MAC computer is still not totally safe in virus?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by stuart2102, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. stuart2102, Jun 11, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2012

    stuart2102 macrumors regular


    May 29, 2011
  2. AppleScruff1 macrumors G3


    Feb 10, 2011
    Safe from viruses, but it has had incidents with malware.
  3. stuart2102 thread starter macrumors regular


    May 29, 2011

    whoahh so still not safe for a mac user tsk tsk so bad so in this case i will be back using pc computer if that's the case coz its still the same I'm buying an expensive thing and knowing that they are virus free and safe including malware, i rather buy pc and buy antivirus and e still save money money so bad...
  4. thewitt macrumors 68020


    Sep 13, 2011
    There has not been a virus on a Mac, however there has been Malware.

    PCs are very vulnerable to both and regularly infected...

    Caveat emptor
  5. stuart2102 thread starter macrumors regular


    May 29, 2011
    still the same even if its a malware it still a virus in your computer when it installed right? the whole environment could be still under the world of virus
  6. DingleButt macrumors regular

    Dec 14, 2011
    Right, it really doesnt matter how you get infected.

    With Windows you dont have to worry about "viruses" (using the true term) very much at all. OS X at this point, not at all.

    Windows and OS X both are at risk from mostly the same thing, users getting tricked into letting malware install or having something like Java/Flash/Browser exploited.

    Dont install Java unless you have to, and keep programs/OS/plug-ins up to date.
  7. nuckinfutz macrumors 603


    Jul 3, 2002
    Middle Earth
    You just know you're in for a great thread when someone refers to a Mac as "MAC"
  8. AnimaLeo macrumors 6502

    Sep 2, 2009
    MAC is a make-up company. Mac is an computer company.
  9. stuart2102 thread starter macrumors regular


    May 29, 2011
    oh sorry...and thanks for the correction uhmm by the way is updating always on up to date can eliminate those malware? what if u already install the malware on my mac can be still cure by updating the software, as what apple keep on updating the software of mac?
  10. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010

    Currently there are zero viruses affecting Mac OS X in public circulation, but there are other kinds of malware existing, that can infect your Mac.
    To learn more about malware in Mac OS X and what steps can be taken to protect yourself, read the following F.A.Q.:


    Actually the company is "Apple", not "Mac", as "Mac" is short for "Macintosh", the computer line produced by Apple running Mac OS X.
  11. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    Apple never said they're 100% safe, its even on their website that any computer can get malware (which is true).

    That being said you pretty much don't have to worry at all about viruses or malware on a Mac.

    This. OP you can stick with Windows but it gets infected all the time. I've supported Windows environments for about 12 years and we see infections constantly even with anti-virus and anti-spyware installed on the base images for all the machines we have.

    Also MAC is media access control (which you'll often see in networking such as MAC address) where as Mac is a Macintosh. I'm not saying that to be rude I'm just letting you know for general information.
  12. G51989 macrumors 68030


    Feb 25, 2012
    NYC NY/Pittsburgh PA
    No Operating system is safe from Malware, virus's or hacking.

    OSX is prety safe, not very many Malware programs and virus exist for it, its a safe OS.

    Windows is a much more popular OS, many infections exist, but with the built in Microsoft Firewall and a Mal Ware Scanner, You will be fine,

    No OS is safe from everything. Simple as that.
  13. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    We'll see.

    Zero viruses exist and a couple of malware does exists, but that can be avoided employing safe computing steps.

    Popularity is only a small part why Windows is targeted with malware.
    It is the underlying code, that allowed Windows to become infected so easily with malware of all types.
    Mac OS X is based on Unix and FreeBSD, thus the code is totally different and till today no one was able to get a successful virus for Mac OS X into the wild.

    The Mac OS X Malware Myth Continues
  14. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    You're saying it's possible to have an OS that is written using the C language by humans be completely safe from hacking ? Can you explain how this is possible ? Which tools would you use to make sure the code is completely devoid of security vulnerabilities that can be exploited by malicious users ?

    Can you please point to the relevant Unix (POSIX or other) specification or the FreeBSD code that prevents security vulnerabilities ? The ones that Windows lacks ?

    Don't dispell myths with other myths please.
  15. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    The poster I quoted said "no OS is safe from hacking" and I replied "We'll see", nowhere were the poster or I alluding to C. As the poster I quoted does not seem to know, what a virus is, I took offense at the "no os is safe from hacking", and the poster probably only knows the names of four OSs.

    I included a link with my reply, that is where I got it from.

