tell me my definitions were out of date or I should run a full system scan. By being cautious about links and emails etc, none of these things are possible. And because no live viruses exist, the worst you can pick up is a bit of Malware.
__________________
iMac 21.5 2013, iPhone 6 Plus, iPad 2/4/Air Nikon D7100/D300 70-200 2.8/24-70 2.8/14-24 2.8/60 Macro 2.8/10.5 Fish eye 2.8
Apple fanboy is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 06:36 AM   #4
Zackonmac
Thread Starter
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Quote:
Originally Posted by maflynn View Post
You're better off performing safe computing habits, then installing a piece of software that will make your computer behave slower, and less stable.

Antivirus software does not protect you against hacking, and if you're careful of what you install/download you'll not have to worry about malware. Phishing can be avoided by being smart about emails, i.e., not clicking on the links in them
Hey Mike, thanks for your response.

I am pretty careful in my day to day activities. I don't use torrents nor visit any illegal software sites, never click any links in any spurious emails etc. So I guess I'm doing everything I can already by the sounds of it
Zackonmac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 06:44 AM   #5
jav6454
macrumors G5
 
jav6454's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: 1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
Hardly... even my Windows PC works fine without an Anti-Virus. Obviously, I stay out of shady web sties and delete all shady emails.
__________________
Al MacBook 2.4GHz Late '08 | 5 S⃣ | Macross Click Me
jav6454 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 08:27 AM   #6
almmohd
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Antivirus for OS X



Saw this article and I was wondering what is the best antivirus for Mac OSX?

Free antivirus would be nice
almmohd is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 08:34 AM   #7
SandboxGeneral
Moderator
 
SandboxGeneral's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Rigel IV
Quote:
Originally Posted by almmohd View Post


Saw this article and I was wondering what is the best antivirus for Mac OSX?

Free antivirus would be nice
You really do not need AV for OS X. Practice safe computing habits and don't install any software you didn't go looking for or install pirated software and you will be fine.

Mac Virus/Malware Info
__________________
It's true, we are aliens. But what are you going to do about it? It's a two-party system. You have to vote for one of us.
••• SandboxGeneral.com •••
SandboxGeneral is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 08:58 AM   #8
Shrink
macrumors Demi-God
 
Shrink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: New England, USA
If you really want an "anti virus", ClamX is OK (it is not really an anti virus). You can run a scan that will identify and quarantine any nasty stuff it finds. It doesn't use any resources since it only runs on demand...I use it once a month and get a bunch of (probably Windows) junk and then dump it.
__________________
Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. -- Albert Einstein
Shrink is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 10:04 AM   #9
almmohd
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shrink View Post
If you really want an "anti virus", ClamX is OK (it is not really an anti virus). You can run a scan that will identify and quarantine any nasty stuff it finds. It doesn't use any resources since it only runs on demand...I use it once a month and get a bunch of (probably Windows) junk and then dump it.
Thanks Shrink, I am new to Mac. Windows is where I really operate, I just bought a macbook pro a while back and not having antivirus makes me nervous. Especially when you see stuff like that yahoo article:

Humbled Apple Admits Hacking After Releasing Removal Tool

That’s a high number from a company that touts the invulnerability of its OS. Now Apple is disclosing more chinks in its armor. Once Forbes went on record to say Apple is the most valuable company in human history, Apple has done its best to retain that reputation and avoiding any mention of weakness. But it looks like reality is trumping reputation for the tech juggernaut...


I was checking this out:
http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-mac
almmohd is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 10:30 AM   #10
Shrink
macrumors Demi-God
 
Shrink's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: New England, USA
Quote:
Originally Posted by almmohd View Post
Thanks Shrink, I am new to Mac. Windows is where I really operate, I just bought a macbook pro a while back and not having antivirus makes me nervous. Especially when you see stuff like that yahoo article:

Humbled Apple Admits Hacking After Releasing Removal Tool

That’s a high number from a company that touts the invulnerability of its OS. Now Apple is disclosing more chinks in its armor. Once Forbes went on record to say Apple is the most valuable company in human history, Apple has done its best to retain that reputation and avoiding any mention of weakness. But it looks like reality is trumping reputation for the tech juggernaut...


