Anti Virus Software?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mpossoff, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. mpossoff macrumors 68020

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    Philadelphia
    #1
    We were just given a year old Mac and wanted to know if we need an anti virus?
     
  2. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #2
    You will get a lot of discussion, opinions and argument
    But you honestly don't need it

    Just use common sense, only download from reputable sites and only enter your admin password if you are absolutely sure of what you are doing
     
  3. theloon macrumors member

    theloon

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2007
    #3
    Depends...

    True you might not need it for your Mac, however in the interest of not sending on viruses to your Windows friends I have found it useful.

    I migrated from Windows to Macs about 5 years go, and never looked back. However having scanned all my files with VirusBarrier X6 from Intego it found about 25 different Windows viruses in doc and excel and some binary files.

    Windows scanners had of course missed them...

    All that said, it does at least give you some confidence that your data is clean and you are not perpetuating a problem.

    Everyone has a different take on anti-virus for Mac. MY personal view is I like clean, or as clean as it can be, data.

    My Mac's are all 2 or less years old, and I notice no performance problems running anti-virus from Intego.

    my 10 cents

    :apple:
     
  4. iDuel macrumors 6502a

    iDuel

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    #4
    You don't need it. Period. There are no viruses for OSX in the wild.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    #5
    It is really not that clear cut. Read the post above yours.
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #6
    You don't need any antivirus software to protect Mac OS X from malware. No viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any, since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install:
     
  7. DarkVinda macrumors regular

    DarkVinda

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    Sep 9, 2010
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #7
    i don't use anything besides clamxav - that is only because i send stuff to an administrator on a school network 400+ pc's and 5 servers and want to save them the aggro of me passing something along...

    also i use it as i normally spend 1/2 my working week dealing with virus's on customers computers and don't wanna share anything to the windows world...
    via my trusty pen drive :D


    as for an out & out mac av then its prob not needed if you have common sense...
     
  8. Tanax macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #8
    So.. there are absolutely no viruses in the wild that can run on Mac OS X ... except for a handful of trojans. Wow. That must be the most ignorant post I've ever read.

    You have absolutely NO idea what the future holds. And you have NO idea of how well people can mask a download to pretend that they are a reputable website. And there are also reputable websites that gets hacked and have viruses uploaded to them so people who then visit this "reputable" website gets infected.

    You should at all times have an anti-virus installed, in my opinion of course. I always believed that "better safe than sorry" when I was running PC and I sure as hell haven't changed my view on that after switching to Mac.

    You are of course entitled to your own opinion, that is fine.

    For the sake of keeping this on-topic though, he did ask for anti-virus programs for Mac and barely anyone have actually suggested anything. Instead people are telling him not to get an anti-virus because there are "no"(except there are several) viruses for Mac OS X.

    Does no anti-virus programs exist for Mac??
     
  9. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #9
    New to Mac? Check out the links found below in my sig.
     
  10. GGJstudios, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #10
    Yes, that's absolutely correct.
    Neither does antivirus software. It can't protect you from malware that doesn't yet exist.
    Name one such instance where a reputable, trusted site such as download.cnet.com was hacked and infected files were downloaded. While it's not impossible, the likelihood is extremely remote. Even if it happened, as soon as computers were infected, news media would be buzzing with the news, warning people, and the site would be cleaned. Any malware infection affects only a tiny percentage of users, since the news of such an unlikely event would spread faster than the malware itself.
    As already stated, no antivirus app can detect a virus that doesn't yet exist, since it doesn't know what to look for. You're no safer running antivirus on Mac OS X than you are without it, as long as you practice safe computing.
    You're certainly welcome to choose whatever course of action you prefer, but the malware environment for Windows is very different than it is for Mac OS X. There are viruses in the wild that can infect Windows without the user's knowledge or permission, so practicing safe computing can't protect you from all forms of Windows malware that exist in the wild. The same is not true for Mac OS X.
    If you read the link that I posted, you would find a recommendation for those who prefer running antivirus.
    Name one.
    Yes, they do. Again, read the link I posted.
     
