How come there are no viruses/threats for Mac Computers?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by James Cole, Jul 20, 2007.

  1. James Cole macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    Just as the titles states, seems odd that there are millions for PC's but zero for mac.

  2. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    The last numbers I saw showed that OSX has about 4% of OS usage share worldwide.

    But, I doubt 4% of ******** hackers use OSX..z. probably less than .5% of the type of people willing to write and distribute a malicious virus us a mac. So, you'd have to find that TINY sliver of hacker population who know enough about macs to write a virus, and then want to put the time into doing so to effect a tiny portion of the worldwide computer community.

    So, the answer is threefold
    1. No one writes viruses for mac
    2. the effect wouldn't be very widespread
    3. there are mac viruses, and a motivated hacker could easily write malicious viruses for OSX.
  3. iBlue macrumors Core


    Mar 17, 2005
    London, England
    because they'd have to know the OS well enough and once you go mac... :p

    reminds me of this gem

    sometimes you just can't be bothered.
  4. epochblue macrumors 68000


    Aug 12, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    There could be tons of reasons, lower market share, UNIX-style security model, general disinterest by virus/worm writers...the list goes on. My guess, however, is that if you're going to try to write a virus/worm, you want to hit the biggest market you can....and that's the Windows market.

    I will say, though, that it's possible see a rise in the amount of malware written for OS X in the future because OS X's market share keeps growing, and the smug attitude toward security displayed by some OS X users is antagonizing to some.

    Just my $0.02.
  5. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    May 19, 2002
    Because people like Apple more than MicroSoft, heck if they could write viruses for Wal-Mart I'm sure they would have the most of the 3.

    Anyways you need some cheap zombie machines to send spam and run criminal empires, so PCs do come in handy for that.
  6. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    It's called a cart full of snot nosed toddlers.
  7. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    A lot of people write viruses in order to prove they know how the computers work, and then get security jobs to fight hacking since they could obviously find the holes in Windows OS.

    With so few Macs out there in use, it wouldn't pay off as well to write a Mac virus as it would to write a PC virus.
  8. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    So no one here thinks that even though Mac market share is small there are no hackers out there chomping at the bit to be the first to create a demonstrably nasty virus for the Mac?

    Imagine the notoriety of being the first to crack the vault.
  9. Lesser Evets macrumors 68040

    Lesser Evets

    Jan 7, 2006
    There ARE Mac viruses, but few, and usually ineffective. You can find lists of them with Norton Anti-virus.
  10. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    Why does Microsoft ISS have more successful attacks against it than Apache, by far and away the market leading web server?

    It can't just be market share.
  11. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I honestly think Norton is more bad than good. I believe a lot of the viruses for PC's are designed by people in cooperation with Norton.

    If there was a downfall of viruses on the PC then people wouldn't see the need to upgrade their Norton.

    Easy money if you keep telling people that there is a new virus on the loot and you need to pay us £££ in order to catch it.

    I reckon the same applies for the Mac - the viruses that Norton says are out there are most likely to be spoofs; just there to scare you into buying their software once your yearly subscription runs out.

    If they didn't show you there was a virus available for the Mac on the Norton info box, then who would buy it?

    Just my 2 pence..
  12. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    Notoriety doesn't pay the bills. Viruses are not written for notoriety, they are written for money. It's all business. Viruses are written to create botnets to be used in spamming in blackmailing. They are written to steal passwords, eBay accounts and the like. They are not written to become famous. There is no money in writing a Mac virus.

    Are you sure about that? Any sane company wouldn't touch a virus writer with a barge pole. How could you possibly trust them?
  13. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Not true - being a hacker is the only crime that can almost guarantee you a job.

    Putting hackers into jail is useless - they are very very useful people. Can help the FBI hack peoples computers, help businesses increase their security etc.

    If someone has a very useful skill, why not put it into practise to benefit your business...?
  14. Queso Suspended

    Mar 4, 2006
    The simple answer is that writing an OSX virus isn't worth the greater effort required when Windows is sat there as such an easy target. Add in that less people know how to write UNIX viruses and that a lot of real techies have an axe to grind against Microsoft and hardly anyone bothers even trying.

    As Vista gets more widespread and OSX share goes up we'll get more attention, but it will never be as bad as it was on Windows XP.
  15. James Cole thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 15, 2007
    San Antonio, Texas
    Well, I see now, but in windows you have firewalls and antivirus, if there was a dangerous virus made for us, what exactly is going to protect us? Does OSX have some type of security for that matter?
  16. nsbio macrumors 6502a


    Aug 8, 2006
    Norton's only job in pitching an AV for OS X is to eek out a list of things that they call viruses so that they can sell you their garbageware. I am surprised that they do not make, along with an antivirus, antiwoodo_black_magic, antispace_alien_invasion etc, the usefulness of which is at least as high as that of the currently sold antivirus. My computer is making strange noises - I wonder if Norton sells an anti_haunt, so that I can go ahead and buy a copy:D.