    Why not? Mac OS X was heaven until Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger, now it is hell since last July.
  16. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    If you decide to stick with Windows, download Microsoft Security Essentials, straight from It's the best anti-virus, and its free.
  17. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    Can you name me a OS that you feel is safe from hacking ? Here's a (albeit incomplete) list if you need any inspiration :

    Windows NT
    MS/PC/DR/Free DOS
    Darwin/OS X

    Nope... all written in good old C or C++ by good old humans.

      int numbers[4];
      numbers[4] = somevar;
      /* game over */
    Nothing in your link provides insight into why Unix or what in Unix makes OS X safe. Again, specifically. You claim the Unix code in OS X makes it safe. What part of the specification/which code are you referring to ? Heck, let's go up a level and just talk Unix features in general if it's any easier. Which feature is this ?

    Do you even understand the difference between Unix the trademark, Unix the codebase (copyrighted Novell code base from Bell labs) and Unix the specification (SUS managed by the OpenGroup) ? Otherwise, I think you should stop claiming Unix has anything to do with OS X's relative lack of targeting by malware authors.

    And that allows you to dispel myths using other myths... why exactly ?
  18. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    You forgot OS/2 - which believe was written in Assembler.... :)

    .... he says adding petrol to the fire...
  19. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    I never said any OS is safe from hacking, but maybe one day they will be. That is what I meant with "we'll see". I have the feeling you have taken my, probably out of place, comment to the extreme, but thanks (really, no sarcasm) for the list and education.

    I also never said, Mac OS X is safe from hacking, I provided an article properly explaining, why the Mac OS X underpinnings, rooting in UNIX and FreeBSD, make it harder for malware writers to actually write a proper virus. Windows has different underpinnings (DOS, Win NT), the former making it easy for virus writers, the later making it a bit more complicated, and Windows 7 is quite good at protecting itself.
    The poster I quoted also took the marketshare of Windows into account, thus the link to the article, as Mac OS Classic (7, 8, 9) had its fair share (80 or so) of actual viruses, while having less marketshare than Mac OS X nowadays, for which no real and actual virus is in public circulation.

    My understanding is pretty basic, but I don't claim to understand it that much. All I was mentioning are the roots/underpinnings in relation to that article.

    I understand, but I suppose writing malware for Mac OS X is more prestigious than writing for Windows, but still the malware in existence is pretty lame and can be avoided by employing safe computing steps.
    I run Mac OS X since 2004 and have visited my fair share of shady sites and also dabbled in warez, when the software I used and use was too expensive for me to get. I never had any malware on my Mac, but then again, I employed those safe steps outlined by the Virus/Malware FAQ, even before they were outlined. I only ran Sophos for a month, to see, if they can actually help me. All it did, was using up CPU cycles and warning me off Windows malware. As if I care about that.

    Are you on a warpath? I don't dispel myths with other myths. That last sentence was more a slide and a feeling, because since Apple went iOS, their Mac OS X versions have been lacking quite some stability.
    The PPC Macs I used, running 10.2 to 10.4 were often more stable than the Intel Macs running Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. And it was also a slide at the removal of Spaces in Mac OS X 10.7 Lion. Nothing more. Please don't make more of it than it actually is, but I guess written communication sometimes lacks the physical component.

    Anyway, I stand by my words, that that what I have learned, the part about Mac OS X being rooted in UNIX and FreeBSD, wasn't Mac OS X recognised as real UNIX OS some years ago, is the reason, that malware needs more user interaction in Mac OS X to be successful and that current existing malware has those roots in its way to employ themselves properly.

    Can we agree on that?
  20. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    "We'll see" came off as a challenge. I seriously doubt we'll see the day where software is 100% safe from hacking. In fact, OS X pretty much got hacked every year at pwn2own since the event has taken place. Every OS did, Linux, Windows, don't matter.

    Your article offers no such insight or explanation. In fact, it seems the author is as clueless as to why Unix makes OS X safer (I'm not claiming it does, just that that is what is usually stated), offering such insights as :

    *sigh*. Has he seen the Windows NT code base ? The entire OS X code base beyond Darwin ? Does he even know that OS X's code base is older than Windows NT's (the origins in NeXT come from all the way in the 80s, Windows NT is a clean rewrite originating in the 90s, with a first release in 1993 iirc).

    Again I ask, if you want to claim Unix makes OS X "safer", be prepared to provide actual insight into why this is such. Your article provides no such indication. Yet another gem I found profoundly laughable :

    Yes, a standard DDK and driver architecture is only available on Windows. There sure isn't a way to do it on OS X. And Microsoft sure doesn't offer any way at all to certify drivers, thus offering the choice to users to only run verified code.

    ... And he goes on :

    Because that's also not possible with Webkit uh ? I'll stop here, that whole article seems like it was written by a layman with very little knowledge of Windows NT's design and origins, much less OS X understanding or even Unix knowledge in general.

    So like the author, all you can say is "Unix makes things safe" without actually telling us why this is so ? Then why say it ? What happens when you get challenged about it, like I am doing now ? How do you defend the position ?

    Don't make claims you can't back up. You will get called on it, you will have to back them up.

    No. I can't agree until you actually back it up. OS X is safe because of how OS X is made, how it's patched and how it is perceived and profitable to malware authors vs the effort they put in.

