mac virus?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by edwardjulio, Apr 6, 2015.

  1. edwardjulio macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    #1
    I am connecting my macbook to my friend's windows pc using teamviewer, i did not transfer any data through teamviewer. Apparently the windows pc has trojan virus and some other viruses, is my macbook safe? can teamviewer transmit virus?

    Thanks
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Location:
    Boston
    #2
    Viruses on a PC are not transferable to a the Mac because your Mac cannot run windows programs natively.
     
  3. edwardjulio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2014
    #3
    Thank you for your response.

    I understand about that, but I am worried since I transfer data from my mac to my other windows laptop frequently, i am afraid that the virus will infect my windows laptop. I understand that mac can't be infected by windows virus, but can the virus "hide" on my mac then infect my windows laptop when i copy data to it?

    Another question is can Teamviewer transfer virus?
     
  4. Meister Suspended

    Meister

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2013
  5. iAhmedy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2015
    Location:
    Middle East
    #5
    yes, if there was an .exe "executable" file transferred from your mac to pc and you executed the file yes.

    Teamviewer has file transfer capability, therefor it would act as a medium to transfer viruses.

    mac can be infected with viruses, but its not that easy due to the limited number of mac users comparing to pc.

    get an AV or IS for your windows, AVG is a free solution.
     
  6. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2008
    Location:
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    #6
    There are no viruses in the wild for OSx. Zero
     
  7. cjmillsnun macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2009
    #7
    I think the OP was more worried about their Mac being a conduit to facilitate the transfer of malware between Windows PCs. This is possible but unlikely.

    And also it IS possible for the Mac to get Malware, and it does exist. Bear in mind the OP's question related to a trojan and not a virus.
     
  8. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #8
    This kind of comment is not helpful. While it's probably true under a narrow technical definition of "virus", non-technical people don't usually make that distinction and may be misled into thinking there is no malware on Macs. But there are actually plenty of trojans, adware, and even some self-replicating worms. Besides, true viruses are also rare on Windows these days.
     
  9. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #9
    TeamViewer cannot transmit malware if you don't transfer files. In addition, Windows malware cannot infect OS X.

    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.
    There is no OS X malware in the wild that can't be completely avoided by prudent user action. See above.
     
  10. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #10
    The same can be said about Windows, depending on what you mean by "prudent user action". But there is always a chance that e.g. a new drive-by exploit in a web browser or plugin is discovered that may install malware on either OS X or Windows without user interaction. It has happened before (e.g. Flashback).
     
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    As I said in my post, "See above." I posted links to tips on practicing safe computing, which is all that is required to keep a Mac on OS X malware-free. Those practicing those tips were not affected by the Flashback Trojan or any other OS X malware that has ever existed in the wild. The same cannot be said about Windows, because there are true Windows viruses in the wild, which can infect even if a user is practicing safe computing.
     
  12. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #12
    Flashback affected a lot of users that practiced "safe computing". The recommendation to disable Java was added to the FAQ after the fact. As they say, hindsight is always 20/20.
    Would you mind explaining how? I have used Windows since the 1990s, never used any "anti-virus software", and never got infected. "Safe computing" is indeed the best way to prevent malware, but that's not exclusive to OS X.

    Besides, there are some important steps missing in your FAQ, like e.g. not using an account with elevated privileges for normal work.
     
  13. GGJstudios, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    That is false. It was well known at the time that having Java disabled in the browser was recommended, and I, like many others, had been doing that long before Flashback, as this post from 2010 proves.
    Just because you haven't encountered a Windows virus doesn't mean they are not in the wild. Many others have suffered infection by Windows viruses.
    There is no real-world disadvantage in running an admin account on OS X.
     
  14. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #14
    The virus can't run on the Mac so it is unable to run, copy itself, hide or any other behaviour, it is just a dumb file.

    Yes YOU can move it around by downloading/moving the file or the email it was attached to.

    It can't move itself by Teamviewer (or anything else on the Mac), but YOU can move it by Teamviewer if you move the file, there is nothing to prevent it.
     
  15. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #15
    That may be so, but your FAQ didn't even exist until after Flashback broke out, if the document history doesn't lie. So my comment stands.
    I never claimed otherwise. What I wrote is that what you call "safe computing" can prevent virus infections, just like it can help to keep other types of malware from attacking your system. This is true for Windows as well as OS X. Besides, Viruses are "not in the wild" until they are ...
    This just shows me how little you understand about computer security.

    You're doing nothing but lulling people into a false sense of security.
     
  16. flur macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2012
    #16
    Yes, if you transferred infected files to your mac, and then you transferred those same files from your mac to your PC, your PC could become infected. Hopefully you're already using good, up-to-date antivirus software on your PC. If you are, there's very little to worry about. You could just put the potentially dangerous files on a thumb drive and have your virus software clean that before you allow those files onto the PC, just to be on the safe side.

    That said, if you didn't transfer any files to your mac, then your mac doesn't have any infected files, and you are fine.
     
