Macs and Virus Problems

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by MaxxTraxx, Aug 17, 2009.

  1. MaxxTraxx macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2008
    #1
    Before buying a Mac, I want to know how bad are the viruses.

    After recently getting burned once again by trojans and virus on a Windows PC, I have had enough.
     
  2. TEG macrumors 604

    TEG

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2002
    Location:
    Langley, Washington
    #2
    Few if any exist, unless you are pirating software. Any that do exist require your interaction to install, and when found are pretty easy to remove.

    8 years on OS X and Zero Infections.

    TEG
     
  3. highertechnology macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 31, 2009
    #3
    Stick with legit software and youll have no problems.
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    There ARE no viruses that affect current Mac OS X. The only thing you need to watch for is trojans, but you have to actively install those, entering your admin password.
     
  5. IBradMac macrumors 68000

    IBradMac

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Location:
    Ohio
    #5
    Even if you install one of these on your system it is likely its not going to damage any drives or anything.

    A month or two ago I installed a trojan on mine. Just don't make the same mistake as me and not back anything up before doing a clean reinstall. Not a problem since. :eek:

    Thanks to a very helpful MacRumor's member I was back up and running and educated in the same day. :)
     
  6. chan2004 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Location:
    India, currently Zurich,Switzerland
    #6

    my mac had no virus attack till now.
    if i had been using windows, i would have reformatted my system atleast twice by this time.

    Still, maybe i am too dumb to realise there is virus in my mac:D
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    How can you have a virus on your Mac when none exist? You may be having some problems, but a virus is not one of them!
     
  8. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #8
    I think what he meant to say was "So far, I have had no viruses -- but who knows, maybe there is one and I haven't noticed it yet".

    To answer the OP's question, again: To date there are ZERO viruses affecting Mac OS X (not to be confused with the older, "Classic" OS, for which viruses did exist). That's using the definition of a virus as something that is self-installing and self-replicating. There ARE a few trojan horses, but you pretty much have to be tricked into downloading and installing them yourself, and would require an admin password to have any access privileges to do damage.
     
  9. dreamgood macrumors newbie

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    Jul 2, 2008
  10. Sorkvild macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2007
    #10
    Until somebody creates a virus, you don't need to worry about anything.
     
  11. Azazul macrumors newbie

    Azazul

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2009
    #11
    Why?

    A more interesting question then: WHY are there no viruses for macs?

    Because "too small market share to care" doesm't really cut it anymore.
     
  12. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #12
    A Mac can still be a virus carrier so you should run anti-virus if you are forwarding lots of email / attachments to your PC friends.
     
  13. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2003
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #13
    I don't think it was ever a valid excuse. There is always someone who would like to be the first true OSX virus creator (not trojan).

    Note - I could even see Microsoft paying lots of money to a development team to create a true OSX virus :)
     
  14. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #15
    Having to actively install trojans on Windows hasnt exactly stopped people from getting them. Trojans come with safe looking programs, its perfectly normal to have to type your password when installing programs which means its impossible to know youre installing a trojan. Having type your password is not added protection against trojans at all.
     
  15. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #16
    Easiest way to get trojan is download software from torrent sites and install them. You'll be safe if you surf safely (no porn or other suspicious sites), don't download illegal software and if you go to site and it automatically downloads something, just ignore and delete it.

    Only way to get trojan for many people is to hack Apple Software Update and let it share your trojan as an update (updates needs admins password and people trusts them), but that is so unlikely
     
  16. Winni macrumors 68030

    Winni

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Germany.
    #17
    Bait for the trolls?

    I don't have problems with viruses on any operating system, but that's probably because I'm only using legal software and a relatively secure web browser: Firefox.
     
  17. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #18
    It IS protection, unless someone is stupid enough to download pirated software or from untrustworthy sources. As long as you only get software from trusted, reputable sources and are careful with your password, it's a very effective line of defense. Windows is a completely different story... much less secure and plagued with millions of viruses.
    I think it's a valid question coming from someone unfamiliar with Macs.
     
  18. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #19
    I always thought I was invulnerable too, until the day the Nimda virus hit my workplace. I don't know who first brought it into the company by (probably) opening a bad email attachment, but once in, it spread all around the network. It took advantage of some sort of scripting vulnerability combined with some kind of "autorun" mechanism built into Windows and networking. Basically all you had to do to be infected was to be connected to an infected network shared drive. My computer, and that of pretty much everyone else in the company, was hit within minutes, and through NO "dangerous" actions of any of us.

    Up until then I had figured that if I didn't execute unknown programs, then there was no way I could ever accidentally install a virus on my PC. Nowadays, that's just not good enough anymore.
     
