OS X invites VIRUSES...

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by clubmedia, Aug 4, 2002.

  1. clubmedia macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2002
    ok, i know how lucky we have been with not having anywhere near the amount of viruses that the windows platform experiences. will this all change now that we are in the land of unix? it seems to be a real possibility? whats the deal?
  2. arn macrumors god


    Staff Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Re: OS X invites VIRUSES...

    Not particularly...

    There are Unix born viruses... but these mostly infect and are a byproduct of the unix-based services... which are mostly the "server" sort of processes... apache/sendmail etc...

    Most users don't run these services... so they won't be a problem.

    As for general Mac OS X apps... I still think the smaller Mac/Apple marketshare is less attractive for potential virus writers... as well as less of the actual programmers themselves... this may change too... but it's not a product of being Unix based, but expanding your marketshare.

  3. al256 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2001
    I'm sure it's not the OS under the hood that would cause a virus, it more the less would be the more people that use the OS, the more mac users we have the more likely one of them will create a virus. Just like when a population increases in any area, crime rates go up too. Here, to give you some peace of mind I haven't heard of a Linux virus, which also uses UNIX.
  4. Nipsy macrumors 65816


    Jan 19, 2002
    UNIX virii are more common than OS 9 virii, however, there are some important considerations to bear in mind.

    FreeBSD is a VERY secure base to build off.

    UNIX virii tend to exploit, like arn said, apps commonly running as daemons on servers, not end user machines.

    UNIX hacking is mainly with the goal of stealing data. Your vacation photos will never be as interesting to hackers as bank data, government info, etc.

    Apple & many many open source programmers take security very very seriously (unlike some of our Redmond based friends).

    You can make your machine inpenetrable to 99.99% of virii and hackers by not being an idiot. Use a strong password, use a firewall, close ports you don't use, don't open attachments, toss your cookies every now and again, etc. Even Windows is semi secure when you follow these rules. It is VERY unlikely that a Mac OSX machine will be specifically targetted for a root exploit, unless there is data of VALUE. Your are more likely to send you identity to a shady establishment, than have a hacker or virus get it from your machine.

    Windows will be the target of most malicious teenagers who write vb virii as long as most malicious teenager code on Windows.
  5. Inhale420 macrumors regular

    May 4, 2002
    why would someone spend the time to write a virus when it would only have the potential to affect 2.5% of computer users?
  6. clubmedia thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2002
    thats what we have to look forward too if apple starts really gaining market share. sucks cause we are looking into our futures
  7. Taft macrumors 65816


    Jan 31, 2002
    We all knew going into OS X that we would be more suseptable to these kind of issues. Its simple really...OS X is based on Unix and there are more people out there who are malicious towards *nix systems than were towards Classic Mac OS.

    But I'm not really worried. Sure, there are bound to be security holes in OS X. But there were in Classic, too. Sure, there are more people knowledgable in Unix code and Unix hacking. But how many are going to target my computer? Sure there are virus that can get into a Unix system. But windows is still far more suseptable.

    I'm not worried. I'd be far more worried if I was running a Windows box.

    Don't worry, we're still in the minority. :)

  8. Sherman macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2002
    Some guy got pissed at me on AIM and he was all "I'm gonna DoS you!"
    Sherman: Riiigghht you go and do that
    <Sherman goes and closes the port using Brickhouse>
    Fool: Yea, take that! How's you're computer feeling now!
    Sherman: Fine. I have the port turned off you dip****
    Fool: You can't do that!

    ad infinitum...
  9. clubmedia thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2002
    yeah i know and i love being the minority. i just know that the tides are about to turn (or at least i am hoping). just tring to get real deal feedback on this matter...
  10. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    I think that most virus writers are in it to see their efforts in the news. If you can create havoc on a large scale, you can show your buddies that you're famous.

    It might be funny, in a sick way, to destroy other people's data, but probably better for them just to scare and confuse and still be famous.:confused:

    Attacking 3.48 percent of the market wouldn't make you very famous.
  11. clubmedia thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 12, 2002
    current mac addict quote


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