    Frankly, as a Unix guy, I can safely tell you this : There's nothing special about Unix. I work day in and day out with it, I have seen how HP, Oracle and other vendors secure their variants, and none of it comes from Unix itself, but from proprietary extensions and tools. ACLs, user/kernel space seperation, API design, it's all as good/shoddy as Windows NT if you follow the SUS to the T or just plain use the existing Bell Labs or BSD code base. No system is safe, all of them getting buffer overflows that result in DoS or code execution which in the end gives you privilege escalations. Exposed to the Internet, this code can result in unwanted remote operations.

    You don't seem to have learned anything about Unix, you seem to have learned a Mantra : "OS X is Unix, thus OS X is safe". You can't quite explain why or point to a reason, you just state it, repeat it, and link to an article with no actual insight into why, just the same myths getting perpetrated and claimed with no actual evidence to back it up.

    Just a heads up. I'm not on a warpath just as you aren't on a warpath about malware myths about OS X. You dispel myths, consider my post doing the same. None of what I said here changes the fact that OS X is much less targeted with malware than Windows is, it just puts into question the oft-stated "Unix is the reason!".
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    While you may choose to use them, you don't need 3rd party antivirus apps to keep your Mac malware-free.

    Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 10 years ago. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which can be easily avoided by practicing safe computing (see below). Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    1. Make sure your built-in Mac firewall is enabled in System Preferences > Security > Firewall

    2. Uncheck "Open "safe" files after downloading" in Safari > Preferences > General

    3. Disable Java in your browser (Safari, Chrome, Firefox). This will protect you from malware that exploits Java in your browser, including the recent Flashback trojan. Leave Java disabled until you visit a trusted site that requires it, then re-enable only for the duration of your visit to that site. (This is not to be confused with JavaScript, which you should leave enabled.)

    4. Change your DNS servers to OpenDNS servers by reading this.

    5. Be careful to only install software from trusted, reputable sites. Never install pirated software. If you're not sure about an app, ask in this forum before installing.

    6. Never let someone else have access to install anything on your Mac.

    7. Don't open files that you receive from unknown or untrusted sources.

    8. For added security, make sure all network, email, financial and other important passwords are long and complex, including upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters.

    9. Always keep your Mac and application software updated. Use Software Update for your Mac software. For other software, it's safer to get updates from the developer's site or from the menu item "Check for updates", rather than installing from any notification window that pops up while you're surfing the web.
    That's all you need to do to keep your Mac completely free of any Mac OS X malware that has ever been released into the wild. You don't need any 3rd party software to keep your Mac secure.
  22. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Okay then. Thanks for the heads up.
    So that article I linked to has no valid points then? Just curious, as I link to it once the "Mac OS X has such a low marketshare, no wonder no viruses exists" comments come up.

    I am always here to learn new stuff, especially if I am wrong, just that it hardly comes by (not the wrongness, the new stuff, though I am visiting this place less and less).
  23. KnightWRX macrumors Pentium


    Jan 28, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    That article is an opinion piece. And his opinions do not seem to be based on any kind of facts whatsoever, shows ignorance of kernel level/user space level APIs and has a ton of other glaring mistakes and assumptions he can't prove or disprove about either platforms. He states "OS X is safer because it is Unix", claiming "open source" is what makes it safe. He'll be sad to learn that Unix is not open source, the BSDs are not SUS certified and thus cannot be called Unix and a ton of other factoids like FreeBSD isn't all that secure to begin with (OpenBSD would be your OS of choice for a very hardened security oriented version of BSD).

    IE, it should be taken with quite a grain of salt. The point it is arguing is true, market share doesn't seem to be what is driving the lack of malware. OS X has worldwide 5% marketshare but no where near 5% share of the malware out there. But his arguments mostly don't stem from fact at all unfortunately.

    No one truly knows why OS X doesn't get as much malware. For all we know, it is because OS X is Unix, but not on any kind of technical level. Might just be because the guys who write most malware from Russia and China are Unix fans and don't want to target it (alert : just an idea, no facts presented here).

    Macrumors just isn't that in-depth of a technical forum unfortunately. The user base here is "tech savvy", not "tech educated". Some of us are developers/IT people etc.. and know quite a bit, but we don't hang out in every thread to correct any misconceptions.
  24. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    Okay, thanks then. Will see, if I can further information then, as I am tech savvy, but not educated, and just figured out, I am better off without working with computers (prefer handy work and something where I have to move my arse around).
    In the future I will refrain from linking to that article, as it had me sold, but then again, my knowledge and understanding is limited and probably shouldn't have.

    Till the next correction, hopefully this is my turn then. :p
  25. Comeagain? macrumors 68020


    Feb 17, 2011
    Spokane, WA
    It seems pretty simple why OS X doesn't get viruses. No one has ever written a successful one that runs on OS X.

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