Do I need antivirus... if yes, which one

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by ryans79, May 3, 2009.

  1. ryans79 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #1
    Hello!

    As some of you know, I am brand new to owning and using a Mac... so kindly excuse this question if its silly but... do i need an anti-virus?

    If yes, which one?

    I have just updated right up till 10.5.6 and am totally up to date.

    Thanks!
    Ryan

    Edit, while I am here I might as well act another question thats been puzzling me...

    1. Im in firefox... how do i close a tab?
    In windows I use control F4, here on my macbook... what do i do?

    2. Closing a window I usually tried ALT+F4... what do i use here? (am kind of tired of pressing that red little dot)
     
  2. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #2
    Nope. You do not need antivirus (for the time being) on OS X. There are zero viruses for OS X. However, you should be careful about what you download, especially from torrents and pornographic sites.

    There is no good antivirus software for OSX either (other than Clam XAV, which only checks for Windows viruses, that won't do anything in OS X), so I would advise against installing any OS X antivirus. Especially Norton, which is more problematic than any viruses it "protects" you from.
     
  3. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #3
    Only if you Bootcamp Windows Vista or XP, then do your internet browsing with Internet Explorer.......

    If you use Safari or Firefox, you'll be fine.
     
  4. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #4
    Not true... there are plenty of exploits in both Safari and Firefox.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    There ARE no viruses in the wild that affect Mac OS X.
    No antivirus software can detect a Mac virus, because no Mac viruses exist.
    There are trojans that exist, but these can be easily avoided if:
    • you are careful what applications you install
    • you are careful where you get applications
    • you never enter your administrative password without THINKING!
    You also may not be aware that this question, like many others, has already been discussed quite a bit (beat to death, actually!) Using MRoogle to search the forums before you post will frequently reveal threads related to your question that the standard forum search misses, and will help you avoid posting repetitive threads. Here are some of the dozens of threads on this topic, filled with opinions and recommendations:

    One thread that you may find particularly helpful is this one: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=7066120
     
  6. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    That may be true, but to the end user there is little difference between a trojan and a virus. We're here to help not argue semantics.
     
  7. ryans79 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2009
    #7
    No idea what bootcamp means so i dont think i'll be touching that...
    I have a second laptop with Vista (and anti virus etc) so will use that when i need windows... right now am trying to get used to Mac coz i want to learn cocoa and iphone programming (only real reason i got a mac... well, was also curious as to what all the fuss was about :p )
     
  8. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #8
    There is a LOT of difference between a trojan and a virus. A virus can install and propagate itself without the user's knowledge, whereas a trojan requires the user to actively install it. It's not a matter of semantics. It's a matter of functionality, which relates directly to methods of protection/prevention.
     
  9. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #9
    terminology is not important, as apple itself made continuous effort to confuse the definition and blur the line.

    The reality is and continue to be that the security threats exist on OSX. and just asking users to be "cautious" in a very general statement probably does not help.

    Only worth mentioning AV app is something called MacScan, its not free tho, and I do not know it very well.

    My impression is ClamAV only detect windows viruses(?).
     
  10. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3

    TuffLuffJimmy

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2007
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #10
    The way you attacked the situation, without defining the differences between a trojan and a virus, was an argument of semantics and cannot be described as anything else.
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    If you took the time to read and understand my post, you'd see that I DID define the difference, by explaining how a trojan can be avoided. Those steps wouldn't protect from a virus, if one existed. Also, you appear to be in an argumentative mood, since my post said much the same thing that yours did:
     
  12. JustGretchen macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    #12
    As for your edit...

    Command W closes a window or tab. Makes a lot more sense than ALT F4.

    Google for Mac Keyboard Shortcuts, or check out the MacRumors Guides section for them.

    Welcome!
     
  13. JBazz macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2006
    #13
    Each tab on Firefox should have a little x to the left. Just click the x to close.
     
  14. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #14
    Yes, Clam is Windows only threats.

    It's not worth paying for AV software for OS X. If you have common sense, you can avoid trojans.

    If the OP absolutely must get himself AV software, iAntiVirus is free and lightweight.
     
  15. sirlemmiwinks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #15
    Is there lead in the water?... (I let a trojan in, too)

    Hey. I just opened the door for the Trojan also. *rolling eyes* (I knew better)....

    Anyway, I deleted & empty-trashed any obvious files from the download. I also downloaded Mac Scan, ran it, and deleted a bunch of cookies. Ran DNSChanger also. Did all the stuff I gleaned from MRoogle.. a lot of it looks dated, maybe applies to older torjans.. I dunno.

    It sounds like Clam or VirusBarrier are the only worthwhile things to try. I use my laptop for banking, purchases, govt applications, etc and don't want to have to worry about this.

    Anyone have any experience gutting this thing out? I've done what I can, with my novice knowledge, but never actually identified an active file or evidence of it (besides the initial downloaded files).. but I don't want to leave this to fester if I'm missing something.

    With so few Mac security issues, you'd think there'd by an obvious updated formula from Apple about how to handle this, tutorials, etc.
     
  16. GoldMan macrumors member

    GoldMan

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    Location:
    Europe
    #16
    I know that Symantec have created a anvitirus 11 for macs.

    If you are browsin through warez sites or torrent sites, then i suggest you to get a antivirus software ;)
     
  17. sirlemmiwinks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #17
    I'll do/did mess around with torrents (just for movies), so maybe I will look at antivirus stuff. Everything I've read says that the virus software for macs is a waste, unless you're running windows apps, which I'm not.

    Anyway, here's some damning evidence -- when I 'crontab -1', I get this..

    crontab: illegal option -- 1
    crontab: usage error: unrecognized option
    usage: crontab [-u user] file
    crontab [-u user] [-e] [-l] [-r]



    which from what I've gleaned on the forums, means the trojan is still active, or that I've unintentionally reinstalled it by issuing this command.


    I tried installing ClamAv, fiddled with its involved installation process a bit, and sidelined that until I learn some more. Any tips on ClamAv either? Besides not wanting to have to meddle with Terminal, wont it all be for nought, since I willing accepted the trojan (having given admin authorization to install) -- the program will be looking for evidence of a break in, when gave the burglar the key?

    Any thoughts?
     
  18. gatepc macrumors 6502

    gatepc

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2008
    Location:
    Pittsburgh PA
    #18
    on correction to what other people have said there ARE viruses on mac but are so rare its not even warth downloading anti virus. Most of the viruses are contracted when downloading from torrent sites etc. If you really want anti virus here its free but I don't even know how good it is because I have never had a virus to kill lol!
     
  19. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #19
    No, there are NOT viruses that run on Macs. What you're referring to are trojans, which are a different form of malware.
     
  20. ButtUglyJeff macrumors 6502a

    ButtUglyJeff

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2008
    Location:
    New York. The state, not the toilet.
    #20
    Sorry. Bootcamp is an application, withing the operating system "Leopard", that allows for dual booting operating systems; most commonly its used for one of the many Windows operating systems.

    But if you're only using OSX, then you'll have no viruses to worry about. I suppose there are trojans that are out there, but if you're not silly about what you download/install you'll be fine.
     
  21. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #21
    Yep

    The same applies to Windows.

    In general unless you are really confident you should have antivirus installed for Windows and OS X these days.
     
  22. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2005
    Location:
    UK
    #22
    They are wrong.
     
  23. sirlemmiwinks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #23
    So... how do I find out if the trojan is active on my mac, and how do I kill it?

    (p.s - is there an easuer way to get ClamAv installed and running, or do I have to set it up in Terminal/)
     
  24. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #24
    @ OP: Although there are no Mac viruses there are Mac trojans. I seem to remember reading about trojan detection in the ClamXav forums but can't be sure. You'll have to check for yourself.

    IMO, it is irresponsible to knowingly pass a virus to any other machine, Mac or Windows. That works for me and if you feel the same then, yes, you do need an AV program.
     
  25. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    Location:
    Australia
    #25
    ClamAV ONLY detects Windows threats.

    You could run a scan of your system with iAntiVirus (free.) It should pick up the trojan, if one is installed. If you have Little Snitch installed, it would have notified you about the trojan trying to phone home.

    Try the terminal command "ps -ax".
     

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