  11. iDuel macrumors 6502a

    iDuel

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  12. munkery, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011

    munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #12
    Quote from article concerning malware being spread via Mac software download sites.



    Version Tracker has been rebranded as CNET Download.


    When sites related to software repositories are hacked, the hackers typically use already known malware.


     
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Those sites weren't hacked and no malware was injected into known safe apps. Instead users installed apps such as screensavers and gave explicit permission to those apps to collect data from the user's system. Giving such permission to an app from a Russian website isn't practicing safe computing.

    Mac OS X OpinionSpy – same old, same old
     
  14. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #14
    No, the sites weren't hacked.

    Even worse, the maintainers of the sites allowed the apps to be hosted from the sites by falling for social engineering.

    The app developers appeared legitimate enough to warrant the apps to be hosted from the site.

    Subsequently, the apps were considered as known safe apps until the apps were discovered to be malicious.

    So, "known safe apps" are not always safe.

    Hacking the websites negates the malware developers from having to apply social engineering to get the maintainers to host the malware.

    Regardless of the method used, already known malware is often used in these types of incidences.
     
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #15
    Which is why antivirus can't protect you from such situations, as they wouldn't detect such apps as malicious. Using common sense and not installing such apps and giving them explicit permission to track information on your computer would protect you even when antivirus software would not.
    A screensaver app from a Russian website is not what I would consider a "known safe app".
     
  16. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #16
    Newer versions of OS X (SL and Lion) include a basic anti-malware scanner by default.

    So, those using more recent versions of OS X already have anti-malware installed.

    This default anti-malware scanner has some limitations. Some users may want to use an alternate third party AV solution as well.

    See #8-10 in the "Mac Security Suggestions" link in my sig for more details.
     
  17. the mac docter macrumors newbie

    the mac docter

    #17
  18. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #18
    If the malware is already known as is common in this type of malware distribution method, then AV software will detect the threat.

    Not all malware will explicitly ask for permission to track the user. Most malware collects sensitive data without the users consent.

    Given the hard sell that you did earlier in this thread concerning CNET Downloads, I think you are now being disingenuous by insinuating that you do not explicitly trust the content available to download from that website.

    Also, there would be a lot of legitimate software that would be considered not safe if users made negative attributions about the apps based on the country of origin of the developer.
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #19
    That wasn't the case here, and it wouldn't be the case for a non-existent future malware.
    No Mac OS X malware can be installed in the first place without the user's consent.
    That site wasn't hacked and known safe apps weren't modified and infected with malware. Not all apps are advisable, even if they don't contain malware.
    While the country of origin of the developer shouldn't be the sole criteria in determining the legitimacy or advisability of an app, it's certainly a factor worth considering. When you combine that information with the fact that an app asks permissions to track information on your computer, caution is advised.
     
  20. Mac User55 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    #20
    If you are planning on getting a virus software get Clamxav.
     
  21. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #21

    If users believe that software is safe, then they will provide consent for the installation. This applies to the example concerning CNET Download.

    If it includes a privilege escalation exploit or only installs with user level privileges, then malware can install without the user's consent in Mac OS X.

    You already know this to be true but you persist to present a falsehood in relation to this fact.
     
  22. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #22
    As you already know, no Mac OS X malware exists in the wild that installs itself without user consent.
     
  23. munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    Dec 18, 2006
    #23
    That doesn't mean that it is not possible.

    Using a two layer protection scheme that includes both applying safe computing practices and an anti-malware solution is more effective than only relying on one layer of protection.

    Applying safe computing practices should be the primary line of defense. But, anti-malware software is good to have in the event that the user makes a mistake.
     
  24. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #24
    As we've already had this discussion in another thread, I'll quote my response from there:
     
  25. munkery, Sep 3, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2011

    munkery macrumors 68020

    munkery

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    #25

    Also, quoted below is my response to your post from that same thread.


    BTW, why do you never mention that OS X includes an anti-malware scanner by default in your malware related posts or in your malware link?

    It seems that it would be pertinent for users to know that it is present and its limitations so that it can be used effectively.
     

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