ClamXav

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Sven11, Feb 3, 2015.

  1. Sven11 macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I know that anti virus applications aren't necessary on a Mac, but do you think I should install ClamXav in order to scan files I send via mail to Windows users? Is ClamXav a good choice for that? How are their definitions?
     
  2. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

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    #2
    I've actually had a few close calls recently with some Mac targeted malware. I've actually started using Avast! Free on my Mac permanently now and have been surprised at what its picked up, even from seemingly legit websites.

    Personally, I no longer maintain the view that Macs don't need virus protection.
     
  3. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Unless you frequent naughty or dark web sites, or have friends that email you that frequent naughty or dark web sites, you really don't need it.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #4
    ClamXAV detects both OS X and Windows malware, doesn't consume significant system resources, and can be used for on-demand scans prior to sending files. Of course, it's always wise to recommend to Windows users that they have their own antivirus protection installed, to protect them from malware from sources other than your Mac.

    As far as definitions go, none of the antivirus apps have a 100% detection rate, but ClamXAV has a good reputation.
    If you consistently practice safe computing, you can successfully avoid all OS X malware that has ever existed in the wild. If you're not sure you'll be consistent in practicing safe computing, an antivirus app may or may not catch something that you allowed on your system, since no such app detects all malware.
     
  5. Sven11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #5
    Hmm, I just found some websites saying that it's detection rate is low compared to the others, so I'm a bit concerned. I mean something with a detection rate similar to Microsoft's Security Essiantials won't be that useful...
     
  6. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #6
    There have been several surveys of detection rates among antivirus apps. The ranking changes from one survey to the next, with some apps performing better or worse than others, depending on when the survey was done and what criteria was used.
     
  7. Sven11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #7
    Hmm, what do you think about Bitdefender Virus Scanner?
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #8
    Since I don't use such apps, I can't offer any insight into the differences between them, except to say that you should avoid Sophos and iAntiVirus. Some have better detection rates than others. Some have a more significant impact on performance than others. Some only detect OS X malware, while others also detect Windows malware. You may get some opinions here in the forum, but doing your own research and deciding what features are most important to you is the best approach.

    As an OS X user, you should ask yourself how often you'll be receiving files and transferring those to Windows users. If you're talking about creating files such as documents, spreadsheets, photos, videos etc. using Macs or iOS devices, such files don't need to be scanned before sending to Windows users, since you can't create a Windows malware infested file in an OS X or iOS environment.

    That leaves the only potential risk being if you receive a file from a Windows user or download a file, then pass it on to Windows users. Even then, if you're downloading from reliable sources or only receiving files from Windows computers running antivirus, the possibility of you passing along malware is virtually non-existent.

    Read the What about sending files to Windows users? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for more information.
     
  9. Sven11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    How many resources does it use on your Mac? Would you recommend it over ClamXav? What are the differences?

    I'm a bit concerned about Avast since the most helpful review of it on MacUpdate says that it collects all sorts of information about you, including all the websites you visit. Is that true?

    Have you ever been infected? If so, how? Personally I don't use Java, Flash and Adobe Reader, so I'm a bit puzzled since most malware infect your computer by using them.

    I thought ClamXav doesn't have any real time protection? So what system resources is it using when you're not performing a scan?
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #10
    ClamXAV does have a Sentry feature that does continuous real-time scanning. It does consume system resources to function. However, it's not necessary or recommended, so you can elect not to use the Sentry feature and simply use ClamXAV to periodically scan files on an as-needed basis. In that scenario, ClamXAV is not running until you launch it to scan, so it consumes no resources at all.
     
  11. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #11
    ClamXav from the MAS does not have the real time Sentry monitoring feature. If you want that, you will need to download ClamXav from the developers website.

    As GGJstudios noted, the program uses very little resources. So, the impact on a system during a scan should be minimal.
     
  12. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

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    #12
    I didn't, but my GF did on her new Macbook Air by (to be fair unknowingly) downloaded a movie which was actually a .dmg and installed it, which took over her Safari and turned out to be tough to remove manually. I resorted to Avast! which removed it easily and I left the app on there in case she did a similar thing again.

    I decided to keep it running on mine as well just to see what it detects and surprisingly has been picking up the odd virus here and there, one on a seemingly legitimate hardware manufacturers website based in Hong Kong. So I keep it running now.

    As for resources, actually its not been that bad, but then again I do have the latest gen MacBook Pro with i7 2.8Ghz and 16Gb RAM so maybe I'm beefy enough not to notice much difference.
     
  13. Sven11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    What about that review on Macupdate about it collecting everything?
     
  14. northernmunky macrumors 6502a

    northernmunky

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    #14
    Not aware of that myself. Think that might be scaremongering.
     
  15. Sven11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Maybe there's something in the settings about that? Something like "Collect crash and user data"?
     
  16. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #16
    I would read the following before installing Avast. It is a very good article from the safe Mac about Avast.
     
  17. Sven11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #17
    OK, thanks. :eek: I'll avoid it.
     
  18. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #18
    What kind of files are you sending Windows users on a regular basis, that you feel you need to try and protect them from possible infection?
     
  19. Sven11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #19
    I'm mostly concerned about PDFs.
     
  20. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    #20
    Are you creating the pdf's from sources you are concerned about, or attaching executable files into the document that would give you cause for due concern if you were a Windows recipient? If the answer to these questions is no, I wouldn't go extending yourself to try and protect Windows users. However, you could include a sentence in your email suggesting that people always scan their email before opening regardless of source.
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    #21
    If you're creating PDFs on your Mac, they cannot contain malware of any kind that could affect either OS X or Windows. Scanning such files is completely unnecessary.
     
  22. Sven11 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #22
    Well, many of these PDF files are from the internet after googling them...

    Most people have no idea how to perform a custom scan with their antivirus software (if they even have one that isn't expired) and probably won't even find the option in the context menu even after you tell them. :rolleyes:
     

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