  19. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #20
    Using the internet smartly has nothing to do with giving your password when installing something. You avoid trojans by being vigilant about what you download, thats it, if you didnt ask for it then dont download it. The password prompt doesnt protect you from jack when you are trying to install free gambling software that also comes with a trojan, you are WILLINGLY installing the gambling software so obviously you will put in your password until its done installing. Macs are just as protected as PCs are when it comes to trojans.

    That was almost a decade ago, nowadays isnt the right word for something that old in the computer world. Plus people here are very quick to point out the difference between viruses and trojans (on Macs at least, I have yet to see anyone point out the difference when it comes to PC users getting all these mysterious viruses plaguing the internet that I've never been able to come across) so it should be noted that nimda was a worm not a virus.
     
  20. EmperorDarius macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2009
    #21
    Nope, it's not the same thing.
    On Windows, you can get to a compromised website and get infected automatically, without even noticing.
    On Windows, if you eventually download malware, it can easily completely bypass the protections, while the Mac trojans require you to put in your password.
    On Windows, there are rootkits and other very stealthy malware that is difficult to detect AND remove. On a Mac, it's quite easy to remove trojans manually or by installing iAntivirus, some removal tool or a commercial antivirus trial.

    Just a few points.
     
  21. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #22
    I didn't say anything about using the internet "smartly". I said "pirated software or from untrustworthy sources. As long as you only get software from trusted, reputable sources ..." Gambling and gaming sites have long had a reputation for being infested with viruses and trojans. They are NOT trustworthy sites. I would never be stupid enough to install gambling software on my system, from ANY site.

    That is completely false. Millions of Windows PCs will allow installation of software with no admin password or restriction of any kind.
    There are plenty of sources to educate you on the differences between a virus, a trojan and a worm. There are very distinct and important differences. Look it up. You'll be smarter for it! You can also spend some time reading the dozens and dozens of threads in this forum on malware. If you spend some time reading, you'll soon know what you're talking about.
    The Nimda ("admin" spelled backwards) worm does not affect Mac OS X, only Windows.
     
  22. tekio macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 31, 2009
    #23
    So can a mac http://securitywatch.eweek.com/apple/mac_hacked_via_safari_browser_in_pwn2own_contest.html

    and again in 2008

    http://blogs.itworldcanada.com/security/2008/04/01/cansecwest-pwn-to-own-2008/

     
  23. stainlessliquid macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    #24
    So why wouldnt anyone input their password when they WANT to install "iGambler 2009"? In terms of how people behave the protection is the same. Hitting "next" to install a trojan has the same amount of protection as typing "12345" and hitting enter. The whole point of a trojan is being tricked into thinking you are installing something else, a password does not magically untrick a person. The only way a password can protect someone from installing a trojan is if they forget the password.

    Viruses are the real danger as you dont have to manually install iGambler or supersearchtoolbar. Viruses however are very hard to come across if you keep things updated. Trojans are everywhere but they are installed by the user usually from nagging browser plug-ins on money hungry sites, they are by far the most common "virus" on PC's when you hear people say "I got a virus."

    augh in order to respond I would have to repeat myself, youre not understanding what people are saying, notjustjay is probably scratching his head too
     
  24. notjustjay macrumors 603

    notjustjay

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2003
    Location:
    Canada, eh?
    #25
    Yes, I know, I was hit by it, remember? :p I brought up my Nimda experience because every time we have a thread about Mac viruses, a Windows user will say "The Windows virus thing is way overblown. All you need to do is be smart, and you won't get any viruses." I felt that way too, until Nimda proved me wrong.

    Back in the late 90's and early 2000's I freely ignored all the hype about viruses on PC's because I knew that as long as I surfed behind a firewall and didn't execute a suspicious looking email attachment, or download anything shady, or pop in an infected diskette, there was NO WAY that my PC could possibly be infected by any kind of malware.

    Nimda took advantage of some Windows vulnerabilities and proved to me that this was no longer true, that, yes, it was possible to become infected through no action of my own. I didn't open an email. I didn't download anything nefarious. I didn't surf to a shady website. I didn't pop in an infected disk. As far as I was concerned, I was just doing my normal business, and suddenly my PC was infected. It had to do with how Windows PCs access network shares in the background. I could literally hear the exact moment when my PC started grinding itself to a halt.

    As one poster pointed out, yes, that was almost a decade ago (2001). Today, there are SO MANY vulnerabilities that not only is it possible for your unprotected Windows PC to become infected, it is likely. I bought a netbook about 6 months ago. It was my first Windows PC in years. Yes, I ignored the warnings to install a virus scanner, thinking "I'll just surf carefully and I'll be fine". Yes, I got infected within a few weeks.

    I switched from Windows to Mac back in 2003. Before words like "adware" and "spyware" became part of the general vocabulary. Before virus scanners became an essential part of every PC setup. I apparently jumped ship at the right time, because (other than my netbook) I haven't had to deal with this stuff at all on my Mac.
     

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