Antivirus for macOS?

Discussion in 'macOS Sierra (10.12)' started by Jaylay14, Sep 8, 2016.

  1. Jaylay14 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    #1
    Can anyone recommend a free anti-virus/malware program to use with MacOS Sierra. When I upgraded the first time AVG wasn't supported!
     
  2. intofx macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2010
    #2
    Don't download pirated software and you won't need one.
     
  3. mildocjr macrumors 65816

    #3
    Common sense, no really, there aren't many viruses for Mac, yes there are viruses out there, but your risk is low, just don't go clicking on ads, unfamiliar websites, or big green download now buttons.
     
  4. Jaylay14 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2011
    Location:
    Edmonton, AB, Canada
    #4
    Thanks for not answering my question...

    Just an FYI there are numerous ways of getting Viruses/Malware. It's not just from downloading pirated content.

    I have yet to get a virus on my Mac, but I like to be safe than sorry.
     
  5. MistrSynistr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 15, 2014
    #5
    There is a malware bytes for MAC, for free. Just get that. I have it as a just in case, run it maybe once every 6 months. Never had an issue.
     
  6. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #6
    Unless you frequent naughty sites or the Dark Web, you don't need antivirus.
     
  7. Black Magic macrumors 68000

    Black Magic

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #7
    And don't install anything from an untrusted source.
     
  8. Feenician Suspended

    Feenician

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    #8
    I personally wouldn't bother running a real-time scanner type of AV on macOS. In fact I wouldn't technically run AV at all. You can get Malware Bytes anti-malware for free. Generally running a scan periodically, or after installing software you may feel is dubious after the fact, will be enough. That is unless you routinely engage in higher risk activities such as downloading/installing pirated software and using things like keygens for example. In that case you should probably have AV software up the wazoo because you will get something, sooner or later
     
  9. rnbwd macrumors regular

    rnbwd

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle
    #9
    malwarebytes was recommended by people working at apple. Sometimes I dabble with the software made by objective-see - because it's free, simple, no gimmicks. Just read notes on what was patched in recent security updates. If repeating the mantra 'mac's can't be infected by a virus' makes you sleep better at night, go for it. Just don't watch any security conferences...
     
  10. ajay96 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2013
    #10
    I know that Malwarebytes is working on macOS, as i just ran a scan a couple of mins ago. For an AV, i don't think the popular ones have been upgraded as of yet. I think Sophos works though.
     
  11. Black Magic macrumors 68000

    Black Magic

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    #11
    Agreed. Be careful with spam email as well. They are dying for you to click on the content.
     
  12. Feenician Suspended

    Feenician

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    #12
    Yep, very true. Email might even be the #1 vector at this point.
     
  13. simon lefisch macrumors 6502a

    simon lefisch

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    #13
    As most everyone else has said, you don't really need an AV. I've had my MBP for 4 years and have never gotten a virus. Install Malware Bytes and run every so often.

    If you really want a machine to visit suspicious site (or whatever you want to do), create a Windows VM. Make a copy of the virtual disk and store it somewhere else and use the VM for whatevs. If it gets infected, you can delete the virtual disk (and the virus), copy the VM you have stored elsewhere and continue on.

    Just a suggestion tho......
     
  14. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #14
    AFAIK, Malwarebytes is the most recommended scanner for OS X. Between that app and the built-in OS X scanner, you should be fine. Resident anti-virus software is mostly pointless because they it doesn't do anything — after all, there are no viruses on OS X to begin with :)
     
  15. RumorzGuy macrumors 6502

    RumorzGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Guam, Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
    #15
    Since becoming a dedicated Mac user in 1990, and purchasing my very first personal Mac in 1993, I have had one machine infected only ONE time, and that was due to my own stupidity many years ago as a novice Mac user.

    Yes, Macs are extremely safe compared to Windows machines. However, while a lot of good advice has been offered in this thread which I most certainly agree with, nevertheless, I find the laid back attitude that is expressed by some of the posters here to be rather troubling.

    Yes, we all know that viruses, trojans, key loggers, etc., often result from visiting questionable websites, clicking on links that shouldn't be clicked on in email messages, installing tampered software, etc. We also know that Windows machines are usually the targets.

    However, we also need to remain attentive to the fact that with each passing year, hackers are becoming more and more sophisticated in their methods, and this will continue to occur as Apple grabs more market share. Apple devices are not ignored by hackers as much as they used to be. Furthermore, having a false sense of security, and believing that you are safe, is exactly what such individuals count on. They want to catch you with your pants down.

    So my personal philosophy is "Better safe than sorry". I would rather be prepared and not need it, than need it, and not have it. If one has an "always-on" Internet connection, such as a cable modem, and runs Internet services such as a web server, FTP server or mail server, even more so, machine security needs to be taken into consideration.

