Virus Protection and Internet Security

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by cgkrick, Oct 12, 2005.

  1. cgkrick macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #1
    New to Mac. What software is available to provide firewall, virus protection, and spyware for Macs similar to Norton Internet Security?
     
  2. Steve1496 macrumors 6502a

    Steve1496

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
  3. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #3
    In the System Preferences, under Sharing, there's a Firewall tab. You can turn on the inbuilt Firewall from there if you're feeling really paranoid. I personally haven't bothered.

    As for viruses and spyware, they don't yet exist for Macs. :)
     
  4. VanMac macrumors 6502a

    VanMac

    Joined:
    May 26, 2005
    Location:
    Rampaging Tokyo
    #4
    If your on broadband, a router with built in firewall is preferred over the software implemenations.
     
  5. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #5
    Only if you're prepared to do some tweaking. Out of the box, most router firewalls are pretty pathetic.

    It's a good idea to turn on and configure OS X's built in firewall. There's no need for Norton (which makes things worse, usually) or spending any money, but it's good practice to close all the ports you don't need. If you take that simple step now, you won't regret it in the future. Even though there isn't any source of spyware, having 60,000+ open ports that you're not even watching doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
     
  6. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #6
    Doesn't OS X come out of the box with all the ports closed anyway? Don't get me wrong I'm not saying don't enable the firewall, I'm just saying there is no way OS X (or any decent UNIX like OS) would have 60K ports open. ;)
     
  7. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #7
    Not if you turn off the firewall. ;)
     
  8. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    I'm pretty sure I've nmap'd my PowerBook from my Power Mac before and no ports were open. A quick check of system preferences shows the firewall isn't on either. I know I haven't turned it off. I'm behind a decent firewall anyway so I don't care.
     
  9. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #9
    Well the only way to close ports is via a firewall, and more specifically in the OS X case, iptables. So whether checked or unchecked in System Preferences, you are running iptables to keep unused ports closes, AFAIK. Disabling the firewall completely is probably something no one ever does (disabling the iptables service, I mean), so you're right in that regard :).
     
  10. Quartz Extreme macrumors regular

    Quartz Extreme

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    Location:
    Outside of the box
    #10
    All broadband routers today use NAT, which offers a decent level of protection for home networks. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NAT. But, if you are instead directly connected to your DSL/Cable modem, then in that case, it is definetly a good idea to turn on the OS X firewall.
     
  11. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #11
    A very good point. I'd completely forgotten about NAT firewalls making it into home routers. Mostly because I've tried to repress my memories of the very large Cisco ones, with control panels and blinking lights and holy crap what a nightmare that one week was.
     
  12. risc macrumors 68030

    risc

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #12
    Um WTF OS X is a BSD not a Linux, it does NOT use iptables! You mean ipfw?
     
  13. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

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    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #13
    You CAN use iptables, but yes, I meant ipfw, not that there's a significant difference.
     
  14. i4k20c macrumors 6502a

    i4k20c

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    #14
    So if you turn on the firewall.. than how do u open up a specific port..say for bitorent apps..?
     
  15. matticus008 macrumors 68040

    matticus008

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2005
    Location:
    Bay Area, CA
    #15
    You create a new rule, name it something useful like "music pirating ;)" and choose what ports you want to open. Most major applications, if they need special firewall modifications, automatically make an entry in the firewall list, and you then only need to check the box to allow the traffic.
     
  16. FFTT macrumors 68030

    FFTT

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2004
    Location:
    A Stoned Throw From Ground Zero
    #16
    Many users consider Little Snitch an essential personal firewall that allows you to configure preset allows and denys.
    It also alerts you any time your system is trying to dial out.

    You may also want to look into Intego NetBarrier or IPNetSentry.

    I would avoid Nortons completely for Mac.
    McAfee Virex is still having CPU hoggage problems as well.

    You won't need anti-virus apps to protect YOUR machine, but it
    won't hurt to use free ClamXav to prevent anything from going through
    your system to others.

    If you're running P2P, you may want to consider running PeerVanguard.
    If you're really paranoid, you can try PGP desktop.
    Full military grade encryption.
     
  17. Aliquis macrumors regular

    Aliquis

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2004
    Location:
    Utah
    #17
    some people will recommend that if you are going to use an antivirus, you may want to use Norton. I have found though that Norton on Mac acts like a lot of installed PC apps, in that it will install dependencies all over the place, and trying to clean up the install (either by hand or with norton's uninstall function) is very weak at best.

    I used to just use Virex to scan certain folders, and that may work well for you as well. I believe they fixed the bug of Virex running the CPU stuck at 100% buy you should check first.

    at any rate virex is very lightweight, does its job well, and for what it's worth, there hasn't been a virus yet to be written for the mac. the only thing that came close was a script that would erase the users home directory, and it had to be manually clicked by the user.
     

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