    As for the absence of viruses for OS X in the wild, the market share alone does not explain the ratio. If I were a virus writer, I would have been getting much more kick out of writing a virus #(single digit) for OS X than a virus #(however many thousand) for Windows. The intrinsic security of OS X helps skew the balance even further.
  17. Cameront9 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 6, 2006
    OS X has a built in firewall. Turn it on under System Preferences-->Sharing

    Also, the Unix-security model is going to help a lot.
  18. Fairly macrumors regular

    Sep 24, 2006
    Cambridge UK
    What's so odd about it? You thinking it's odd is truly odd however. Do the research. :D

    IIS (not ISS) - Internet Information Server: it's bad because Micro$oft made it. Everything they make - or try to "improve" - turns out this way. It's definitely not market share. The GAO condemned US federal agencies for using it and Gartner said it was so bad it could never be fixed.

    Indeed, Watson! :D
  19. elppa macrumors 68040


    Nov 26, 2003
    OS X (Mac) has a firewall too, no doubt this could be added to OS X for other devices too, such as iPhone. It also has a rigid system of permissions and doesn't run in root mode.

    Thanks for correcting my mistake with the initials.

    The question was rhetorical. I brought up that example to demonstrate the point that software can be more secure than it's competition and have a bigger market share.
  20. Royale w/cheese macrumors 6502a

    Jun 5, 2007
    I have always thought that people who are well versed in OSX have always been decent enough to not want to spread chaos through viruses and successful enough through other careers to not warrant the financial gain of hacking.

    I am pretty sure Walmart does lead the market in viruses. Have you seen their bathrooms?
  21. Maestro88 macrumors newbie

    Jul 6, 2007
    I like to think that Microsuck has been giving off such a "low" vibe for such a long time and creating such "please hack me" products that they are asking for it, add that to the fact that people who use macs are more enlightened and go "oh I don't have to hate my computer and it's makers for what they have put me through and everyone who uses the same system for being as stupid as me". I'll tell you one thing though Mac users should not assume their computers are failsafe, any computer is hackable one way or another, more or less. The Mac community should not have a cocky attitude to malware on the Mac. But yeah, the Mac does inspire a better attitude from the beginning, and Microsoft far from being neutral in that matter, inspires nothing but the worst, from it's visual design, to it's core services, it's a suck monster, and should be burned, shredded, and deleted from human history as a disgraceful embarrassment. :mad::mad::mad:

    Everyone knows at the end of the day Gates and Ballmer are just a couple of low life corporate con men - thieves of the lowest order - they stole the Mac interface and built an empire off of Apple's back.

    Any Apple fan no matter who you are, is overtly or secretly waiting for the day when Apple will step on Microsofts neck like a bug. Imagine if Apple got so big and widespread - beyond a certain "point of no return" Microsoft would hit an event horizon of sorts and their market share would diminish extremely rapidly from that point on. Even though they are at 90% market share, if it went down to below 50%, from there on, they're history. Once that happens Apple can use it's cash to buy MS and burn it's offices :D

    MS employees can be brought into Apple for intense psych-deprogramming, and put to work on low security stuff like paper routing and lunch orders. Sort of like bringing nazi scientists into the US after the war.... they bring knowledge of sorts, it's not exactly based on good experiment, but you can't risk them running wild, better to keep an eye on them, learn from them if you can, but don't trust them they'll still have a secret poster of hitler hidden under their bed... :D:D

    Personally while I'm sorry for the people who lose data to windows virus writers, I'm so glad that people write so many viruses for windows, because that's bad for MS, and that is just great! Those windows users should wake up and realise they have bought stolen goods! and that is why it ain't workin properly.
  22. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    I'd hope if Apple ever did get more market share than MS, that they would remain making good quality products.

    If you don't have much market share then you are under strain to make high quality products that people would want to buy in order to gain more of the market. If you did achieve a lot of the share, then product quality might slide.

    I hope that never happens.
  23. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    I think you are suffering from some severe misconceptions here. FBI hiring criminals? Imagine the FBI hires a known criminal to hack into someone's computer. They find proof of criminal activity, and a case is brought to the court. Can you imagine what field day the defence lawyers would have? Any jury would be easily convinced that there is very, very "reasonable doubt" that the evidence wasn't put there by the hacker, who, as we know, is a known criminal.

    And what makes you think hackers know how to make a business secure? Writing a computer virus doesn't qualify you in any way to make a business secure. Totally different skill sets required. No, writing computer viruses doesn't qualify as a "useful skill", just like selling drugs, beating up people or blackmailing doesn't qualify as a "useful skill".
  24. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    Did I refer to a good hacker being someone who writes a computer virus..?


    But hackers are useful people, criminal or not. Ever heard of the film Catch Me If You Can? Similar story there (based on a true story) - some guy is a master at cheque fraud. At the end of the film, hes working for the bureau as a cheque analyst.
  25. RupertJ macrumors newbie

    Dec 30, 2004
    Bristol, UK
    It may surprise you to know that most computer security researches use exactly the same techniques, and have the same skills as black-hat hackers.

    The only difference is what they do with the results. The security researches tell the people who made the product they're testing about bugs so they can fix them. The black hat hackers exploit the bugfor their own gain. (Or couse, you also get dodgy researchers who find a bug, don't disclose it and make a lot of noise about what they've found for the fame, etc).

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