I was checking this out:
http://www.avast.com/free-antivirus-mac
Thus far, there have been no viruses in the wild that infect OS X. Not that it can't be infected, it just never has been infected. As I understand it, anti viruses are unnecessary, and installing them uses resources with no return. There is other malware that could conceivably be installed, but that is avoided by safe computing practices.
__________________
Two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe. -- Albert Einstein
Shrink is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 01:17 PM   #11
almmohd
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Ok, what precautions, if any, should I take if using vmware with/without unity mode? Are there any risks?
almmohd is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 01:28 PM   #12
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zackonmac View Post
I'm a programmer and am becoming increasingly concerned with hackers, keylogging and malware these days.

The recent attack on the apple developer site sent alarm bells ringing in my head. So i'm wondering if it's finally time to get an anti-virus on my mac. Do you guys think it is? and if so, which one?
Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 12 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by almmohd View Post
Saw this article and I was wondering what is the best antivirus for Mac OSX?
You're confusing hacking with malware. Apple's site was hacked, not the subject of a malware attack. Antivirus apps provide no protection against hacking. The fact is that the average Mac user will never be targeted in a hacking attack. In over 5 years of reading "My Mac was hacked!" claims in this forum, not a single one ever was hacked.
GGJstudios is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 07:47 PM   #13
almmohd
macrumors newbie
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
You're confusing hacking with malware. Apple's site was hacked, not the subject of a malware attack. Antivirus apps provide no protection against hacking. The fact is that the average Mac user will never be targeted in a hacking attack. In over 5 years of reading "My Mac was hacked!" claims in this forum, not a single one ever was hacked.
I was looking at this too:
"Owning an Apple doesn’t mean being impervious to the viruses that plague PCs. No matter how respected Apple is, being the best doesn’t mean being invincible. Even Superman had kryptonite."
almmohd is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 22, 2013, 09:02 PM   #14
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by almmohd View Post
I was looking at this too:
"Owning an Apple doesn’t mean being impervious to the viruses that plague PCs. No matter how respected Apple is, being the best doesn’t mean being invincible.
The viruses that run on Windows PCs cannot run on OS X, so Macs are impervious to that kind of malware. There are trojans that run on OS X, but no viruses.
GGJstudios is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 01:41 PM   #15
pastrychef
macrumors 68020
 
pastrychef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New York City, NY
Quote:
Originally Posted by almmohd View Post
I was looking at this too:
"Owning an Apple doesn’t mean being impervious to the viruses that plague PCs. No matter how respected Apple is, being the best doesn’t mean being invincible. Even Superman had kryptonite."
There are no viruses for OS X. Period. There never has been. Don't believe the FUD that so many people like to spread.

If you are worried about "virues that plague PCs", install anti-virus software on your bootcamp partition. OS X doesn't need any.
__________________
Mac Pro 5,1 2.93x12 - 48GB - GTX 680 - Crucial M550 SSD - Dell 3007WFP-HC
Alu MacBook 5,1 2GHz C2D - 8GB - 9400M
Mac mini 2.33GHz C2D - 4GB - GMA950 - 2 Drobos - SS4200 (unRAID)
iPhone 6 + 5 S⃣
pastrychef is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 04:03 PM   #16
Thraun
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Abbotsford, BC
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastrychef View Post
There are no viruses for OS X. Period. There never has been. Don't believe the FUD that so many people like to spread.
That is definitely not true. While certainly significantly more rare than PC viruses, they have existed. As other people have said though, as long as you practice smart downloading then you should never have an issue. My 7-year-old iMac has never had any antivirus software at all, I download stuff all the time, including torrents, and I've never had an issue.
Thraun is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 04:14 PM   #17
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thraun View Post
That is definitely not true. While certainly significantly more rare than PC viruses, they have existed..
It is certainly true. There has never been an OS X virus in the wild. There were viruses on OS 9 and earlier, and there have been trojans on OS X, but no viruses. If you're counting proof-of-concept viruses that only exist in a lab, those don't count, as they present zero threat, since Mac users cannot encounter them. Read post #12, including the links, to educate yourself about OS X malware.
GGJstudios is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 04:34 PM   #18
pastrychef
macrumors 68020
 