    Some of you would be absolutely shocked to learn how often during the course of a single day, an always-on connection is attacked by botnets looking for vulnerabilities in your system. I see it here daily firsthand.

    Thus, I use Little Snitch and ClamXav, and I also have installed EtreCheck and Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, both of which I occasionally run.

    Again, even if you don't use it often, it is better safe than sorry.
     
  16. angrytoothbrush macrumors regular

    angrytoothbrush

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #16
    I use malwarebytes. Pretty much all i feel like i need.
     
  17. nontroppo macrumors 6502

    nontroppo

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #17
  18. RumorzGuy macrumors 6502

    RumorzGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Guam, Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
    #18
    I had a look at their offerings. They do have some interesting stuff there which is a little beyond my personal comprehension, but I may test a few of them, just out of curiosity. :)
     
  19. rnbwd macrumors regular

    rnbwd

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2015
    Location:
    Seattle
    #19
    I'm not an expert - just a causal user who occasionally reads blogs and youtube security conf videos, but i'm under the impression that the sophistication of malware (and maybe viruses) this year had grown to unprecedented levels.. The times are changing. I truly believe MacOs / iOS is probably the most secure (consumer) OS avail. But I'm worried that the geopolitical arms race, the decades of hidden vulnerabilities that people pay millions to hide from Apple, I'm worried about the integrity of those companies and whether or not they're being hacked. To hide security vulnerabilities from apple so that they can sell them to the highest bidder, that's not a good model. I will admit that KnockKnock is my favorite . But its meant for prevention and security conscious consumers. It appears to analyze 10x more files than malwarebytes, but I think it's legit. What Im concerned about.. is.. when.. not if.. but when... **** could get crazy. I really hope this doesn't happen, but let's look back on this 2 years from now and see what the state of our platform looks like. I don't want another virus surge to occur, but honestly, I'm afraid we can't prevent what will happen, and we need to start prepping now. Like that history channel show where people started preparing for the apdopocalypse haha - but seriously. the times of safe macs might come to an end, and an ecosystem of security aware software will become more important as time goes on.
     
  20. simonmet, Sep 12, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016

    simonmet macrumors 65816

    simonmet

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, New South Wales
    #20
    There's no evidence that the security risk for the average consumer is worsening, rather its improving (in my opinion) because of increased attention and efforts by the major OS manufacturers (Apple included) to improve their OSs by way of things like sand-boxing and segregated permissioning systems as well as from security and privacy-concerned groups.

    The thing about antivirus is that even they can't necessarily protect a user against their own actions. Some might even be a risk or vector themselves. There was a damning report about Norton earlier this year. What really helps is improved literacy and understanding of where and how security threats can penetrate your system.

    By and large the biggest risk is from an installer that you yourself grant permission to run, especially if it requests administrator privileges. Very few software packages should require such access and fortunately very few do (on the Mac side at least). If you come across such an installer you should ask questions like whether it's from a reputable company and website and what the reasons are for requiring administrator privileges.

    Aside from this the biggest threats are probably to your own privacy, but that's a completely separate issue.
     
  21. RumorzGuy macrumors 6502

    RumorzGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Guam, Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
    #21
    In my view, that is kind of a contradictory statement. In other words, if the security risk for the average consumer is not worsening, then Apple would not be taking the steps that it has been taking in recent years with sandboxing, SIP, removing the ability to install software from any developer, etc. In my view, Apple's very actions are a very loud statement that they are more than aware that the situation is growing worse by the year, and that Apple devices are being attacked more than ever before.

    You say that there is no evidence, yet I see evidence everywhere. As we all know, in recent years, U.S. military websites, U.S. government websites, software giants such as Adobe, large online retailers, banks, etc., have all be hacked into.

    Even if hackers concentrate on major websites such as the above, it still affects us directly. In my own life, due to no fault of my own, in recent years, my credit card was compromised twice, and had to be replaced twice. That was a major hassle which took months.

    At this very moment, there are literally millions of computers around the world which have become slaves to botnets, and in most cases, the computer owners don't even realize it. Granted, most of the infected machines are probably not Macs . . . at least not yet.

    My point is, there is indeed evidence of a growing threat, a lot of evidence. To believe otherwise is to live in a bubble, which I personally refuse to do. I prefer to be proactive, and safe, rather than sorry.

    The bottom line for big anti-virus companies is the profit margin. Without an atmosphere of constant fear and paranoia, which induces people to purchase their products, they make no money. Thus, I have no doubt that they purposely hype up the threats in some cases. I am really not sure how much we should trust them.

    I don't know if I would classify installers as the biggest risk -- how do we honestly gauge that? -- but I will agree that installers are indeed one common way in which hackers gain access to an untold number of machines. The fake Adobe Flash installer message is one good example.

