Why do we need Virex?

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by tech4all, Jul 7, 2004.

  1. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

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    Jun 13, 2004
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    NorCal
    #1
    Ok what is the point of having Virex or any anti virus software on OS X if Macs don't even have any viruses to begin with? Virex (and other AV apps) have definitions to some viruses out there, so does that mean that there are indeed viruses for the Mac OS X?

    And one more thing :D On my email accounts I sometimes get viruses which get detected by my Norton Anti Virus on my PC. If I access that same infected email message with my Mac, like with 'Mail', what would happen to the Mac (assuming the virus/worm does not infect Macintosh)? Would Virex detect and delete it, or would the virus/worm just go on the HD but not be able to run and infect since it can't run on OS X?

    Hope that made sense ;)
     
  2. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

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    Jun 14, 2002
    #2
    While there arent many viruses at all for Macs, I think those applications serve two purposes.

    1) Theyre a failsafe just in case there are some viruses you dont know about.
    2) I believe they can scan documents for Pc viruses, alliviating the headache of your friends calling wondering why you sent them a virus (Im not sure if it actually does this but it wouldnt be that illogical of a feature, dont you think?)
     
  3. Dr. Dastardly macrumors 65816

    Dr. Dastardly

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    #3
    The virus could still be on your Mac but it would be benign seeing that the virus targets files pertaining to a windows format. Therefor Norton is detecting the virus because your Mac has a virus, but it won't harm it either. It is still possible however to spread that virus to your PC.

    Does that make sense? :p
     
  4. tech4all thread starter macrumors 68040

    tech4all

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    #4
    Yea, thats what was I was thinking. Even though a Mac can not be infected with a (PC) virus, it can still hold it and tranfer it to a PC and spread it that way.

    So then would Virex have pretty much the same virus definitions as other anti virus apps for the PC? Thus most/all the virus defintions Virex has are for the PC (since OS X doesn't have any viruses)?
     
  5. mr_mac macrumors member

    mr_mac

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    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #5
    Woah !

    guys, the virus stored on your mac won't in ANY WAY spread on another machine unless you MANUALLY send them the file.

    It's coded in a language that the mac cannot understand. The PC cannot access the file unless you share your drive and they acces the file manually.

    Virus scanning software is TOTALLY useless. (Up to now) When a security flaw is discovered, Apple gets to work and fixes it. Keep your software up to date and you'll never have to worry about that.

    The only REALLY annoying Virus i ever saw was Autostart 9805 in Mac os 8 or so. Something like 7-8 years ago. I've been a Senior Mac tech for like 12-15 years now.

    Anyway, even if somebody creates a virus that can delete something or crash your system, OS X will ask you (in most cases) for your login/password to authorise the program. Just say no!

    Virus scanning softwares tends to slow down computer since they scan all files at all time and use precious CPU processing time.

    Final word,

    Don't install a Virus software. It's not worth the time wasted.

    Mrmac
     
  6. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

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    Jun 26, 2004
    #6
    I will laugh my ass off when (not if when) you get a virus. First off you can spread them to other computer and if you spead it to one of your PC friends by accencedent guess who going to get chewed out.
    2nd a lot of virus out there dont always run so you not going to know you have them until it to late.
    3rd many virus can run on you computer and you not going to notic anything happening.
    4th it takes so little CPU power it not even funny. The only pain in the ass I noticed with them is they are going to scan a document everytime you open it since many virus move on *.doc files or any document that is not a text file. that and it will scan any file that you download and save from the internet for a virus..... Hmmm does not seem like it wasting much cpu time since it does not scan 100% of the time. The only time it will kill the cpu is when you are running a full virus scan and those can be set 2 scan when you are not at the computer in the middle of the day or night.

    beside it better to be safe than sorry. And besided it only a matter of time before before there is a virus for macs that causes a problem. there is no if the true question is when. and when it happens every going to wish they had antivirus software. As mac become more common and the people start using them some going to figure out the virus. Hell it now that pear PC is starting to get on a lot of computer it going to happen sooner.
     
  7. Bigheadache macrumors 6502

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    Mar 1, 2004
    #7
    Alot of the latest gen AV scanners use heuristics, so even if they don't have a signature for a virus, there is some chance that the AV will catch it based on its behaviour (its not 100% of course). That's better than nothing.

    its foolish to believe that just because there aren't any viruses now, there won't be any in future.
     
  8. BakedBeans macrumors 68040

    BakedBeans

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    #8
    thanks for that... you took the words from my mouth.....
     
  9. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Los Angeles
    #9
    I'm scratching my head on this one. If there are no viruses for OS X, how can any antivirus software protect you? They need to know about the virus before they can do anything about it. The first day an OS X virus hits, we're all screwed--antivirus or not.

    I don't agree that you can spread a PC virus to a friend by accident--unless by "accident" you mean "carelessness". The virus, since it can't run on your computer, can't send itself. So you have to send it as an attachment. It's certainly possible to send a virus that way, but I haven't heard of it happening. It's a low probability and I would think that there would be certain "high risk" activities that would increase it. It would be sort of the "sharing needles" of the computer world.
     
  10. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

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    Jun 14, 2002
    #10
    Youre acting like we didnt know that already. Sheesh, we're not a bunch of n00bs here.
     
  11. Bigheadache macrumors 6502

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    #11
    AV software can help if it uses heuristics to detect viruses in addition to signature based scanning. It won't be 100%, but its better than nothing.
     
