Chances of getting spyware on OSX

Discussion in 'macOS' started by MACoconut, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. MACoconut macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #1
    hi.

    i'm using an iMac now with Leopard on it.

    What are the chances of OSX getting spyware and what are the symptoms?

    Please advice. Thanks! ;)
     
  2. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #2
    Unless you download something shady and install (and give your admin password), pretty much zero. There have been reports of copies of iWork on torrents having trojans, but that's not exactly legit software in the first place.

    Use your head and don't install illegal software.
     
  3. angelwatt Moderator emeritus

    angelwatt

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2005
    Location:
    USA
    #3
    Currently I know of no spyware for Macs. There have been a couple little trojans, but that's a different animal. Are you worried someone may have put a key logger on your system? If you did have some type of spyware on your machine you likely wouldn't notice any symptoms unless you run a application like Little Snitch. Most wouldn't be processor intense so you wouldn't notice any system lag.

    Seriously though, you don't need to worry yourself too much. Just remember to think before you click on things and use common sense and all should be fine.
     
  4. kolax macrumors G3

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    Mar 20, 2007
    #4
    Just use common sense. Don't install video codecs if a website asks you to etc.
     
  5. MACoconut thread starter macrumors regular

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    Oct 9, 2008
    #5
    okay got it.

    so basically if I don't install anything, I won't get infected?

    What if I download a couple of media off rapidshare? :eek:
     
  6. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #6
    To be honest, the general principle that you place yourself at greater risk for exploits the more you involve yourself in piracy holds true on OS X, even though the actual number and prevalence of exploits is much, much lower.
     
  7. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #7
    Get iAntiVirus and run it. It's free and lightweight. If you can't answer these questions yourself or Google for the answers, you're the kind of computer user who would benefit from antivirus software watching their back.
     
  8. MACoconut thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #8
    According to reviews, iAntiVirus ain't that good.

    I've stopped download on my iMac.

    Is it still necessary to get an Anti-Virus or will apple do security updates occasionally? :confused:
     
  9. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    Antivirus software and security updates are two different things that are only tenuously related. Security updates ensure that possible breaches are closed. Antivirus software detects and removes software that tries to exploit breaches. It also prevents such software from being installed on your computer in the first place. As of this writing, antivirus software ensures that your Mac will not be a carrier of MacOS 9 and Windows viruses. It cannot protect you against MacOS X viruses because there aren't any. Security updates can help ensure that there never will be.
     
  10. plinden macrumors 68040

    plinden

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2004
    #10
    First, run your main account as a standard account (use a separate Administrator account), then be careful when programs ask for an admin username and password. If you're dragging an app into Applications, that's ok, but normally a program shouldn't require administrator access. Alarm bells should ring if a nonlegitimate downloaded app or media file pops up the admin username/password dialog.

    If you're running a standard (non-admin) account and don't enter the admin username/password, malware can't do much system wide, but it could still read from/write to your home directories.
     
  11. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #11
    It's the best out there for OS X.

    I don't really get why, it's far safer than downloading things on Windows.

    Apple's security updates can't stop trojans, because a trojan is just a standard application that you install.
     
  12. MACoconut thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2008
    #12
    Thanks for the advice.

    Just to clarify again, if I don't install anything on the iMac when prompted for my admin user & pass, my computer is fine?

    I've downloaded ClamXAV, is that good? :confused:
     
  13. richard.mac macrumors 603

    richard.mac

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    #13
    lots of applications ask you for your admin password whether your using an installer or sometimes when your just dragging and dropping into the Applications folder.

    there is a download quarantine in Leopard that asks if you are sure you want to allow the installation. you can check the name of the app and which website it came from and if it seems fishy just dont allow it.

    only install apps you trust or have been recommended by other Mac users like here. but i think youre being a bit over cautious not downloading anything that requires your password. i would recommend only using apps featured on osx.iusethis.com.
     
  14. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
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    Location:
    USA
    #15
    MacOS X warns you the first time that you run a downloaded app for the first time irrespective of where it was downloaded from. This is an added measure of protection that you don't run a trojan that is masquerading as a veteran app.
     
  15. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #16
    Clam only picks up Windows threats.
     
  16. comongoose macrumors newbie

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    Apr 6, 2008
    #17
    I had just ran macscan and they found 96 cases of spyware? Is this effecting my computer? Its been real sluggish lately.
     
  17. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #18
    No, that isn't Mac spyware if it's even real.
     
  18. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    Australia
    #19
    No, run a scan with something like iAntiVirus. MacScan picks up things like "tracking cookies".
     
  19. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #20
    Spyware's sole purpose is to make money through large numbers. Its a waste of time to make mac spyware since they couldnt possibly infect enough macs to make a profit, theres nothing to worry about.

    But you still shouldnt install stupid crap you dont need. You protect a mac the exact same way you protect Windows, by NOT INSTALLING EVERYTHING A WEBSITE TELLS YOU TO INSTALL. Its easy to keep your PC or Mac 100% clean by following that advice.
     
  20. comongoose macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2008
    #21
    trust me i know not to....its just some stuff is kind of shady by nature. When i use to have a pc I would reformat monthly.
     
  21. Objectivist-C macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2006
    #22
  22. emptyCup macrumors 65816

    emptyCup

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    #23
    That depends on whether you consider Flash spyware. It can be used to store and retrieve information on your computer. The only way to see or clear this information is to go here.
     
  23. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #24
    Thanks for the link.

    When I last checked a few months ago, they had a single OS X trojan which they had misnamed. Good to see them making an effort.

    Still, they're missing quite a few, so I still can't recommend Clam for securing OS X.
     

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