Virus Questions

Discussion in 'Windows, Linux & Others on the Mac' started by ghall, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. ghall macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #1
    I'm really paranoid about viruses in Windows because my Dell got a virus and fried itself.
    If you get a virus on your Windows partition, can it effect Mac OS X? Also, can viruses damage Macintosh hardware? Finally, is Windows Defender sufficient virus protection?

    Thanks.
     
  2. apfhex macrumors 68030

    apfhex

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2006
    Location:
    Northern California
    #2
    Windows Defender protects against Spyware, not viruses AFAIK. To really protect your system you should have: Firewall, Anti-virus, Anti-spyware.

    Chances are a Windows virus will only affect the Windows partition. It would have to do some really nasty stuff, like re-partition the whole drive to damage OS X. Also I've never heard of a virus that can damage the hardware, only situation I can think of is maybe overworking an already aging hard drive?
     
  3. ghall thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #3
    Thanks. I appreciate the response.

    Any good antivirus apps? (Free ones, preferably)
     
  4. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    WindowsXP (out of the box) cannot see/deal with HFS+ formated disks. Therefore, any generic virus/trojan/malware cannot see your OS X install (the HFS+ formatted volume) and therefore cannot do anything to it. At best it could nuke your NTFS/FAT32 partition.

    That being said, it's possible if one had MacDrive installed on the WindowsXP partition that a virus/trojan/malware COULD see your HFS+ formated volume, and theoretically could nuke it.

    or

    A specially crafted piece of malware specifically designed to see and target HFS+ partitions could nuke your OS X install.

    As noted, your first line of defense should be common sense use and current updates, followed by AV software, firewalls, and antispyware.



    I have no idea how Vista may change any (or all) portion(s) of this equation.
     
  5. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2003
    Location:
    1123.6536.5321
    #5
    My friend wrote a virus years ago that communicated with the controller of the hard disk and made it spin real fast causing the platter to physically crash, wrecking the HDD. That would do some damage regardless of OS/partition, but I doubt any viruses like that would be a viable threat anymore.
     
  6. ghall thread starter macrumors 68040

    ghall

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2006
    Location:
    Rhode Island
    #6
    Hmmm.

    So, let's say a virus did zap my Windows partition. Would it be possible to departition, and start from scratch?
     
  7. mischief macrumors 68030

    mischief

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2001
    Location:
    Santa Cruz Ca
    #7
    Yup. It's in bootcamp's options to nuke the Windows partition and start fresh.
     
  8. biggeek76 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    #8
    I use avast! on my pc - its free... don't have a mac yet, but just a few more days :)
     
  9. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #9
  10. 4JNA macrumors 68000

    4JNA

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2006
    Location:
    looking for trash files
    #10
    second the vote for the windows version of clam. works really well.

    also recommend AVG as the newly released version works really well, is fairly fast, and has a great user interface.
     
  11. phungy macrumors 68020

    phungy

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2006
    Location:
    FL/NY/TX
    #11
    But there is no need for any virus protection apps for OSX right? Or should I be careful?
     
  12. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #12
    Basically the only time your computer is a threat is when you receive and pass along possibly infected files. Like even if you download illegal music, it can't give viruses to YOUR Mac. But if the files are transferred from your Mac to a PC, they still have viruses on them. In principle, the PC should scan them on entry whether they come from your Mac or not, but....

    I have ClamXAV installed, and I run it occasionally out of curiosity. I had no viruses in my download files folder, but I did have some in my deleted e-mail.... suggesting for instance that those viruses had gotten through server-level cleansing.
     

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