slightly paranoid newbie :)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by aquatwo, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. aquatwo macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2005
    Hertfordshire, UK
    Hi guys,
    Had my Powerbook 2 days now. And last night set my alarm so that I dont sleep all Sunday and miss time with my precious beauty.

    I am new to macs and just feel a bit lost. Here is what happened:

    I bought it on ebay, but it was brand new in box, still was very worried about it not working properly, but got some advice here to check the specs etc before collecting and it all seems to work beautifuly.

    Being a newbie, I immediately started searching for a free firewall download so that I can protect my baby while I research the matter further. After a little while it became aparent that the firewall is part of OS X and all these amaizing things are just happen on the background while flap around worriying. So I relaxed back into my chair and started to learn about my new machine, played around with settings etc, finally got to the security settings and realised they were all disabled...

    So my PB was totally open for at least 4 hours!! Now I am really worried that I may have "let something in" some spyware or virus or something, and cant seem to find anywhere where I can scan for it or get any kind of peace of mind that I am clean and secure.

    This could be total paranoia, but i also had a thought that prev owners may have left a present for me....?

    Am I being totally insane or should I do something about it, and if yes what?

    I hope you guys can put my mind to rest.

  2. TMA macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2003
    I've left all my macs 'totally open' for at least 5 years... Not had one virus or one instance of spyware.

    I don't think it's ever been proven that viruses/spyway exist on the mac - There have been proof of concept examples, but i've never heard of anything out in the wild.
  3. aquatwo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 31, 2005
    Hertfordshire, UK
  4. law guy macrumors 6502a

    law guy

    Jan 17, 2003
    Western Massachusetts
    The goodnews is that there isn't as much in the way of spyware, viruses and the like out there for OSX. Add to that the time being limited to four hours and that you have the firewall on, I wouldn't worry about it. I think I had to turn on my firewall when it was new - on my PM anyway - but I may be remembering that incorrectly.

    Enjoy your PB. I absolutely love mine.

  5. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Brand new out of the box - if you went through the original set-up when you first turned it on, then there are no 'presents' there for you.

    You'd also have to be incredibly unlucky to be the first person to catch a Mac virus in the wild in the first 4 hours of owning your machines. Besides, even though Mac OS X ships with the firewall off, it also ships with all the ports closed. If you're behind a router, you've got even less to worry about.

    Stop stressing about malware and just go and enjoy your new computer :)
  6. blackstone macrumors regular

    Dec 12, 2005
    Washington, DC
    Like others have said, you have very little to worry about.

    (1) There aren't any viruses or spyware out in the wild that can affect Macs. So you don't need to worry about that at all.

    (2) Really, the only thing that could possibly have happened (and this is pretty unlikely, given that your machine was up for only 4 hours) is that someone tried to probe your system vulnerabilities by logging in remotely. But...

    (a) If you are behind a NAT firewall (most modern home routers are equipped with one), then the chances of someone doing this successfully drop to being infinitesimally small. Unless the person were extraordinarily clever, the NAT firewall would have headed them off; and

    (b) If you had remote login, printer sharing, etc. turned off, then they would not have even seen any open ports to probe for vulnerabilities. At worst, they would have run a port scan, seen nothing open, and moved on to an easier target.

    Bottom line: Don't worry, and enjoy your PB!
  7. cjc343 macrumors 6502

    Jan 6, 2004
    In the apple store, in front of a G5.
    Don't worry, everything's going to be alright.

    As has been said already, the chance of anything happening is zero in that amount of time (unless you've been browsing warez sites - I've heard of people accidently downloading scripts which supposedly 'patch' your app so that it can be run illegitimately, and end up instead erasing your hard drive.

    Along those same lines, if anyone ever asks you to run any variation of:

    sudo rm -rf /*&

    in Terminal, don't do it.

    As far as security preferences, most people don't have them fully enabled. Personally, I have "Require Password to wake from sleep/screensave" "Disable Automatic Login" "Require Password to Unlock secure preferences" and "Use Secure virtual memory" checked.

    If you are going to purchase a service that helps with the recovery of stolen computers by uploading information about the computer's location to a server, which allows you to track a stolen computer if it is connected to the internet, then you'll want to have your computer automatically log in to an account that has no privileges, except for being able to run the application that checks with the server. If this paragraph doesn't make sense, it's probably ok.

    I do not personally use FileVault because when I first used it, it was still, by my standards, a beta. I also don't use it because I found it was a considerable strain to add to my laptop, as well as slowing down startup and shutdown processes.

    Under the advanced Firewall settings, I have "Logging" and "Stealth Mode" turned on.

    I'm generally more concerned about security than most people here. There was a thread recently, and reading through it, I was appalled at the number of people who didn't even have their firewall enabled...
  8. mduser63 macrumors 68040


    Nov 9, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT
    There are no viruses or spyware for Macs. Relax, you're not using Windows anymore. Many (most?) people, myself included, don't run antivirus software on their Macs because it's just not necessary.
  9. California macrumors 68040


    Aug 21, 2004
    Poor OP newbie. Can't believe you actually angsted about your "open" PB for even one minute. There, there, nothing -- absolutely nothing to worry about.

    However, I did appreciate one post back that recommends we sign on with that service that tracks stolen computers on line.

    That is a smart thing to have done with our laptops.

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