Spy/Adware making PC's unusable, suggests Macintosh as a so...

Discussion in 'MacBytes.com News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. TwitchOSX macrumors 6502

    May 2, 2002
    Southern Oregon
  2. nagromme macrumors G5


    May 2, 2002
    CNN had two articles in spyware today. Pretty amazing (or not) that Macs only got one passing mention in one of them, and none in the other.

    People STILL don't get that Macs aren't plagued by these problems. I tell them that, and they don't exactly think I'm lying... but it's SO far into the realm of sci-fi for them that they don't seem to really process it. It's like they're thinking, "that's impossible, and I don't know why, but I won't think about it." It's like quantum physics when you tell them Macs don't get viruses and spyware.
  3. Flowbee macrumors 68030


    Dec 27, 2002
    Alameda, CA
    The only mention of Macintosh comes in the last sentence of the article:

  4. balconycollapse macrumors regular

    Aug 7, 2003
    Ames, IA
    How much "important data" did his brother actually have on the computer.

    For gods sake why didn't he just clear the system and reinstall the os burning anything crucial to a cd.

    No, he prefers to be a martyr and feel special erasing things with 40 dollar scamware. This individual probably feels triumph after cleaning his ears with q-tips. That's my biggest gripe with a set of pc users. The ones who think it's manly to use dos or try and solve a computer problem for days when they can use blunt force/simpler methods. Not proactive.
  5. kainjow Moderator emeritus


    Jun 15, 2000
    Reinstalling the OS is a huge pain in the arse it's really the last option I highly recommend any PC user to get spyware removal programs because they CAN do it, I've seen it. You just have to download like 500 programs and run them each 20x to get it all done :)

    I do tech support for an ISP and one of the most common issues we see that affects peoples computers is spyware/adware. It's huge, and people think that Norton AntiVirus crap takes care of it. There really needs to be a law that if someone's going to have a computer in their house they take a test and get a license for it. Basic educating is all there is too it, such as don't click OK on everything you see, don't trust pop-ups even if it looks like a familiar program, always have virus protection and spyware protection running DAILY, etc etc. Computers (PC's) require so much more maintenance then people think. They just expect them to work - only if it's a Mac - Apple needs to push this positive side badly.

    Thank goodness I'm on a Mac I wouldn't trust a PC for any day-to-day use.
  6. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    it has often been discussed that the Mac will "never" get a virus (e.g. because one needs to type in the admin pwd everytime etc. etc.).

    how about spyware & adware? would it not be possible on a mac?
  7. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    Theoretically true, but OS X contains a large number of processes running as root. Plenty of exploitable bugs have been found in those programs, and you can be assured that still more will be found. How badly an exploit of these bugs can affect the Mac world depends on how good users are about letting Software update run, and how well discovered bugs are reported back to Apple.
    It would be easy to do if the author takes the common route of bundling the spyware with an otherwise real product. Exploits in the OS X browser glue have been found and patched, so there are at least some exploitable systems out there.

    Just like in the Windows world, how exploitable all these holes are has a lot to do with how good users are about applying patches. I know from visiting places like MacRumors that quite a few users refuse to keep up to date for various reasons, so it is possible for someone to cause trouble out there.

    So far, it simply appears that there isn't much interest in causing that trouble.
  8. Stella macrumors 604


    Apr 21, 2003
    I absolutely agree with what you are saying. A year or two back now some one asked me what virus checker I used for my Mac. I said "none, there are no viruses".

    The reply from this person was there must be viruses and I should have a virus checker. They absolutely refused to believe there were no viruses for the Mac ( OSX).

    Yes, they had a windows PC.

  9. billyboy macrumors 65816


    Mar 15, 2003
    In my head
    According to the NSA secure OSX setup recommendations, Software Update is a potential security breach! :eek: You should download updates direct from Apple and burn them to disc and install from the disc.

    We are talking spooks here mind whose first run when securing admin accounts includes disabling the internal microphone, Airport and iSight capabilities, as well as disabling Speech recognition....