pastrychef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New York City, NY
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thraun View Post
That is definitely not true. While certainly significantly more rare than PC viruses, they have existed. As other people have said though, as long as you practice smart downloading then you should never have an issue. My 7-year-old iMac has never had any antivirus software at all, I download stuff all the time, including torrents, and I've never had an issue.
You are wrong. There has never been any viruses for OS X.
__________________
Mac Pro 5,1 2.93x12 - 48GB - GTX 680 - Crucial M550 SSD - Dell 3007WFP-HC
Alu MacBook 5,1 2GHz C2D - 8GB - 9400M
Mac mini 2.33GHz C2D - 4GB - GMA950 - 2 Drobos - SS4200 (unRAID)
iPhone 6 + 5 S⃣
pastrychef is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 05:33 PM   #19
Thraun
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Abbotsford, BC
Sorry, I suppose I should have used the more general term 'malware' rather than 'virus'. I guess I didn't expect this many nitpickers.
Thraun is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 28, 2013, 05:42 PM   #20
pastrychef
macrumors 68020
 
pastrychef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New York City, NY
Surely there are trojans/malware. But no anti-virus program can protect you from your own stupidity if you enter your password when trying to install stuff acquired from questionable sources or decide to wire some cash to a prince so they can send you your inheritance from a relative you do not have.
__________________
Mac Pro 5,1 2.93x12 - 48GB - GTX 680 - Crucial M550 SSD - Dell 3007WFP-HC
Alu MacBook 5,1 2GHz C2D - 8GB - 9400M
Mac mini 2.33GHz C2D - 4GB - GMA950 - 2 Drobos - SS4200 (unRAID)
iPhone 6 + 5 S⃣
pastrychef is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 30, 2013, 02:06 AM   #21
throAU
macrumors 68030
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Safe computing (not visiting dodgy sites) is not necessarily enough.

It is a start, but it does NOT protect you from being infected by a legitimate site that you visit that has been hacked. Essentially you are trusting the admin of the sites you visit to keep their system secure.


- stay current with system updates (including Java, Flash, etc if installed)
- do not log into your computer day to day with an administrative account
- if you choose not to run a virus scanner on your machine full time, I'd still recommend periodically scanning your machine as a bit of a sanity check.
__________________
MBP (early 2011) - Core i7 2720 2.2ghz, Hires Glossy, 16GB, Seagate Momentus XT 750GB
Mac Mini (mid 2007) - Core2 Duo 1.8, 2gb, 320gb 7200 rpm
iPhone 4S, iPad 4, iPad Mini, HTC One (eval)
throAU is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 30, 2013, 02:36 AM   #22
pastrychef
macrumors 68020
 
pastrychef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New York City, NY
Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
- if you choose not to run a virus scanner on your machine full time, I'd still recommend periodically scanning your machine as a bit of a sanity check.
What will you be scanning for?
__________________
Mac Pro 5,1 2.93x12 - 48GB - GTX 680 - Crucial M550 SSD - Dell 3007WFP-HC
Alu MacBook 5,1 2GHz C2D - 8GB - 9400M
Mac mini 2.33GHz C2D - 4GB - GMA950 - 2 Drobos - SS4200 (unRAID)
iPhone 6 + 5 S⃣
pastrychef is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 30, 2013, 02:45 AM   #23
GGJstudios
macrumors Westmere
 
Join Date: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by throAU View Post
Safe computing (not visiting dodgy sites) is not necessarily enough.

