Some general spyware/virus/firewall/internet sharing questions

Discussion in 'macOS' started by LukeW, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. LukeW macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    #1
    I have a few quick questions. I have used Macs for about two years now but after reading about key logging and identity theft and all sorts of crazy stuff, I started to wonder. Anyway, could anyone answer any of these quick questions for me -

    1) I know viruses and spyware cant run on Mac because obviously they are designed to run on Windows, but can they be passed on from PC to Mac and then visa versa without it being the original infected file that is being transferred, if you know what I mean? Mainly because I do a lot of quick design stuff where people send me CD's and emails with images and info on it, and then I send back updated stuff etc, so it is more just for my peace of mind.

    2) I assume keylogging acts just like a virus too, so I never have to worry about that for the time being, right?

    3) Should I have the built in Firewall on? What are the benefits / cons? I am connected to bit torrent but apart from downloading the odd legal anime I dont use it much at all really so downloading isnt much of an issue.

    4) I have a room mate (shared building) who has a Mac too (iBook) and since I am the one connected to the broadband I let him access the internet through my iMacs built in aiport by me going and creating a network through Sharing in perferences. While I use my Mac mainly for professional stuff and generally keep to a set of safe websites (graphic design and music mainly) I am never that worried about picking anything up, but I have no idea what perverted stuff he could be getting up to, so is there any risk of files or other stuff coming onto my machine while it is sharing? I know he has downloaded music and my iTunes has popped up with a Limewire section, which he promptly got a bitching at about, but I made me wonder if anything else has come through. Or if it is my IP address and not his that would be showing up! Can anyone shead some light on that?

    Many thanks in advance!
     
  2. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #2

    Whilst this is possible it is both unlikely and the PC receiving your files should detect any problems with its own antivirus software. I used to have antivirus apps on my Macs for this very reason (I still work a lot with Windows) but have since ditched it. I've gone about two years with no problems and my Macs run as smoothly as can be. Antivirus on the Mac is unnecessary IMO. :)



    True. I wouldn't worry about this either. :)



    I leave mine off because I have a firewall built into my modem/router. You should only ever need one firewall and most modern modems have them already. Check what brand of modem/router you have and if it doesn't have a firewall, then turn the Mac's on. :cool:



    You'll be fine. His biggest problem will be malfunctioning and incomplete software but this obviously won't affect you directly. Having said that, running LimeWire can slow a network down both by sapping the throughput and also by crippling the connection due to its buggy coding. You'll notice this because the internet pretty much won't work or will be incredibly slow. Shutting of LimeWire on his machine and possibly rebooting the modem will fix this. :cool:
     
  3. erikamsterdam macrumors regular

    erikamsterdam

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2006
    Location:
    amsterdam
    #3
    1) There might be a tiny chance that a file is infected with a virus, and it won't affect your Mac. But when passed on to a Window$ PC it might infect it. For example with an Excel macro virus. But really it's the PC user's responsibility to protect themselves.

    2) Correct. Nothing like that for the Mac

    3) & 4) Get a wireless router for your internet connection with a built in firewall. You don't want to run any risk compromising your Mac as a professional user, and it looks like your roommate does quite some dirrrrty stuff in the internet. The Mac does not have any open ports by default, so turning the firewall on is not necessary normally. But a firewall in a router is a good habit anyway.
     
  4. LukeW thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    #4
    Yes, I have noted that his Limewire slows down the internet on my end, but thankfully he seems only to be downloading music now and again so it isnt on too much, and after I complained about it popping up on iTunes he seems to have stopped. I am mainly just puzzled as to why it should pop up in the first place, being as he has downloaded them onto his computer, so why should I have access to those files on my system? :confused: Granted I think I dont actually have them on my system so much as they are just being linked to on his system, but it has made me concerned now that his internet files (pictures on websites, cookies etc) that he may have picked up would be going through my system too. Just have to hope its nothing illegal!! :p Not that I have any proof that he is up to anything, but, you know, we're students...
    Not so worried about the virus thing now, thanks. My main concern was not so much that the infected file would get passed back, but more that the virus could spread onto other files, and while not be able to do anything to my system, it might somehow attach to them anyway and be carried that way, but I guess they would have to be able to travel first and if OSX is that much more different to Windows it wouldnt be able to.
    I have NTL provide broadband and they give me the modem to use so I have no idea if it provides a firewall. I am not very good in regards to networking so I have no idea how to find out if it does or doesnt.
    If I doesnt should I turn on the Mac one? Is my Mac at risk? :(
     
  5. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #5
    I wouldn't bother with the firewall but I guess sit can't hurt. LimeWire has a 'feature' which taps into the sharing abilities of iTunes to set the LimeWire downloads as a playlist on the network the machine with LimeWire resides upon. It only works when LimeWire is running as far as I know.

    If the network suddenly screams to a halt, tell him to turn LimeWire off. The safety of your machine throughout all of this should remain pretty much 100% intact. I can't see that there's anything to worry about. :)
     
  6. LukeW thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    #6
    Thanks :)
     
  7. thegreatluke macrumors 6502a

    thegreatluke

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2005
    Location:
    Earth
    #7
    Unless you have a specific reason against it, the Mac OS X firewall should be on.

    A Mac is hackable (even if it's a lot less easily hackable than Windows). With the firewall on, you're virtually unhackable.

    If a hacker hacks a Mac, (s)he won't make your computer a spam zombie server (for obvious reasons), but that's no reason (s)he won't leave you porn ads or something.
     

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