    Once the secure system is set up, compromised systems are down to user error, and as usual, the user is the weakest link.
  10. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    The same weakness in Software Update makes downloading from Apple (or anywhere else) by hand vulnerable too. It's really a weakness in the way the Internet is built. DNS servers can be toyed with, and even numeric addresses can be faked if there's an evil router or transparent proxy between you and the site you intend to reach.

    For best security, you should have all updates hand delivered and installed by Avi Tevanian, and only allow him to proceed with the work after you have obtained a blood sample and examined his DNA.
  11. coldspot macrumors member


    Apr 15, 2004
    Florianópolis, Brazil
    Quanto mais um sistema é usado, mais falhas são encontradas. Veja só: foi só o Mac OS X começar a ficar famoso que já surgiram 3 vírus.
    E olhem o market share da Apple: 3,1%. É, pelo visto as pessoas não estão muito interessadas nessa "segurança" que um Mac proporciona...
  12. macnulty macrumors 6502

    May 18, 2003
    Rehoboth Beach, De

    eh chemo sabie ?
  13. Qunchuy macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2002
    coldspot's note is in Portugese, not Tontoese. Roughly translated:

    "The more a system is used, the more problems are discovered. Note that when MacOS X started becoming popular, there were already 3 viruses. And Apple's market share is only 3.1%. That's why so few people are interested in the "security" of a Mac system."
  14. CaptainHaddock macrumors 6502

    Jul 6, 2004
    Nagoya, Japan
    Even if Macs were as common as Wintel machines, worms and spyware would be far less prevalent because of OS X's design philosophy and intrinsically secure Unix underpinnings. In Windows, many processes and applications need administrator permissions, and the system is intentionally lax so as to be easier to use (ha!) and develop for.

    It is true that spyware could theoretically be bundled with a Mac app, since that's how maybe a third of Windows spyware gets installed. Again, however, fundamental differences make this unlikely. Windows applications always come with installers that put executable files and libraries all over the place, and they litter the registry with obscure entries that can surreptitiously launch spyware on start-up. The Mac lacks this horrible registry system, and most programs do not use installers. You simply drag the application to your Applications icon, so no spyware can get installed in the background.

    In fact, I instinctively distrust any application that requires an installation program - Adobe and Apple products excepted. I would never run an installer from a questionable software developer, this is just common sense on a Mac. Running installers on Windows, however, is unavoidable. What an awful way to design something!
  15. rexh macrumors newbie

    Nov 15, 2004
    Don't bury your head - Mac Spyware is here

    I don't know how it works, but I know I have spyware. For instance, that annoying redisplay, when you go to cnn.com stories. My pc at work sort of did the same thing, so I thought it was just the way cnn built the site, but today we ran a good spyware cleaner on my pc, and that along with a lot of other annoyances went away. I surf the web a lot and I was getting so much spam it was bothering me. So I turned off cookies on my Mac. The spam went down for a while, but now its comming back personalized. I need a Mac spyware removal program.
  16. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5


    Jun 6, 2003
    Solon, OH
    I don't need to worry too much about Windows spyware for several reasons:

    1. My Windows box is an island - the only machine it ever connects to is my iMac, and it's never connected at the same time the iMac has an active internet connection.
    2. I've rebuilt my Windows machine 5 times, and I'm willing to do it as many more times as needed.
    3. Anything important that I have on the Windows machine has a copy on my Mac somewhere so I can easily bring my PC back to a similar state before the rebuild. For example, I store copies of every installer I put on my PC, including updated drivers.

    Still, though, spyware is annoying, to say the least.
  17. MIADolFan macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2003
    Tampa Bay Area, Florida
    You could take this a step further. Depending on the classification the Removable media must be disabled or removed from the system. Then you are really gettin it locked down.

    I don't miss having to make installation sets for freaking PCs. A real pain. Then you hope the NSA certifies everything ok.
  18. redAPPLE macrumors 68030


    May 7, 2002
    2 Much Infinite Loops
    off topic: language opens worlds... any good language-learning software for mac os x?

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