P2P Safety

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by iHungry, Jul 6, 2004.

  1. iHungry macrumors newbie


    Jul 4, 2004
    Hi, I use Acquisition and LimeWire for my P2P clients. There great and everything, but I'm very paranoid of getting a virus or a sort of spyware. I know to turn on the firewall you need to go to the Sharing part of system prefrences, but does anyone know what I should check off in order to keep my laptop safe?
  2. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    That's like saying "I have many different partners and am afraid I might get an STD. Does anybody know how to avoid this?" :rolleyes:

    If you're doing P2P on OS X you have very very little to worry about as far as getting a virus or something... if you're on Windows... well... you're obviously asking the wrong people...

    The only "known" viruses for OS X are ones that affect Microsoft Office for the Mac. I suppose you could get a Windows virus and pass it on to somebody else that uses Windows but it won't infect your machine. I really just wouldn't worry about it much past turning on the firewall.
  3. iHungry thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 4, 2004
  4. sonofslim macrumors 6502a


    Jun 6, 2003
    panda is correct -- but i totally understand your paranoia. if it'll help you sleep better at night, under System Preferences->Sharing->Firewall, just make sure Firewall Protection is on and that only the ports you're using (your P2P ports, and anything else you use -- ie Personal Web Sharing, iTunes Music Sharing, etc.) are checked.

    personally, i use OS X's firewall in addition to the firewall in my router. i know i don't have to, but i feel better relying on active security rather than security through obscurity.
  5. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    The only way I can think that you can give Windows users Windows viruses is if it was intentional. And that MS Office thing was just an AppleScript Trojan.
  6. seamuskrat macrumors 6502a


    Feb 17, 2003
    New Jersey USA
    In general, due to the lack of virus target at Macs, you are safe.

    That said, you are downloading dubious files of sketchy origins. Meaning, if you download the latest and greatest game/app/video/etc. its possible it is malware. Again, most often targeted for PCs, but think of how easy it would be for n install screen to pop up, ask for your admin password and wipe your system clean.

    Whenever you use P2P make sure you test on something you know could be lost. Its rare, but you must admit, the makers of the $500 pirated app would have the right to delete your home directory if they could.
    That said, even legit uses of P2P (yes, there are some) pose some risks. You may take all the protection in the world, but if the machine you get the file from has Virus X, Y. or Z, then you can get it. On a Mac, less of a concern.
    Keep an up to date Virex around and do not download anything that is not legit.
  7. jsw Moderator emeritus


    Mar 16, 2004
    Andover, MA
    I have to connect my Windows work laptop at home occasionally, so I use the Mac firewall as well to protect me from possible issues on my side of the router. That work laptop is crippled by disk encryption, etc. - all sorts of useless things - but not all that secure from attack, and I don't trust the always-seeming-to-be-out-of-date anti-virus software that I can't remove from it nor replace. They've done a good job of making it very difficult for me to keep it "safe", so I always try to protect my home system - my Macs - from it.
  8. Jalexster macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    I was going to get Limewire, but not for software, I was going to get some video (I have an addiction to Love Hina. I'm also not a cheapskate that downloads music. However Live Hina over Winamp Streaming Internet TV on my WinXP machine sucks, for two reasons: 1) It's Winamp (Made by Nulsoft, who hate iTunes, and therefore can go burn for eternity if you ask me) and 2) It's Windows (made by Microsoft, who hate iTunes, and therefore can go burn for eternity if you ask me)).

    However, when i went to the official site for Limewire the words "Browse host feature--even works through firewalls" scared the hell out of me, because I don't want to connect to ANY network that could mean that my mac's whole HDD (or even ANY of the HDD) can be browsed through.

    Could someone who has Limewire tell me if this Browse host feature, is for the whole HDD, a specific area (like your home folder), or just a specific folder that you can specify?

    If it's just one folder, then I will try Limewire.
  9. smllpx macrumors member

    Feb 25, 2004
    Its only the folder you tell it to share. That way if you are getting the latest funny video of cats or what not, you can browse their shared directory to see if they have any more funny cat videos.
  10. Jalexster macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    Oh Good, so what it meant was that you can browse someone's entire shared folder.

    So for example if you have connected to a host, you can check what toher files that particular host has for sharing.

    I might try Limewire then.

    I do have one more question though. Does anyone know if the Windows version has Spyware. I'm thinking of downloading it onto my Windows XP machine, and I want to make sure it is safe. I have no saftey concernes on my mac.
  11. iHungry thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jul 4, 2004

    I wouldn't trust the Windows version or any P2P client, even with the best protection (anti-virus, spyware removal) Windows has millions of viruses and spyware and malicious script.It's your choice, I just don't think it's a good idea.

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