any free-ware virus scanners?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by bryanc, May 31, 2004.

  1. bryanc macrumors 6502

    Feb 12, 2003
    Fredericton, NB Canada
    I work at a university department with both Macs and Windows machines. Our network support people, in their infinite wisdom, have decided to deal with the plague of viruses (all of which are target windows) by instituting a policy that says all computers must run anti-viral software or they will be banned from the network (I basically agree with this...but I don't think it should apply to Mac or Linux machines, which simply need to be kept up-to-date with patches). When it was pointed out that there are no viruses for OS X, they said they didn't care, and that OS X machines must also run anti-viral software or be banned.

    The department has a site-licence for Norton anti-virus, and I installed it on my powerbook. It took me several days of screwing around to un-install it and undo the damage it did to my system. Without going into a rant on the evils of NAV, suffice it to say that I won't be putting any more Symantec products on my Macs.

    I could go and buy Virex, however, it pains me to spend my personal money (the department has paid for NAV, and won't buy Virex) on a product I don't need to protect those people who haven't figured out that the solution to most of their problems are to get rid of windows.

    Can anyone suggest a free-ware 'virus scanner' I can install so that I have something to point at when the network administrator asks 'where's your virus scanner?' I don't care if it actually works, so long as it doesn't screw up my machine or gobble CPU time...maybe I should write one of my own...

    main(argc, argv) {
    printf("Congratulations, your Mac is 100% virus-free.\n");
  2. Bigheadache macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    its pretty dumb to assume that just because there is no virus now, there won't be one in the future.

    And if I remember clearly, although Macs are not affected by Windows viruses, they can still transmit them in documents. Attitudes like yours just make the virus problem worse for everyone else.
  3. musicpyrite macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Cape Cod
    Why don't you stop complaning about his 'attitude' and help the man find a half-way decent viruse scanner?

    Attitudes like yours just make the virus problem worse, you don't offer any solutions.

    bryanc, remeber what I said in the PM.
  4. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Not entirely true; although I can understand requiring virus software on principle, and transmission (and even infection) of Word macro viruses is a real danger even on Macs, I don't think that holding off on installing Mac virus software until there actually is at least one Mac virus is such a horrible thing. It's worked fine at the University I work at, and the IT higher-ups don't have a problem with that. Besides, the likelihood of a Mac virus running rampant in a very short period of time isn't high, due to the lack of critical mass.

    Still, a policy is a policy. Sadly, Norton and Virex are your only choices on the Mac so far as I've ever seen, and although Symantec AV has worked very well on the PCs I administer, every one of their Mac products in recent years has done far more harm than good.

    Good luck with Virex.
  5. Horrortaxi macrumors 68020


    Jul 6, 2003
    Los Angeles
    It's also pretty dumb do assume I'll walk well when I'm 90, so when I need a walker I'll buy a walker. Likewise, when they find a Mac virus I'll buy Mac antivirus. Do you think NAV will catch the future OS X virus the first day it's out? Hell no, they'll be as surprised as the rest of us and we'll have to run live update.

    Apart from NAV and Virex I don't know what there is for OS X. I'm not aware of anything--at least not anything that's free. How about if you take a screenshot of NAV, then link it to a NAV icon in your dock. If anybody asks to see it you may fool them into thinking you have antivirus software. It's better than security through obscurity, it's antivirus through social engineering.
  6. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    Virus Protection does not future-proof yourself from future viruses. It only protects you from viruses already released. In order to protect your computer from new viruses, you have to download updates. However, if you do that you might as well run Windows Update as MS is fairly consistent with keeping up with patches to protect you from these viruses. If he doesn't have Word then he won't get doc viruses and I'm sure he won't pass around .pif file attachments to his PC buddies that he got through email from someone he doesn't know.

    In all fairness, can they even tell if you have antivirus on your computer? My campus just shuts off internet for those found with a virus (usually the ones performing DOS attacks, which are obvious to sys admins). If they actually look at your computer to see if one is installed, create a text document, name it "Norton Anti-virus" and replace the txt icon with the NAV icon.

    EDIT: lol, Horrortaxi's advise is better with the screenshot of NAV in a jpg or whatever and changing the icon.
  7. Bigheadache macrumors 6502

    Mar 1, 2004
    Don't use your powerbook in the computer lab then. How's that for a solution?

    As I said, macs can still transfer windows viruses, especially those pesky macro viruses. A computer lab is a communal facility for use by all students, it only takes one recalcitrant dropkick to ruin someone else's day by spreading a macro virus. If you want to use a communal facility like a lab then have a bit of respect for other users.

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