Mac Malware Landscape

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by NewUser1469, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. NewUser1469 macrumors newbie

    Mar 21, 2015

    So I'm trying to learn about mac malware and its capabilities and prevalence as it appears to be different to windows malware.

    I've got the basics: there are no viruses in the wild, just trojans. And those have to be installed by the user in some way with the use of the admin password.

    However I was just wondering if anyone could shed some light on the people who create the malware and distribute it. I was looking at : which lists most of, if not all, known mac malware in history, most of which cannot affect an updated system. It seems like very little, most of which appear, from what I can tell, to be money making schemes and botnets or, every now and again, targeted attacks at high profile individuals.

    Does this mean that if you do somehow end up installing mac malware that its most likely going to be one of these money making/botnet (rather impersonal, from what I can tell) schemes or is there a sort of more sinister culture like there is in windows? For example, Are there the mac equivalent of the script kiddie creeps who use black shades etc on windows systems to perv on people without their knowing?

    Also, how come there isn't much mac malware out there? Is there a chance that there's loads but we just don't know about it? Or are there just not many people writing it or maybe it's harder to write for unix systems than windows?

    These questions may seem dumb, but I haven't manages to find the answers anywhere else and I'm intrigued. I've never been that computer literate but seeing as we've hit an age where it's quite hard to do life without one, it's always good to stay educated and know what the threats are.

    Sorry for the long post. Hope someone can shed some light.
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Yes, most likely.
    There is no known OS X malware in the wild that accomplishes those "sinister" purposes.
    So far it has been more difficult to develop malware for OS X than Windows. If malware is in the wild (where average users can encounter it), then it's extremely unlikely that we wouldn't know about it, because it would get reported and the antivirus firms would use such information to promote their apps, the tech media would have something sensational to talk about, and the forums would be buzzing about it, as they have for every bit of OS X malware that has ever been in the wild.
    That is extremely wise. Part of the concept of practicing safe computing is to be aware of what's going on around you.

    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 12 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). 3rd party antivirus apps are not necessary to keep a Mac malware-free, as long as a user practices safe computing, as described in the following link.
    Read the What security steps should I take? section of the Mac Virus/Malware FAQ for tips on practicing safe computing.

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