Apparently I'm sending viruses?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by playethic, May 13, 2011.

  1. playethic macrumors member

    Aug 6, 2007
    Vancouver, Canada
    Not sure which forum area this belongs in, so I'm going to try here.

    A family member sent me a note letting me know that they received an email from me that appears to be a virus. I am in rough shape financially so buying any virus-checking software isn't an option for me. I understand that there are some free options but that they are fairly techie and not that newbie user-friendly.

    I'm on a Mac PowerBook Pro, 10.6.7, Intel.

    I'm looking for some suggestions for what I should do to check my system?

    Thank you

  2. stroked Suspended


    May 3, 2010
    Your not responsible for any virus they get. It is up to them to protect their computer.
  3. AWallen90 macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    It could easily be a virus on their end in the first place that tried installing something else by making it look like you sent them something.

    Run malwarebytes and call it a day.
  4. stroked Suspended


    May 3, 2010
    Why should she slow her computer, to protect someone else.
  5. Tumbleweed666 macrumors 68000


    Mar 20, 2009
    Near London, UK.
    Nothing. First of all, its very likely that they are mistaken. So no need to do anything.

    The only possibility that they are correct that I can think of is, you must have forwarded an email to them that originated on a windows system that had a virus and you merely passed it on, so it will be a one-off in that case, so again, no need to do anything.

    If you sent them a new email, not a forward, then it wont have an email and their virus checking application is wrong, its not unknown

    It may not even be a virus they were warned about, I occasionally get messages at work, internal, perfectly fine, but the malware checking system in Thunderbird says "this message might be a scam" :)
  6. Dave Braine macrumors 68040

    Dave Braine

    Mar 19, 2008
    Warrington, UK
    Don't worry. Their house might catch fire, but you wouldn't pay for their fire insurance.
  7. eljanitor, May 14, 2011
    Last edited: May 14, 2011

    eljanitor macrumors 6502


    Feb 10, 2011
    As you see here you can get a file with a virus in it, usually a Windows virus. Then you send that to someone else and their PC gets infected. Usually a word document, or something downloaded from a file sharing site. Did they say, hey that last email you sent me had a virus in the attachment you sent?

    Macs can become carriers for PC viruses, although they may not affect you and your Mac they can affect other computers. I also think it is kinda selfish to say hey its not my problem even if my machine is messing up someone elses. (not saying you did)

    So here's what you can do go buy something like Norton Antivirus, and know that it will slow down your system a little bit maybe. However it does catch almost all if not all of the viruses out there if you want to install it and pay yearly for it.
  8. AdrianK macrumors 68020

    Feb 19, 2011
    If you're email account details have been phished (captured), they could be used to pass on viruses or spam. This is extremely common, I get this crap all the time unfortunately (especially on instant messaging services). I'd recommend checking your 'Sent emails' folder for anything you know you haven't sent. Best place to start would be to change your email password, this would be enough to stop anyone with access to your account.

    Did they send a copy of the message sent from your account? It would really help if we could see it.
  9. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Your not sending a virus, your email has simply been hacked. Go and change your password and you should be fine. Running antivirus software will do literally nothing for you.
  10. Rowf macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2011
    If you want to check for malware on your machine use Sophos for Mac home edition.
    It's free and available from their site, very easy to use and checks for windows virus and malware as well mac malware.
    It has it's own uninstaller so it's easy to take off when you're done if you don't want to keep it.
  11. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Mar 18, 2006
    WOW! With respect, don't use Sophos! Absolutely unnecessary! It's the next best thing to a virus!!! :)
  12. Rowf macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2011
    I recommended Sophos with all good intentions.

    I use it on my own machine without any problems and have seen it recommended in magazines such as Macworld and Macformat.

    Is there a problem with it that I am unaware of?
    If so could someone please elaborate further or point me in the right direction with a link so that I can learn more.

    The last thing that I want to do is provide a bad recommendation in answer to a question.
  13. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    There has never been a virus in the wild that affects Mac OS X since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some education and common sense and care in what software you install:
    Pay special attention to the section: "What about sending files to Windows users?"
    Yes, there is. Sophos can actually increase your Mac's vulnerability, as described here and here.

    You don't need any antivirus software on your Mac.
  14. Rowf macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2011
    Uh, Oh.

    First off, I apologise to the OP for recommending Sophos in the first place.
    I was unaware of the vulnerabilities that it can create.

    Secondly, thanks to John T for jumping in there and raising awareness of this.

    Thirdly, thanks GGJStudios for posting the links that I asked for, I think you've finally hammered it home that education is better than antivirus as far macs are concerned.

    Sophos is now removed from my machine and not recommended.
  15. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Make sure it's completely removed. The only effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:
  16. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    There is a bit of guessing in the dark here. All we know for sure (mostly sure) is that your OS X installation is not infected with a virus. I say "mostly" because you could be the very first known infected Mac. (But the odds are pretty slim on that - and I wouldn't lose any sleep over the possibility ;) )

    We don't know whether your relative is right. We don't even know what OS they are using. If they have a Windows OS, then they may be infected with a Windows malware that tries to get them to get their friends to buy one of those fake AV programs. It's possible your relative even confused a spam warning for something more serious.

    We don't know if you sent the message, or if someone else sent the message from your email address.

    There is bunch more we don't know. Except... It is highly highly unlikely that you are sending a Mac virus.

    Personally, if you like the relative, ask them to send the AV warning message back to you... ask them if there was an attachment, and tell them you are looking into it. Then ignore it. Or post the results here for piece of mind.

    If it's a relative you don't particularly like - just ignore it. Unless you are curious, and then you can ask them for more details.
  17. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Incorrect. Security is a collective effort.

    This thread is full of a lot of FUD. Are you sending them attachments? What makes the other person think this "e-mail" contains a virus?

    As usual the chorus of "there are no viruses for OS X" makes a great showing when there's hardly enough information to figure out what exactly is going on.
  18. stroked Suspended


    May 3, 2010
    I will stand by my statement. The main reason I use OSX, is that there isn't any viruses yet. If someone else chooses to use windows, then it is up to them to protect their computer. Like someone else said, if they are running Windows unprotected, they will get viruses anyway.
  19. AWallen90 macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    You make no sense. You get the infections off the computer and your done.
  20. AWallen90 macrumors 6502

    Sep 15, 2009
    There are hundreds of viruses for OSX that's why we get security updates all the times to protect against them. Fix the holes.
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Completely false. Name one.
  22. Mal macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2002
    Security Updates don't protect against viruses. They protect against potential security holes. They prevent people with bad intentions from gaining access to your machine, or poorly written software from causing problems.

    Never once has a Mac OS X Security Update been intended to eradicate a virus, because there has never been a virus to eradicate.

  23. Guiyon macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2008
    North Shore, MA
    What email service are you using? Your password may have been compromised and they could be logging in (to the remote server, not your computer) and sending messages that way. I've had this happen to several people I know with MSN/Hotmail accounts. If this is the case, antivirus software won't help you; just pick better passwords.
  24. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Show me proof of even ONE. No one has been able to show a virus for OSX in the wild. Security updates don't necessarily have to do with viruses.

    Hundreds? hahahahahahaha Surely you jest.
  25. stroked Suspended


    May 3, 2010
    For any AV software to work, you have to install it, keep it updated, and run it all the time. Your statement made no sense.

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