  17. duervo, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015

    duervo macrumors 68000

    duervo

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    #17
    Well, to be completely fair, the FAQ did indeed exist before the news officially broke about FlashBack having been found to infect Macs. (It was actually created in August 6, 2011. About 6 weeks or so before Intego announced FlashBack's existence on September 26, 2011.)

    You can view the changes to the FAQ here. I have found the comparison where the recommendation to disable Java was first added to it, somewhere between 2-3 weeks before news officially broke about FlashBack having infected Macs.

    http://guides.macrumors.com/index.php?title=Mac_Virus%2FMalware_FAQ&diff=22953&oldid=22648

    Now, FlashBack was known to exist prior to this. In fact, going back to as early as Fall 2011. However, at that time, there were no published/verified reports of any Macs being infected. At least, none that I have found within my searching.

    But, what I find kinda funny about all of this, is that FlashBack is a trojan bundled with a modified copy of Adobe's Flash Player. It's not related to Java in any way that I know of, unless I'm missing something (that's possible ... wouldn't be the first time.)

    ... and now, to the OP's post!

    Keep an AV and anti-malware product on your Windows system (I use NOD32 and Malwarebytes AntiMalware Premium). Keep them up-to-date, and be diligent with their scanning. That's about all you can do there, short of stop using TeamViewer altogether, that is (which is probably not an acceptable solution.)

    BTW, your friend should "practice safe browsing" too, if their system is expected to be the source of malicious code. If the concern is really that serious, though, I would simply stop connecting to their system altogether, but that might not be something that you are prepared to do for whatever reason.
     
  18. GGJstudios, Apr 7, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 7, 2015

    GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    Again, false. As the FAQ in the forum Guides states:
    That post was created more than a year before Flashback. Here is the original post, upon which the FAQ is based:

    Mac Virus/Malware Info
    No, it cannot. True viruses can infect without any user authorization or action, unlike Trojans, which require some active or passive involvement on the part of the user, either by deliberate action (such as installing pirated software) or failure to act (such as failing to disable Java in the browser).
    And your point is....?
    No, it shows you that I understand the difference between Windows and OS X when it comes to admin accounts. Name one real-world disadvantage in running an OS X admin account, versus running a standard account.
    No, lulling people into a false sense of security would be telling them that an antivirus app will protect them from malware.
    As already stated, the FAQ was created by stridemat and is based on a post I made on Mar 8, 2010, about a year and a half before Flashback was discovered.
     
  19. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #19
    You really have no clue what you are talking about. Drive-by exploits, for example, are not limited to Java, and they can absolutely affect a user without any deliberate action or failure to act.
    That your insistence that there are "no Mac viruses in the wild" is pointless and irrelevant.
    Really? :rolleyes: How about the fact that any app started under an administrator account is member of group admin and can, for example, write into /Applications? Every heard of the principle of least privileges? If you don't understand the relevance of these simple concepts you shouldn't be discussing security.
     
  20. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #20
    Name one such exploit that can't be successfully avoided by the safe computing practices already mentioned.
    It is quite relevant, as the difference between a true virus and other forms of malware is critical in determining the defense required. It is a fact that there has never been a virus in the wild that can affect OS X.
    As I said, name one real-world example of a disadvantage in running an admin account. You have failed to do so. Hypotheses and non-existant threats are not real-world examples.
     
  21. adamhenry macrumors 65816

    adamhenry

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Location:
    On the Beach
    #21
    I remember the Windows Code Red virus that would move from machine to machine without any user signed in. The only requirement was IIS server installed and connected to a network.
     
  22. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #22
    Yes, under windows that is possible. Not successfully achieved under OS X as the permissions structure and enforcement is entirely different.
     
  23. garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2013
    Location:
    Canada is my city
    #23
    Windows viruses do not transfer to Mac, and Mac viruses are technically impossible to make (due to the architecture and all that).
     
  24. adamhenry macrumors 65816

    adamhenry

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2015
    Location:
    On the Beach
    #24
    I understand. Much earlier Rigby stated that "safe computing" would prevent infections on Windows also. You can't get much safer than never logging on and that would not protect a machine from being infected by Code Red.
     
  25. Rigby macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #25
    Any drive-by exploit that targets the browser or any other plugin that you have installed.
    Nonsense. Whether you execute virus replication code, a trojan dropper or an adware installer makes very little difference. The system is infected in any case.
    I named one. If you can't understand the most basic computer security precautions I can't help you.

    ----------

    That would be a worm. And of course even that requires that the code is somehow executed on the first infected machine. If you are careful about running code with dubious or unkown origins, an infection is unlikely. The same applies to regular viruses and trojan droppers. Once you do execute the code for whatever reason, OS mitigations might or might not help to protect the system from infection.

    ----------

    It's actually not all that different anymore. Both OS X and modern Windows versions use ACLs (OS X still has POSIX permissions in addition). Both have additional GUI-layer mechanisms to elevate privileges on demand. Both employ an array of mitigations to make exploits more difficult.
     

Share This Page