It is a start, but it does NOT protect you from being infected by a legitimate site that you visit that has been hacked.
No OS X malware exists in the wild that cannot be successfully avoided by practicing safe computing. 3rd party antivirus apps provide no additional protection beyond that provided by safe computing practices.
GGJstudios is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 30, 2013, 03:37 AM   #24
throAU
macrumors 68030
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Quote:
Originally Posted by pastrychef View Post
What will you be scanning for?
To ensure what you THINK is true (i.e. you are not infected with anything) is actually the reality of the situation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
No OS X malware exists in the wild that cannot be successfully avoided by practicing safe computing. 3rd party antivirus apps provide no additional protection beyond that provided by safe computing practices.
Irrelevant.

If a zero day was released tomorrow for OS X and infected users by say, a malicious HTML page on this forum, due to the web server software being hacked on the macrumors site, a huge number of you guys would get infected (Macrumors isn't a shady site, right?).

Apple security is much better than Windows in general, sure. But if you think the above could never happen, it DID in the Windows world and is how Nimda spread like wildfire (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nimda ).

If you want to place your trust in Apple's ability to write 100% defect free code for the rest of time, go ahead.

Me? I don't trust any programmer on the planet to write 100% defect free code. Doing so is a lot harder than you might suspect, and programmers are human. The fact that the iDevices keep getting jailbroken is confirmation that Apple can not write 100% defect free code. And iOS is locked down a lot more comprehensively than OS X.


edit:
cliffnotes regarding nimda.

Quote:
Methods of infection[edit]

Nimda was so effective partially because it—unlike other infamous malware like the Morris worm or Code Red—uses five different infection vectors:
via email
via open network shares
via browsing of compromised web sites
exploitation of various Microsoft IIS 4.0 / 5.0 directory traversal vulnerabilities. (Both Code Red and Nimda were hugely successful exploiting well known and long solved vulnerabilities in the Microsoft IIS server.[3])
via back doors left behind by the "Code Red II" and "sadmind/IIS" worms
Boldfaced - many legit sites were hacked and didn't even know about it until many of their users were infected.

The cadre of "You'll pry snow leopard out of my cold dead hands" users are likely to be an infection vector once Apple drops security fix support for it.
__________________
MBP (early 2011) - Core i7 2720 2.2ghz, Hires Glossy, 16GB, Seagate Momentus XT 750GB
Mac Mini (mid 2007) - Core2 Duo 1.8, 2gb, 320gb 7200 rpm
iPhone 4S, iPad 4, iPad Mini, HTC One (eval)

Last edited by throAU; Jul 30, 2013 at 03:45 AM.
throAU is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 30, 2013, 03:44 AM   #25
pastrychef
macrumors 68020
 
pastrychef's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: New York City, NY
I don't need an anti-virus app to tell me I'm not infected by a virus that doesn't exist. I don't take antibiotics regularly either.

Until virus definitions are updated, you will be vulnerable to a zero day virus even if you have anti-virus software installed. Since there are no viruses for OS X, why install anti-virus? The second a true self replicating virus hits OS X, it will be on every news agency and odds are you will learn how to defend yourself before any virus definitions get updated.
__________________
Mac Pro 5,1 2.93x12 - 48GB - GTX 680 - Crucial M550 SSD - Dell 3007WFP-HC
Alu MacBook 5,1 2GHz C2D - 8GB - 9400M
Mac mini 2.33GHz C2D - 4GB - GMA950 - 2 Drobos - SS4200 (unRAID)
iPhone 6 + 5 S⃣
pastrychef is offline   0 Reply With Quote

Reply
MacRumors Forums > Apple Systems and Services > Mac Basics and Help

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Similar Threads
thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
antivirus for macs? worth it CB1234 Mac Applications and Mac App Store 37 Jan 14, 2014 04:16 PM
Antivirus rogo43 Mac Applications and Mac App Store 17 Nov 21, 2012 01:47 PM
What are MacPro1,1 machines worth these days? benguild Mac Pro 8 Sep 15, 2012 04:29 PM
Do I need an antivirus? shonor6 OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion 4 Sep 5, 2012 12:51 PM

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:24 PM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC