Downloads and Viruses

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by wifeofpdx, Feb 4, 2009.

  1. wifeofpdx macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #1
    So... new to a Mac here, been doing a lot of reading and, it seems most everyone agrees that a virus scanner is not needed for a mac.

    My question is when downloading torrents and the like, is the consensus still the same?

    I've read about a trojan floating around and wonder how you would find out without any virus software.
     
  2. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #2
    You don't need Anti-Virus on Mac. There was a trojan in the recent iWork 09 torrent, not sure what it did.

    Torrents, P2P and even pr0n sites cannot infect your Mac. Trojans apparently are out there, but the recent iWork one was the only one I've widely heard of. They also require your password, so just be aware.
     
  3. wifeofpdx thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #3
    Cool, thanks... I really like this Mac, and I've been a PC user for 15 years! :eek:
     
  4. kuwisdelu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2008
    #4
    If you pirate software, you do so at your own risk.

    Other than that, just about everything's safe.

    Also, beware of porn sites that ask you to install their own special video codec.
     
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #5
    Good rule of thumb: If both QuickTime and VLC can't play it (thus necessitating an installation of another codec), it is NOT worth watching. ;)
     
  6. VPrime macrumors 68000

    VPrime

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2008
    Location:
    London Ontario
    #6
    Fixed:D
     
  7. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #7
    Special porn codecs that can install on a Mac? Hah, right.
     
  8. wifeofpdx thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #8
    What is VLC?

    And... Perian, is that like like a flip 4 mac?
     
  9. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #9
    You don't need anti-virus software, but you do need common sense.

    Trojans are not "floating around". You have to go and look for them.

    Let's say you buy a CD with Microsoft Word from Microsoft. If you install that software, you have Microsoft Word on your Mac. Now let's say you go to some torrent instead that has a program named "Microsoft Word" available for you to download. You download it. MacOS X will ask you if you really want to download an application. You say yes, you download it, you start the software. MacOS X will tell you that this application was just downloaded from the Internet, and do you want to run it? You say yes again.

    Now this software which was called "Microsoft Word" is running. But is it really Microsoft Word? I can write a program that will delete all files on your hard drive, call it "Microsoft Word" and upload it to a torrent. MacOS X will ask you twice whether you really want to download and run this software. If you download from a source that can't be trusted, you're on your own. And if you download what you believe is an illegal copy of some commercial software (which has happened quite recently), you're on your own, and you deserve anything that happens.
     
  10. wifeofpdx thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #10
    Couldn't the same be said for email attachments? I mean, if it can happen in a torrent, it can happen with mail attachments.

    So why not be sure and get a virus scanner?
     
  11. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #11
    The reason it's not happening with email attachments is because someone would have to intentionally send that to you. Of course, I wouldn't ever open anything from someone I don't know, and if it's someone I know, it wouldn't have a trojan attached (they can't attach themselves, or replicate, or any of the nasty things that make viruses so hard to eradicate on PC's). So common sense will serve you better than a virus scanner, which just makes you complacent. Besides, none of the virus scanners for the Mac are worth anything anyways, so while you could get a free one, paying for one would be worse than getting one of the trojans that's out there (considering they don't appear to actually do much to your computer right now).

    jW
     
  12. wifeofpdx thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2008
    #12
    Thanks for your input. I've always had a PC, and never had a system crash due to virus. Some people seem to get them all the time. I'm pretty cautious, but if your friend gets that virus sent to him, and forwards it to you, well you get the point.

    OR

    Someone you know gets the virus that goes through your address book and sends the virus to all your contacts.

    OR

    The first big virus that is put out.....??? LOL... I know, all kind of what ifs...

    I get your point.
     
  13. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #13
    I can send you an email with an attachment calling itself "Microsoft Word". If you save it to your hard drive, you get a warning. If you try to start it, another warning. If you ignore both warnings, the program is run. Your fault if you trusted me.

    Virus scanners look for attachments that look like a word document, for example, or an mp3 file, but are really applications. On MacOS X, it is either an application and you get two warnings, or it isn't an application, and then it cannot run.

    The other threat are attachments that _are_ documents, but with malformed contents that exhibits bugs in the software opening them and causes that software to misbehave. At this point in time, there is no such virus known.
     

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