  12. virividox macrumors 601

    virividox

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    #12
    i used to use virex but then i realized i didnt need it so i deleted it
     
  13. tjwett macrumors 68000

    tjwett

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    May 6, 2002
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NYC
    #13
    Virex and all other anti-virus software use valuable clock resources behind the scenes and cause damage to your file system. there are no viruses for OS X. these products are a waste of money and of CPU. running these apps is about as helpful as walking around with a 75 pound steel Anti-Alien helmet on your head, just incase.
     
  14. mr_mac macrumors member

    mr_mac

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    May 1, 2004
    Location:
    Quebec, Canada
    #14
    Laugh as much as you want.

    If ever somebody comes out with a virus and Apple does not address the security issue within 2-3 days, then MAYBE, i'll consider, no, wait... Is there a way you think that when this virus comes out and starts spreading that it'll get in every Mac OS X computer in the world!!?

    Common. The reason why on PC that there's so many Virii is that M$ Windbloze has like 20000 security flaws to spread them.

    The kind of security flaws we got are like: "Safari can insert a page in a frame." This is critical. This will delete all files on your computer and spread all around the world!!

    No, i won't get a virus. Why? I use files and software with my brain. I think before i open something.

    A file that says Word installer that weighs 94k??? Is really somebody stupid enough to open that?

    sorry guys, i do not doubt your skills, it's only that some posts were unclear.

    This new post is aimed directly at timelessblur

    Mrmac
     
  15. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    #15
    Can you explain how this works or what exactly it looks for? How likely is is that a Windows virus and a Mac virus would share enough in common for current av profiles to pick one up on the Mac?
     
  16. 7on macrumors 601

    7on

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    Dress Rosa
    #16
    There's no way to future proof yourself. This one girl had al the latest us defs and the like and it scanned all the time (PC). Then her WMP stopped working. I fixed it but a week later a WMP9 removing virus was found. So she actually got the virus before it was added to the virus defs. The only safest way to avoid viruses and the like is with a hardware firewall. The simple file ones are easy to avoid though.
     
  17. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    Jun 25, 2002
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    #17
    MS Office viruses answer that. They can be designed carefully enough to run on both without change.

    If you run MS Office, it's wise to be protected.
     
  18. Timelessblur macrumors 65816

    Timelessblur

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    Jun 26, 2004
    #18
    I might like to point out virus that use those secirty flaws are normaly patch months before hand and I mean months (the Blaster virus used a hole that was patch that was issued several month before.) Never virus that have not been defined are normaly pick up by the bloodhound part of the AV software.

    It always better to be safe than sorry and I am looking at my taskmanger right now. lets see antivirus software and firewall is useing 0% of my processor and a a few megs of ram boy that a real program isnt I am down 3 megs of ram..... boy that puts a real dent in my system.
     
  19. slowtreme macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 27, 2003
    Location:
    Tampa FL
    #19
    Virex is worthless

    The only thing Virex (or any OSX virus scanner) is looking for is some MS word macros, and viruses that Virex themselves have created and published. And the Office macros can't run on thier own anymore, since v.X you have to authorize them.

    Frankly I'm very disturbed that:

    1) Virex sells it's software with no real market to sell to
    2) Virex has no market so they release source code to OSX exploits as "sample viruses".

    Eventually someone will use this, and it will be the fault of the people you are paying to protect you. Kinda sounds like the mob. You are paying Protection money, protection from Virex themselves.

    Doesn't seem like a company I want to give my money to.
     
  20. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

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    #20
    You're so disturbed that you're completely incorrect in statement number 2.

    McAfee/NAI/Dr. Solomon's have not introduced sample viruses. That was Intego who released sample proof-of-concept trojans, which are not viruses.
     
  21. FuzzyBallz macrumors 6502a

    FuzzyBallz

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    #21
    You don't, people are just paranoid. I wish people would send me viruses... I feel so lonely w/o any virus loving for the past 15 years, Mac or PC.
     
  22. rainman::|:| macrumors 603

    rainman::|:|

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    Feb 2, 2002
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    iowa
    #22
    Uh, being "safe than sorry" in this case is like, waiting an hour after eating to swim. It's entirely pointless. Sure, you won't do any damage by DOING it, but why on earth would you go to extra trouble for NO REASON?

    Apple patches vulnerabilities very quickly, MS's track record is not part of this. Point is, there are no viruses, and until there are, having antivirus software is a waste of time, money, and processor cycles.

    paul
     
  23. Bigheadache macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2004
    #23
    Heuristics doesn't use signatures. It scans for viruses based on "virus like" behaviour. Its by no means perfect but it can sometimes detect new viruses for which they don't have a signature for. On the PC side, some of the really good AV software, like nod32 will detect new viruses using heuristics as "unknown", and then send a sample back to their research centre for analysis.

    of course, this is not as good as having a signature for a virus, but for a "day zero" threat its better than nothing.
     
  24. g4cubed macrumors 6502a

    g4cubed

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    Jun 2, 2004
    #24
    ;) Thank you someone needed to say that. Here's a link to the article:http://www.eweek.com/article2/0,1759,1591852,00.asp
     
  25. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020

    Horrortaxi

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    Los Angeles
    #25
    That's what I'm asking about--what sort of viruslike behavior is it looking for? And would that behavior be the same on both platforms? I can see on Windows how this would work, but since the structure of the systems are so different and viruses on Windows take advantages of flaws that Mac OS doesn't have I"m wondering if a virus for Mac would look enough like one for Windows for the antivirus to catch.
     

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