Mac Viruses

Discussion in 'macOS' started by mikky05v, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. mikky05v macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    #1
    I'm in a computer programming class and my prof keeps saying macs don't get viruses because they aren't made for the mac. While i'm sure that has some truth to it what is the real reason macs aren't as easy to hack as PCs?
     
  2. bamaworks macrumors 6502

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    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #2
    I think the real reason is historically 99% of computers are PCs, if you were writing malicious code wouldn't you want it to actually be malicious and have an easy conduit for transfer instead of praying for it to go from Mac to Mac? The OS's are 100% different and viruses always seem to attacks specific parts of the OS and/or use specific resources in an OS, therefore all of the viruses are made for PC and only use PC OS Resources to complete their tasks which makes them useless when downloaded onto a Mac running an OSX variant.
     
  3. zblaxberg Guest

    zblaxberg

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2007
    #3
    Also don't forget mac operating system is unix based whereas windows isn't. It's a completely different style of coding. And last time I checked i thought apple had something like 7-9% of the computer share.
     
  4. mikky05v thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 3, 2008
    #4
    you are correct Windows currently holds about 92%..
    so is it really just bc they aren't made for macs? or is it more difficult on some level?
     
  5. bamaworks macrumors 6502

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    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #5
    aka why I said "Historically"
     
  6. flopticalcube macrumors G4

    flopticalcube

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    In the velcro closure of America's Hat
    #6
    Traditionally that has been the case. Vista makes it more difficult on the Windows side and XP has tightened up a lot since SP2 but Apple has been very good about plugging loopholes when they have been discovered.
     
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #7
    This question has been asked and argued over on this forum too many times to count. A simple search will find numerous threads on the matter. No one will spread any new light on the subject.

    However, the previous respondents have given you variations on the shopworn and discredited Security through Obscurity excuse. Your professor is correct that there are no viruses written for the Mac, but it has not been for lack of trying. That is evidenced by the three or four proof of concepts. However, it is virtually impossible to write a piece of code for the Mac to does what a virus needs to do in order to qualify as a virus.

    What seems to get lost is that System 6 has several viruses. However, the number of viruses on the Mac declined during the era of System 7 through MacOS 9. MacOS 9 had something like one virus. Despite being wildly successful for seven years now, MacOS X has zero viruses. In Windows, security is added on. MacOS X and, to a lesser extent, MacOS 9 were designed to be secure.
     
  8. kkat69 macrumors 68020

    kkat69

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, Ga
    #8

    The most notably is self-replication. It has been damn near impossible to get a file to self replicate itself without the actual user providing some input.

    Google, search forums, as stated, reasons for the topic have been repeated time and time over.
     
  9. phoxrenvatio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #9
    being unix based, the user allows every program downloaded to run/install by authorizing it with an administrator's password. with windows, this is not the case, a program can be hidden in another file, then executed/installed to run without the user's notification. that is the main reason macs don't get viruses, there are mac viruses, but you have to try to get them...

    PS- I did a large school report on this, PC majority is a minor reason, but still legitimate
     

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