Why DOESN'T someone make a virus for mac?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by G5Unit, Mar 6, 2007.

  1. G5Unit macrumors 68020

    G5Unit

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    Apr 3, 2005
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    I'm calling the cops
    #1
    I've been thinking this through. There are tens of millions of mac users out there, why no produce a virus that infects them? People say that it's not worth it because we only have about 6.5 percent market-share. But really, if a hacker could infect HALF of that, I'm sure the hacker would be very proud. And c'mon, the person who creates the first mac virus would be ridiculously famous. So why not?
     
  2. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #2
    probably since it is much easier to do it to windows.
     
  3. panoz7 macrumors 6502a

    panoz7

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    #3
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=285503

    In all seriousness though It seems like most hackers are after a challenge anyway. I really have no idea why more mac viruses haven't appeared.
     
  4. Fearless Leader macrumors 68020

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    #4
    becuase chuck noris uses a mac and nobody wants to tick that guy off. :p
     
  5. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

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    #5
    It is very hard to defeat Unix security. Those capable are usually making too much money making an honest living. The one exception is the companies making anti-virus software. I have serious doubts about their credibility.
     
  6. nichos macrumors 6502

    nichos

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    #6
    It's not too easy. As the above poster said permissions on *nix are much different than on windows. Every time you enter your password, OSX is basically running the sudo command. The sudo command stands for "super user do" so in order for a virus to mess your system up, it would have to authenticate first.
    On windows, everyone is a "super user." (Although that's a bit different in vista).

    No, to my knowledge, there are no complications in writing a virus to destroy your home folder (correct me if im wrong).
     
  7. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    Illinois
    #7
    More than zero?
     
  8. mrkramer macrumors 603

    mrkramer

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    #8
    THere have been one or two, that you had to be a complete idiot to get.
     
  9. yg17 macrumors G5

    yg17

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    St. Louis, MO
    #9
    Off topic, but that stray period you have in your sig after the white text made me think I had a dead pixel :eek:



    I guess I should scroll first then worry later :D
     
  10. EngBrian macrumors regular

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    Feb 7, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #10
    Same thing has crossed my mind as I have browsed the forums and seen that sig. But the scrolling thing really helps clear it up in a hurry.
     
  11. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Illinois
    #11
    Malicious programs that you had to authenticate. Not viruses.

    Maybe I'll change it to red to make it more dead-pixel-like.
     
  12. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    #12
    Trojans and rootkits abound in the unix world as well as in Windows, what's missing from these platforms are any of the easy replication paths that have long been exploited in Windows, e.g. boot sector viruses, Outlook/Outlook Express viruses, SMB/CIFS autorun shares, ... None of these have a particularly good analogue in anything but DOS/Windows.

    B
     
  13. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #13
    Isn't self replication the definition of a virus?
     
  14. zephead macrumors 68000

    zephead

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    Apr 27, 2006
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    in your pants
    #14
    Ahh, but I have one very often overlooked Mac OS X virus that all of you have overlooked, and I have just unleashed it upon this very post. And you all get the joy of experiencing it first-hand...











    :D
     
  15. balamw Moderator

    balamw

    Staff Member

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    #15
    Yeah, I was agreeing with you and trying to explain the difference between the exploits that exist for Mac and those that tend to plague Windows.

    I've actually had a Debian linux box we were using as an ftp server remotely rooted using known exploits*, so I know that unix security is not foolproof.

    B

    * Being Debian and not hardened it had an old sshd which had number of remotely exploitable holes. They couldn't actually get anything useful out of it since it was basically a temporary file drop.
     
  16. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    #16
    When used as an unprotected FTP and Web server, what vulnerabilities exist for the classic Mac OS, if any? Because I have one of those and it is quite heavily used...
     
  17. GFLPraxis macrumors 604

    GFLPraxis

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    #17

    There was one made by an antivirus company that was never released.

    There was also one that was released. You had to be an idiot, download and execute it, and then type in your username and password to install it. It also could not spread easily and Apple patched the vulnerability and the site hosting it went down; it had disappeared from the internet within the week.
     
  18. dpaanlka macrumors 601

    dpaanlka

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    Location:
    Illinois
    #18
    That's not a virus, as discussed above.

