Am I placing my Mac in harms-way?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Brian Mage, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2012

    I'm looking for a little help as to guage how much risk using "Torrent Software" will cause my Mac (MBA 2012 10.8.2)

    I've historically downloaded onto a PC, scanned the files and then flash drived them over to the device i wanted. However, that PC is over 10years old, and starting to be unreliable.

    If i use a trusted Torrent Client/SE on OSX am I running the risk of Virus/Trojan/Malware/Bots? (I use the collective phrasing because no Virus exisits for mac, but people do use that word to describe many different forms of coding sourced software problems/attacks)
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Not really. Either use Transmission or µTorrent or both.

    To learn more about malware in Mac OS X and what steps can be taken to protect yourself, read the following F.A.Q.:
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2012
    "there is no virus for Mac" is a false statement. It used to be true, but that was because of sheer numbers. When 95% of computer owners have a PC, where are virus cookers going to attack?

    Nowadays, however, with Apple being the choice of more and more people, viruses are beginning to pop up more frequently. Not as much as PC of course, but regardless I really encourage the purchase of a good antivirus.
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Please state one true virus for Mac OS X in public circulation, just one.

    And the market share myth has been debunked several times. For instance, Mac OS 8 and 9 had about 70 to 80 real viruses (viruses by definition of what a virus is, not just what Sophos or YouTubers call a virus nowadays) affecting them in public circulation. But since the advent of the iPod and iPhone and iPad, Mac OS X has become more used and has a bigger market share than Mac OS 8 and 9 had, but still there is no real virus affecting Mac OS X in public circulation.

    But then again, this topic has been discussed to death, and if we do it here, it will end the same anyways, unless, you know, you can actually provide prove of one actual virus affecting Mac OS X, that is in public circulation. And don't come with the "Flashback Trojan Malware Virus", that was just a trojan, and is malware, but malware is the genus and its species are viruses, trojans, worms, spyware and others.

    Unless of course, such definitions do not matter, then I can call a horse a donkey I guess, since, you know, they all are Equi.
  5. macrumors 6502


    Aug 4, 2010
    Dortches, NC
    Running torrent clients is not a risk. Transmission and other trusted clients are not the issue.

    It is what you do with that software that opens up the security risk. If you use them to download pirated software, then you may well be installing modified programs that include Trojan's and malware. Once you install and enter your admin password, it's game on!
  6. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You have it backwards. There used to be viruses that ran on Mac OS 9 and earlier, as well as quite a lot of other malware. While Mac market share and installed base has grown significantly over the years, there has never been a Mac OS X virus in the wild since it was released over 11 years ago, and there are only a handful of trojans, which are easily avoided without the need for antivirus apps.
    That depends on what you download. If you're downloading and installing pirated apps, you could be installing malware. If you're downloading documents, music or videos, you're fine.

    You don't need any 3rd party antivirus app to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as you practice 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.
  7. macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I wouldn't worry too much about viruses and malware, I'd be more worried about getting caught.

    Then again I'm pretty paranoid. My friends were over and someone installed Utorrent on my machine and downloaded a movie without my knowledge (which I deleted asap) and I'm worried about getting a letter in the mail.

    I still don't know how they installed it without my password but oh well.
  8. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    µTorrent is just drag and drop, thus no password required. And no worries about one simple download, I have done plenty of illegal file sharing in my university years (TBs, in 2003 and 2004) and still got no letter, but that may be due to the less efficient tracking system back then.
  9. macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2012
    OK. This name game drives me nuts. There IS malware for the Mac. I would love to say my Mac can't get malware, but that is just not so. People use the term Virus to mean Malware. People correct others all the time on this. If someone asks for a Kleenex and you have only Puffs do you tell the person you don't have a Kleenex, or do you hand them a Puffs?

    Even Apple has admitted to Malware as we can assume from....
    Why would Safari have built in Malware detection if it can get it?

    Even with Apples word play they stated you are not immune.
    "....although no computer connected to the Internet is completely immune to all viruses and spyware"

    An Example:

    If you need more examples let me know or search for Mac Malware with Google, Bing, or other.
  10. Moderator emeritus


    Jul 28, 2003
    Citizens Bank Park
    I don't think that is a very good example. There isn't much difference between Kleenex or Puffs so it doesn't matter. There are meaningful differences between viruses, adware, trojans, etc.

    A beter example would be if someone used tissue to mean paper because tissues are a type of paper just like a virus is a type of malware. This would be a problem. They really might mean writing paper, paper towels, toilet paper, rolling papers, etc.
  11. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    If you read the posts in this thread, no one is saying there is no malware for OS X. There just are no viruses.
    And they should correct others. Using "virus" when you mean "malware" is like using "Corvette" when you mean "car". A Corvette is a car, but not all cars are Corvettes. A virus is a form of malware, but not all malware is in the form of viruses. It's really not that difficult to learn the correct terminology.
  12. macrumors 6502

    Mar 30, 2012
    Virus has become a synonym for Malware, just like Xerox and Kleenex. Even companies that make the software for Malware call it Antivirus software. This argument gets old and it is just semantics. When I had an SUV a long time ago my wife refereed to it as my car. Is it a I know what she meant... yes. If I would have corrected her constantly and said "is isn't a car, it is an SUV" would she punch me in the nose....Probably.

    I think the argument is that some think of a Virus as a synonym to Malware and others do not.

    Either way. I choose to be safe. I did run without until the 600,000+ Macs were infected with malware. I now run some protection.
  13. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Whether or not someone thinks they're synonyms is irrelevant. They're not. Unlike your other examples, there's a significant difference between "virus" and "malware" that determines what defense is appropriate.
    I choose to be safe by practicing safe computing, which avoids 100% of all Mac OS X malware in the wild, without the use of any 3rd party app.
    That trojan affected about 1% of Mac users and did not affect any Mac user that was practicing safe computing, as described.

    If you want to run 3rd party antivirus software, that's certainly your choice. It simply isn't necessary to keep a Mac malware-free.
  14. macrumors 6502a

    Dec 30, 2012
    Malware, viruses, who cares. It's semantics. In the general consciousness it means the same thing.

    Fine, i meant malware. So if I would have said, "You don't need an Antivirus because the only thing you will ever get is malware", is that supposed to make him breathe a sigh of relief?

  15. macrumors 68040


    Jun 29, 2006
    He won't even get malware if he has an ounce of sense.
  16. macrumors regular


    Dec 25, 2012
  17. macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    No, they don't mean the same thing and it's not just semantics. There are functional differences between viruses and other forms of malware that determine the need, or lack of need, for antivirus software.
    If they practice safe computing, they don't need to worry about any form of malware that exists in the wild. An antivirus app offers no added protection that safe computing doesn't already provide.
  18. thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2012
    Thanks for all the replies buys

    And sorry it developed into a semantics argument! :)

    For what it's worth, I feel that to "Joe Public" Malware=Virus. I know that it should it not be the case, but it is. It stems from peoples lack of knowledge (mainly from a disinterest in the matter) between the two types of problems. Joe Public just see's them as one and the same - "A problem on my computer caused by some software-y type thing. McAfee will fix it and i got that free on my samsung/dell etc etc"

    Thanks again for putting my mind at rest.
    Download Apps = Risk
    Download Docs = Safe(r)
  19. takeshi74, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013

    macrumors 601

    Feb 9, 2011
    Plenty do. If you don't care, fine. Don't just assume that no one cares.

    Why are you engaging in it then? If it's gets old move on and focus on what doesn't for you.

Share This Page