Security Question

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by JLH81, Feb 7, 2018.

  1. JLH81 macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2016

    I keep reading pros and cons of an antivirus protection. Do I honestly need it at this point in time? I just received a coupon for 3 different programs. So, it had me wondering if I should just buy it and have it on my machine. I was always under the assumption that Mac's were safe computers, but now I am wondering what I should do.

    Do you all have antivirus? How would I be able to tell if I had a virus/malware?

    Thanks much!
  2. Glmnet1 macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2017
    I never had an antivirus on my Mac and never had any problem. I did install Malwarebytes to run a scan once because a virus spread through a network of windows machines I was connected to, but mine was clean :cool:
  3. macdudesir macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2011
    Blacksburg, VA
    As long as you exercise common sense while shouldn't need it. MacOS is very secure in nature compared to Windows...No viruses are allowed to install without your explicit permission.
  4. Sterkenburg macrumors regular

    Oct 27, 2016
    Never used one, never had any problem. While Unix systems are not by definition immune to viruses, the fact that installing anything on a system level requires explicit admin permission means you'll be fine as long as you apply common sense. Just perform a quick scan with Malwarebytes for peace of mind, if you need it.
  5. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    I've seen malware with Mac users that are "technically challenged" or let their kids mess things up.

    It happened to me when I was unlucky enough to download Handbrake last year during the four-day period described here.
  6. 960design macrumors 68020

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    1. ...
    1. Uses system resources
    2. False positives
    3. Lower battery life
    4. Avenue for virus injection due to required root access
    5. Annoying ads

    No. Properly written Operating Systems do not need supplementary software to protect your data and hardware.

    I honestly ask: Would you purchase an automobile today from a manufacturer if it did not come with windows, door locks and/or ignition keys? The salesman mentions that you should probably drive over to Bob's door locks to get a basic level of protection for your vehicle. Then drive over to Sandy's ignition to remove that big red start button and get some keys or better yet a remote start. Finally drive over to Bill's windows to get some protective glass.

    Yes, it came with the OS: Gatekeeper
  7. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Stick with downloading apps from the Apple Store and that will go a long way in keeping you clean.

    Do not open random DMG files that sometimes download to your computer when visiting or traversing a site.

    Make sure you have Safari set to not automatically open files after downloading.
  8. ndnsoftware macrumors newbie

    Feb 14, 2018
    I have never had anti-virus on my Mac and have never had a problem. As some others have already said, I think using common sense goes a long way.

    Be weary of any "Download this to speed up your Mac" type adverts. I've never personally ever seen emails containing viruses/malware aimed at Mac's... but also not opening attachments from anyone you don't know is always good practice in my opinion. If you weren't expecting a delivery by UPS today then ignore the email!
  9. laz232 macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2016
    Glad that macOS is perfect... :p

    To OP - no probably not (noone I know runs AV on macOS). To date there have been (almost?) no true viruses on OS X. However, Flash, Safari and Trojans (including a spate of ransomware) malware remain a problem - so be careful in not entering admin password when unexpectedly prompted for it.

    Downloads of a popular Mac OSX media player and an accompanying download manager were infected with trojan malware after the developer's servers were hacked.

    Elmedia Player by software developer Eltima boasts over one million users, some of whom have may have also unwittingly installed Proton, a Remote Access Trojan which specifically targets Macs for the purposes of spying and theft. Attackers also managed to compromise a second Eltima product - Folx - with the same malware.

    The Proton backdoor provides attackers with an almost full view of the compromised system, allowing the theft of browser information, keylogs, usernames and passwords, cryprocurrency wallets, macOS keychain data and more.

    Windows has a few true viruses, but the main problem as been the lack of UAC enforcement (and a *much* larger installed user base)
  10. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    If you must install software that requires easing the Gatekeeper restrictions then I'd suggest running Malwarebytes before the software download (to determine the current state), after the software download, after the installation and after running the software for the first time.
  11. 960design macrumors 68020

    Apr 17, 2012
    Destin, FL
    Such a narrow assumption. MacOS is far from perfect, but pretty good. I prefer Solaris.

    Thank you for the useful data, have you read it? I posted several of the 'exploits'. It's my job. The exploits are based on a custom app, not the OS. There are instances of remote execution in the wild, based on intel chips: both CPU and GPU, again not OS. There are a few more out there as well, just not public knowledge yet.
  12. laz232 macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2016
    Ah - long time since I used Solaris (and a bunch of other *NIXes back in the day) - all have had exploits as far as I know...BTW "960" a reference to the intel RISC CPU venture of the early 90s?

    App versus OS exploit doesn't make a huge difference for the OP - pwned is pwned, and I'm sure I've seen a couple of remote code exploits on image file formats (TIFF), combined with privilege escalation would also leave the user vulnerable... Of course, GateKeeper, good security practices (reading priv escal prompts), a script blocker and not installing Flash or Java in the browser go a long way.

    To the OP - for my mother's Mac I've setup: Safari as default browser, no antivirus, no Flash, no Java, regular updates and that seems to have been ok up to now (7 years) - though she is a light user and doesn't really install SW herself, YMMV.

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