How much damage can Mac viruses do?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by macuser154, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. macuser154 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I have heard of more Mac viruses being released. I was just wondering how much damage can they actually do. With Windows, as long as you are on an Administrator account, a virus can do pretty much whatever it wants can't it? But even on an Administrator account on Mac OS X, it asks you for authorisation every time you want to do anything with system files.
     
  2. Sky Blue Guest

    Sky Blue

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    #2
    There are no Mac viruses, hence they can do no damage.
     
  3. macuser154 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    When I say viruses I mean anything like that. Such as these new trojans.
     
  4. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

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    #4
    Which new trojans?
     
  5. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

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    #5
    The trojans will only be effective if you give it your admin password, if you don't they will do nothing. They are usually disguised as an active x control or video codec, often on porn sites. Rule 1) don't give your password to porn sites.

    Typically they will be keyloggers, and probably connect silently to an IRC server to await instructions. They wont damage your data, but they will steal it.
     
  6. macuser154 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Ahh, ok. Thanks everyone for putting it in perspective.
     
  7. yetanotherdave macrumors 68000

    yetanotherdave

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    #8
    Theoretically? As much as the programmer made it do, theoretically it could wipe your hard drive, theoretically so could a windows virus on a windows machine. There is no financial gain in that though, so they don't do that. Virus's are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible so the user doesn't get rid of them.

    But as has been said before there are literally 0 mac virus's outside of os9 and a couple of MS word macro virus's.

    There would be unbelievable kudos in the black hat / mac hating world for the first person to be able to write one, and there have been $50k prizes offered, no one has managed yet.
     
  8. adamfishercox macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Take any Mac virus article with a grain of salt.. it's a huge traffic driver.
     
  9. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

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    #10
    Virus ≠ trojan.
     
  10. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #11
    In theory, if you install a trojan it could do absolutely anything.
     
  11. Hawkeye411 macrumors 68000

    Hawkeye411

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    #12
    Trojan/Virus -- Potato/Potato -- Tomato/Tomato

    Many mac users will argue that mac's are better than pc's because "there are no viruses for a mac". Then when someone points out that are a few threats like OSX/Leap-A or OSX?Oompa-A the mac users will replay that "trojans are not viruses" as a way of downplaying the potential threat. A trojan may not self replicate but it can still reap havoc on your computer by deleting files, destroying information, giving access to your computer, compromising personal information, etc. However, technically it's not a virus but it can be just as bad as a virus.

    Don't install anything on your mac unless you know that the files you downloaded are safe.

    Cheers.
    :):apple:
     
  12. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #13
    Doesn't matter though, it doesn't make OS X insecure. A trojan in no more than a standard application which happens to be hidden or disguised, and does something nasty.

    I don't think it's good to answer questions about viruses on Macs with "you don't need antivirus software on Macs because there are no viruses."

    If somebody is asking whether or not they need AV software, they aren't the most technical of users with regards to computer security, so it's probably a good idea for them to run something like iAntiVirus to helped detect any trojans they might find.
     
  13. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

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    Aug 20, 2008
    #14
    Any application running under your user account can read and modify any files that you (the user) can. That includes everything in your home directory, as well as the "Applications" directory (if you're running as an administrator).

    Just because you haven't given it root privileges doesn't mean that malicious software can't do damage -- it definitely can.
     
  14. GimmeSlack12 macrumors 603

    GimmeSlack12

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    #15
    I've noticed you post this in these types of threads before. Thank you.
     

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