    By that definition, Disk Utility is a virus because it can wipe out whole hard drives after you authenticate it.

    As for that Symantec or whoever it was saying "we created a virus but we can't show it to you" thing - I'll have to say I'll believe it when I see it. Think who would benefit most from an announcement like that.
     
  19. bartelby macrumors Core

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    Jun 16, 2004
    #19
    I like to think is because people who use Mac generally aren't selfish ****ing morons who just enjoy screwing with people.
     
  20. ganjagecko macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2007
    #20
    virus makers...

    I heard once that people who make viruses for PC's, create them in Macs and then spread them :D.
     
  21. Chaszmyr macrumors 601

    Chaszmyr

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2002
    #21
    Here's a theory in argument form :cool:

    1. You have to be bitter about computers to want to make a virus.
    2. You have to be a Windows user to be bitter about computers.
    3. If know anything about Macs, you don't use Windows
    4. Following from 3, if you're a Windows user, you know nothing about Macs
    5. Following from 4 and 2, if you're bitter about computers, you know nothing about Macs
    6. Following from 5 and 1, if you want to make a virus, you know nothing about Macs
    7. Therefore, virus makers lack the necessary skills to create Mac viruses

    :apple:

    (While I'd bet this is true to some extent, it's not meant entirely seriously)
     
  22. nplima macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #22
    That would be true back in the days of Windows 95/98, when all disks were formatted as FAT. Any user could see other users' "my documents" :)

    with XP it's better, although a bit stupid. When you install the OS, the first user that is created is Administrator, which is a super-user. The setup procedure then asks you to create more users (at least one) and *that* one is a super-user too!
    Only after you're done installing XP you have the chance to open the control panel and create/change user accounts.

    The best (or the least damaging option) is to install XP while cut off from the internet, use that super user to setup everything you need (replacing Outlook and IE being 2 essential steps), then demote the original user account to run unprivileged. From then on, you only use the Administrator account when you really have to.

    This is just too complicated to make sense to regular, untrained users. OS X and Linux user privilege escalation makes so much more sense... Regardless of the technical bits, an over-confident (ie: ignorant) user is the worst thing.
    I suspect that a lot of users at this forum use a "sudo"-able account on their day to day activities. the day that a Mac Trojan turns up we'll see just how many of them are out there :D
     
  23. CaptainHaddock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
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    Nagoya, Japan
    #23
    I think that's part of it. The culture's different, and people who use Macs actually like the platform and enjoy helping each other out.

    For a similar reason, if some nasty spyware or malware appeared, word would spread so fast that it wouldn't have a chance. The programmers or company responsible would be immediately disgraced. Even big companies like Yahoo have shipped spyware with their official Windows software (Yahoo Messenger in this case), but wouldn't dare try it with the Mac version. The Windows version of World of Warcraft comes with spyware that can read your email, but not the Mac version.

    As for viruses (malicious code segments that attach to other programs) and worms (malicious programs that self-propagate over networks), OS X is simply more robust and much more difficult to infect. There are a thousand places for worms to hide on a Windows system, and many ways to get administrator access, which is why malware is such a problem.

    It's simply hard to write malware for OS X, and there's little reason to try when Windows presents such an easy target.
     
  24. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #24
    That is a very, very, very big IF.

    Now instead of infecting HALF of all Macintoshes, what about writing a nice shareware program that costs $10 and sell it to just HALF the Macintosh owners? That would make you a few hundred million dollars. And it wouldn't only make you proud, your mum and dad would be proud as well.
     
  25. ksgant macrumors 6502a

    ksgant

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2006
    Location:
    Chicago
    #25
    I read somewhere not to long ago that hacking and cracking are not like it used to be. Hackers today aren't really looking for the "challenge" or bragging rights. They're looking to make a buck more than anything else. Setting up shadow servers that email spam everywhere or keyloggers to steal credit-card numbers and passwords. So naturally they go after the biggest group with computers.

    It seems gone are the days of the people that just want to put up funny messages on your computer or destroy data for no reason. I'm sure there are some still out there, but they're just not targeting the Mac....yet.
     

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