Sophos Launches Free Anti-Virus Software for Mac OS X

Discussion in 'Mac Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 2, 2010.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001


    Sophos today announced the release of free Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition software, a version of their paid software typically targeting business users.
    While threats to Mac users have typically come in the form of trojan horses that rely on tricking users into granting administrator access to their machines to install their payloads, anti-virus software can help identify this malware and alert users when they attempt to install it. In addition, anti-virus software is sometimes recommended for Mac users who frequently exchange files with Windows users, as it can prevent Windows malware that wouldn't affect Mac OS X machines from being unwittingly passed on to Windows systems.

    Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition runs on Macs with Intel or PPC processors and requires a minimum of Mac OS X 10.4 and 256 MB of RAM.

    Article Link: Sophos Launches Free Anti-Virus Software for Mac OS X
  2. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Now Sophos can begin developing viruses against which their software can defend us.
  3. FourCandles macrumors 6502a

    Feb 10, 2009
    It will be interesting to see if this makes it to the OS X App Store.
  4. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    There are no successful OS X viruses/worms, but every platform has Trojan horses. Aside from downloading your apps from trusted sources, I see two decent options for combatting future threats—including, maybe, an actual OS X worm someday:

    1. Run anti-virus software all the time. When and if a threat emerges, download the latest definitions so you are protected.

    2. Run nothing extra all the time. When and if a threat emerges, download anti-virus software so you are protected.

    I like #2, myself.
  5. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    It installs various components into your system, so no, not until Apple modifies their guidelines.

    Seeing how many things it does install and the size of the download, I wouldn't install this on any computer. Looks like FUDware to me.
  6. supmango macrumors 6502

    Feb 17, 2008
    Agreed, nothing like this is ever "free".
  7. IntelliUser macrumors 6502

    Nov 1, 2009
    Why does it matter?
    There are several free antiviruses for Windows, so...

    I think there just weren't enough people buying Mac-only commercial licenses.
    Now you gotta pay for cross-platform licenses to get professional tech support and all the extra business and security features (Management console, encryption, antispam, firewall etc.).
  8. capoeirista macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2007
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    ClamXAV is free and it's pretty good if you think you need it. Plus it's open source (I think).
  9. Nicky G macrumors 6502a

    Nicky G

    Mar 24, 2002
    Baltimore & NYC
    I've never heard of this company -- are they reputable, does anyone know? I've heard all sorts of stories abut these types of things being spyware or some such, don't want to pollute my Mac with any of that garbage!
  10. myotis macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2007
    This seems to good to be true.

    With Windows, Sophos actively discourages home users by pricing their product out of the market for single licenses £100 plus. Multiple (corporate) licenses rapidly become much cheaper, and the licenses include home use for employees.

    Even though it has the reputation of being the best AV available, the price meant that once I was no longer eligible for a free license, I had to leave Sophos behind, so this is really good news that a free version is available for the Mac.

    I still find it rather strange, unless it shows a change in policy. Or they are testing it out on the home market before focussing on the corporate market.

  11. RandomKamikaze macrumors 6502a


    Jan 8, 2009
    You're joking right?!

    They are the one of the biggest security product vendors!

    I have installed this, no slow down and it doesn't get in the way.

    I have it installed as I frequently share files with Windows users and don't want to be a carrier.
  12. myotis macrumors member

    Dec 12, 2007
    See my message just after yours, they are not well known because they only sell to very large corporates. Ten years ago I ran Sophos AV on all our company computers. I went for Sophos because its reputation was streets ahead of all the competition. Everyone I spoke to at the time seemed to have some a range of AV horror stories/problems that they no longer suffered after switching to Sophos.

    Excellent support, whenever a new virus appeared, Sophos would have an update out within minutes/hours, sometimes this was a temporary fix, with a final version out a few hours later. Telephone support was excellent with phone answered in seconds. Used virtually no resources when running.

    As I said in other email, I stopped using it only because I lost my free "employees" license when I left the company that I had bought it for and couldn't justify the £100 + to buy a home license. I'm afraid I found everything else I tried (Norton, McAfee etc) to be very poor alternatives. Eventually settling on ESET NOD32, which while still taking more resources than Sophos, and only having daily updates rather than the minute by minute updates from Sophos, it was still the best of the ones I tried.

  13. H&Kie macrumors regular

    Sep 19, 2004
    I'm still running Sophos AV using an employees license at this moment. Although it never detected any Mac malware, it does find Windows malware from time to time. And it's nice to have this malware removed before I send files to friends, collegues or customers.

