Why no mac virus'?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by PYR0M310N, Dec 2, 2006.

  1. PYR0M310N macrumors 6502a

    PYR0M310N

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2006
    #1
    I was wondering what the reasoning behind there been no mac viruses was, as i found an article on the web saying that it's just that no mac users would want to, but by now a windows user would have to spite them.
     
  2. adiosk8 macrumors regular

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    Oct 20, 2006
    #2
    5% of the market share is hardly a good target for a virus author who intends serious damage and the structure of the OS make it harder to do. Their has been a bunch of exploits though, youtube the wireless exploit on macs.
     
  3. Rojo macrumors 65816

    Rojo

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    #3
    This is one reason I hope Macs never get TOO popular. I really don't want to have to deal with viruses the way PC users do...
     
  4. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

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    #4
    If we Mac users can look at porn without feeling free of worries... well, that's not a world I want to be a part of.
     
  5. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    Aug 6, 2006
    #5
    i can't say for sure about the reason, smaller market share is sure a good reason, maybe something in the core too.
    But hey, as long as its safer, I don't really care about the reason behind it. just like as long as firefox is safer than IE, I don't care if thats because firefox is a smaller target.
     
  6. adiosk8 macrumors regular

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    #6
    Firefox is safer then IE because firefox has a ton of people working on it who WANT to work on it and see it be great and not just work on something to get paid, like the people who work on the IE team.
     
  7. GreatDrok macrumors 6502a

    GreatDrok

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    #7
    You would think someone would succeed

    OS X has been out for 5 years now and still hasn't had a successful virus. Even with only 5% market share you would think someone would have managed by now if it was possible but they haven't. Heck, the sheer kudos for the developer among the black hats for a successful OS X virus should mean they would be working night and day on it and yet, here we are, five years later and still nothing.

    The reality is that viruses are a symptom of the poor design of Windows. The majority of users still run with full admin rights, tend to send stupid exe files to each other and use Office formats to send basic images which could just be sent as much safer JPGs for instance. OS X could never suffer as badly as Windows does simply because it better built so don't worry about market share. The market share could be reversed and Windows would still be the filthy pit of malicious code just because it is so easy to do these things.
     
  8. ChickenSwartz macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 27, 2006
    #8
    I am sure there are plenty of hard core Windows people that hate the fact that Macs don't get viruses and have tried to make them and try to shut up that line of advertising. So it must be something more than just market share.
     
  9. matthew24 macrumors 6502

    matthew24

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    #9
    Market-share is hardly a reason, the main reason is a thorough thought through design of the OS based on tested security principles. (BSD/Darwin)

    Vulnerabilities will be found, they will be hard to exploit and easy to patch, because of the extreme transparent design of the OS. OSX is not perfect yet, but it is in all important area's (security, stability, speed, multitasking, maintainability) far better than XP/Vista. Because of its current quality and the speed with which Apple improves/corrects and enhances her OS we don't really need to worry, but even at a convenient level we need to be watchful.

    GreatDrok hit the nail on the head: 'The reality is that viruses are a symptom of the poor design of Windows' (IOW any OS)
     
  10. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #10
    It is harder to write malware (virus/trojan/worm) for OS X because you have to work around the security model. It can be done; but when you're going for financial return - and most malware writers now seem to be - it doesn't make sense to spend significantly more time writing something targeted at 5% of the market, when a shorter time investment will open up 95%.

    So basically it's both factors in tandem - higher security standards plus low market share. However I've seen enough security-stupid people on this forum that I think it's only a matter of time before someone with an anti-Mac grudge puts something together. :rolleyes: And once they do, many people will spend all their time bickering "it's not a VIRUS, it's a WORM" as if it matters in the least... :D
     
  11. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

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    Aug 6, 2006
    #11
    hehe, I think you are right, probably both.
     
  12. breakfastcrew macrumors 6502

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    Jul 28, 2006
    #12
    didn't you guys read the article on the front page. It explains why macs have less viruses than pcs (for now).
     
  13. Radam macrumors member

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    Dec 3, 2006
    #13
    I think its because the linux people make all the virus's and they hate windows more than they hate mac....thats just my opinion i could be wrong.:D
     
  14. PYR0M310N thread starter macrumors 6502a

    PYR0M310N

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    Aug 29, 2006
    #14
    there must be some reason why you can't write them for OSX as otherwise Bill Gates would have written one himself just so they had to pull the Apple no virus ad's
     
  15. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #15
    It is not magic. It is called "good software design."
     
  16. sven945 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 2, 2006
    #16
    I was talking to someone the other day who said that one reason was that in OSX you have to put in a root password before any system changes are made (and in most cases, the computer would ask for a password before the virus can do its job). If that's really the case, couldn't a malicious program just wait until the OS innocently asked for the root password, but put up a false window infront of the real one, which then passes the password on to the real box, and recalls it to be used when the OS requires the password for the virus to do its job?

    I know the if it were that simple it would have been done by now, so I'm sure it's not possible that was. I'm just wondering why it's not possible.

    (And I do apologise if I've just hit upon something that might help virus writers everywhere ;))

    jack
     
  17. stadidas macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2006
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    #17
    The virus would still need your password to be launched and run, it couldn't start sitting and waiting unless you allowed it too.
     
  18. sven945 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 2, 2006
    #18
    Even if no malicious code had been run, only code that had been run was telling it to wait until the user next had to put in their password?

    jack
     
  19. adiosk8 macrumors regular

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    Oct 20, 2006
    #19
    yeah and apple didnt design most of it :)
     
  20. stadidas macrumors regular

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    Feb 27, 2006
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    Kent, United Kingdom
    #20
    Code cannot be downloaded and run without user authentication.
     
  21. lilfordbmx macrumors newbie

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    Jun 11, 2006
    #21
    i have a simple reason as to why there isn't one.

    every single thing you do on a mac is password protected.. a password can be hacked.. true, but it makes the hackers job a lot more difficult.
     
  22. Westside guy macrumors 601

    Westside guy

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    #22
    Actually this is widely believed but not correct. If you're in the admin group, any directory that's writable to admin - the Applications folder, for example - can be written to without authentication from the Unix end of things.

    If you know even simple Bash scripting you can prove this to yourself quite easily.

    This is one of the reasons not to use an admin-level account for your day to day stuff. Plus OS X handles things so well, it's really no harder to run as a non-admin than as an admin - when something needs admin permissions, you just have to type in the username and password of an admin account (instead of just your own password if you're running as an admin).
     
  23. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    USA
    #23
    And your point is ...?

    It truly amazes me how Microsoft has convinced the world that malware is the normal state of computer software. It is the normal state of Microsoft-written systems. Other operating systems had viruses, worms, and other such malware, but they were rare enough for each one to be news.

    Others wrote much of MacOS X—particularly Darwin—but Apple wrote most of System 1 through MacOS 9. All tolled, these OSes have something like 26 Mac-specific viruses among them. MacOS 9 had something like one OS-specific virus. Apple working by itself didn't do as well as all of the contributers to MacOS X working together. However, Apple has nothing to apologize for.
     
  24. ezekielrage_99 macrumors 68040

    ezekielrage_99

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2005
    #24
    Are you issuing a challange for all of those people who write viruses out there :confused:

    The reality is that most viruses are made by UNIX fans, Mac OSX is built on UNIX and Apple has a 5% to 10% marketshare so I doubt they would be too many wanting to write viruses or malware for Apple computers.
     
  25. thewhitehart macrumors 6502a

    thewhitehart

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    #25
    Yeah, maybe if we keep beating the topic to death like we do here, maybe someone will be kind enough to make us a virus we could all bitch about! :p
     

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