    As I have said before, we need to take personal responsibility for our actions on our own machines. We need to be careful what we install, what links we click, what emails we open, etc.

    Yet at the same time, there is only so much that we can do as individual computer owners. Tragically, as we have all heard and learned in recent years, some of the biggest culprits are the online companies and institutions themselves, who do not take our security as seriously as we do. Shame on them all!

    In my view, anyone who honestly believes that true, 100% online privacy and anonymity still exists is fooling themselves, and living in a dream world. Hackers aside, and national governments aside, even your local ISP, or someone else down the chain, can access a lot of your personal data if they really want to. Packets can easily be sniffed. Most things are traceable to your NIC card, to your IP address, to your email address, to your name, or to something else. Even with encryption, a good hacker only needs enough time.
     
  22. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #22
    The problem is that there are a lot of big and popular software suites which have really horrible installers and in many ways disregard the consumer interests. Any software piece that runs with elevated privileges is a potential weakness. This is also why I am very skeptical of resident antivirus software (there are known examples where such software was successfully exploited). On the Mac side, big suites like software from Adobe and Microsoft for some reason require administrator access to your computer and litter it with tons of components in tons of places. While at the same time, Apple is able to package entire server resp. development infrastructure inside a single app bundle.
     
  23. RumorzGuy macrumors 6502

    RumorzGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Location:
    Guam, Mariana Islands, U.S.A.
    #23
    Thanks for bringing up this point. I have felt for some time now that single app bundles are the way to go. If Apple can do it, then all developers who write apps for the Mac platform should be able to do it as well. In fact, I think that Apple should lay down the law, and demand it of all macOS developers.

    Furthermore, I think that Apple should eventually do away with the need for an app to have a folder in the ~Library/Application Support folder, in the ~Library/Preferences folder, and everywhere else where current apps to need to place files in order to function properly on macOS.

    Everything -- and I mean every single file that is related to a particular app -- should be located in the app bundle in the "Applications" folder, and nowhere else. If it were eventually possible to do this, just think what a huge step it would be for our computer security. If an app takes even one step to install something anywhere else, it would immediately raise a red flag and send out Apple's search and destroy bots. :p :)

    The above may sound a bit extremist to you, but if we are going to talk about sandboxing, then let's REALLY sandbox all the way. :)
     
  24. simonmet, Sep 12, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016

    simonmet macrumors 65816

    simonmet

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2012
    Location:
    Sydney, New South Wales
    #24
    Not sure we share the same perspective on things (we have to agree to disagree) but let me add a few more points.

    Apple being proactive on security doesn't (necessarily) mean it's because the level of threat is increasing. Rather it could be because of increased awareness and the subsequent higher standards demanded from users, the outcome of which is a lower overall risk. I'm old enough to have seen awareness and concern about security and privacy go from being fairly minimal and predominant only among technophiles to becoming mainstream.

    On the Windows side, security was traditionally very bad so improvements there are a case of them catching up to what was already a fairly high threat and risk scenario. Again the result for the end user has been a decreased level of threat and risk so long as they keep updated. I do agree that where there is a threat it's becoming more sophisticated in response to improvements in security, but for end users keeping their software up to date and security-patched keeps them pretty effectively ahead in this cat and mouse game.

    I wonder how many of those botnet computers are using recent and activated OS or are they predominantly Windows 7/XP and older? I have first hand experience with a virus-compromised brand new PC about 10 years ago, likely due to terrible or compromised bundled bloatware. I remember one of the manufacturers being exposed and ridiculed for their woefully flawed bundled software. All the companies are now on notice that this no longer acceptable. They can and will be exposed for their flaws and the public now expects fixes immediately.

    I too had a credit card compromised once, about 3 or 4 years ago I think. I'm certain it happened when connected to an unsecured hotel Wi-Fi. I'm not sure what if any improvements have occurred in this space but I'm hoping there have been some. Also, You can't really equate hacking of corporate systems with that of an average end user. One is a targeted attack, viruses and such tend to be opportunistic.

    If you have the current versions of Mac and Windows the risk has probably not been lower. But this is my opinion. Does this mean the threat is greater? For the end user I don't believe so. I also don't believe the need for antivirus software on the Mac has increased in the past 10-15 years.
     
  25. leman macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    #25
    Yeah, that is a bit too extreme :) Unfortunately, I am not too familiar with how sandboxing on OS X works in detail, but it already should take care of most things you mention (not all apps a re sanded of course, nor should they be!). Preferences and Application Support folders make a lot of sense (for instance if you want to uninstall an app but keep its settings or restore the settings from earlier versions), but some apps do abuse them. I would indeed like to see more restrictions here.

    But the thing with app bundles is really a shame. OS X offers a very rich infrastructure for packaging apps, and its unforgivable that the giants like MS and Adobe can't get their stuff together to offer a proper bundle.
     

Share This Page