    It runs smooth on the background and does a decent job. It might not be to crucial on a Mac, but still it's a nice idea my files are protected.
  14. Dr Kevorkian94 macrumors 68020

    Jun 9, 2009
    SI, NY
    when my mac gets a virus ill be shocked, il buy it when i do. (not that ill know when i have one anyway0

    while typing this one of those 20 year animal adoption commercials, they make me want to punch the puppy more than help it. gosh they cant just make a short to the point video no they have to get in your face about it!:mad:
  15. Zeos, Nov 2, 2010
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2011

    Zeos macrumors 6502

    Jan 24, 2008
    We use Sophos at work and love it! Can't wait to start using it at home too.

    UPDATE: Nevermind. What a pain. It kills my Time Machine backups and freezes my computer.
  16. munkery, Nov 2, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2010

    munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    ClamXav also is much lighter on system resources because it does not have real-time scanning.

    It real-time scans emails (optional) and the specific folders you tell the sentry to watch; both via resource friendly daemons that launch ClamXav in the background when they detect changes in those areas. It does not real-time scan exhaustively (running processes & entire filesystem) but, at this point in time, this level of real-time scanning is not required on Macs.

    The benefit of the lack of true real-time scanning is much less resource consumption.

    EDIT: To clarify, email scanning needs to be set up with the Sentry. The option to scan email in the preferences is an option to scan the contents of mbox folders as individual items; not an option to real-time scan email. Add ~/Library/Mail and ~/Library/ Mail Downloads to real-time scan email for
  17. DocNYz macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2008
    East Coast, USA
    just out of curiosity, what type of work?
  18. Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    I wonder if it will work on the newer models that are made out of Aluminum, or only the older plastic ones?

    they should update their icons.
  19. keruah macrumors member

    Apr 24, 2009
    can't wait... to start using an antivirus?
  20. iPoodOverZune macrumors regular


    Jan 13, 2007
    They are one of the most reputable company in security area for business users. They typically don't sell (or don't intend to sell) to home users. Although if you are in a university and they offer sophos, you can get it for free.

    Seriously, I have never installed anything beside Sophos on my macs for the last 7 years. I really like its small footprint, very low memory usage (not like Norton hog), extremely fast loading at login, not at all intrusive while working. It does not even seem to be there. And this is coming from experience with windows with their ****** memory hog antivirus programs, even the free ones. I have made it a policy to install sophos on Windows machines. Such a relief from the stupidity of Nortons and zone alarms!!
  21. Amazing Iceman macrumors 68040

    Amazing Iceman

    Nov 8, 2008
    Florida, U.S.A.
    Sorry, but it will only work on the models made out of Aluminum-Kryptonium Alloy. :(

    So plastic is out of the question; sorry! :eek:
    Just Kidding!!! :D
    Didn't you read that it is a Universal Application requiring OSX 10.4 or higher???
    Your Mac could have a paper case and as long as it meets those requirements it will work!
  22. kpbpsw macrumors newbie

    Dec 24, 2002
    Don't do it

    There is no reason to put anti-virus software on your Mac!

    It will not protect you from anything that is out there.

    Sophos may be a reputable company or it may not be but you do not need this and it can only harm your system and promote a business that feeds on fear.

    We (the Mac community) should not let the security industry get a toe hold in OSX.
  23. munkery, Nov 2, 2010
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2010

    munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    You also have to be careful to choose an anti-virus software that requires superuser privileges as little as possible because they receive user defined inputs, often run with elevated privileges, and can be the source of the most critical exploits (remote root).

    For example,
  24. callme macrumors regular

    Jul 23, 2010
    How wrong you are.
    This software actually protects for more than just viruses, it also removes trojans which HAVE been written for Mac. It also removes Windows viruses that you as a user can still pass on to other people. It removed 3 trojans from my machine, yes they were Windows trojans, BUT I will now not pass them on in emails, etc.

    Be ignorant if you like, but one day soon we will all be caught out.
  25. Jodles macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2008
    Lots of places require antivirus software installed to access their internet. I'm at uni and no mac or pc will get internet access unless they pass a test with valid and up to date antivirus. I think it's a good thing, even for mac users, as it limits the amount of viruses that are passed on.

    We get McAfee on a uni license, but this might make me consider Sophos instead if it's lighter on system resources (the only thing I don't like about antivirus software...)

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