Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by viper8, Mar 11, 2004.

  1. viper8 macrumors newbie

    Mar 11, 2004
    I have been noticing a lot of talk on the internet about computers that have become infected with programs called spyware, I am wondering how pervasive these programs are in the Mac computers we all use, what are the dangers ie. what do they spy on and for what reasons, and how to detect that there is one on running on your computer. Also, how do these programs enter into a computer in the first place. viper8
  2. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    Mac don't get spy wear, at least not yet and the user would have to turn it on unlike a pc where it could turn on itself when it starts up.

    What does spyware do, it collects information on you then sends it to the spyware people to help them do things, like advertisements, or just track you. Say you have spyware, and every website you go to, it sends it to these people without you knowing it. It could collect what computer you are using, speed, memory, OS, if you have updates on the pc. Then they (people who collect the spyware info) sell this information to the highest bidder.

    Say you use Kazaa, or Limewire on a PC, well to use them you install them. When you are installing them, other programs that are spyware get added with them. So now the PC has spyware, and it runs independent from what it got installed with. Download a spyware killer, there are a couple out there and you can get rid of any if they are already on your PC.
  3. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    spyware is out on macs in small amounts. I know for a fact that its in hotline client 1.9 for osx
  4. dudeami macrumors regular

    Feb 4, 2004
    Aladdin Systems has an app called Internet Cleanup that is supposed to detect and remove spyware, along with other functionality. However the demo version does not allow you to use the Spyware tool, so I don't know how effective it is or if it even detects any? Maybe, someone who has purchased the full version can give us some input.
  5. Opteron macrumors 6502

    Feb 10, 2004
    South Australia
    Use Mozilla, I got it the other day, now popup's, internet is faster because of it. No adds, or spam. It's great.
  6. dukemeiser macrumors 6502a


    Dec 17, 2002
    I've heard Real Player is spyware. Apparently it "phones home" information.
  7. plasticparadox macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2003
    I'm so sick of hearing about the evils of 'spyware'. Anyone who regularly visits these types of forums should know enough about operating a computer to avoid downloading the apps that contain 3rd party programs.

    The people who download 'free screensavers' or 'free virtual dancers' or what-have-you and don't bother to read the license agreements are most likely too unobservant to notice the spyware anyways. What they don't know won't hurt them.

    Better them than me.
  8. ginoledesma macrumors member

    Jan 11, 2002
    Not all computer users are that literate, though, so its always best to give them a helping hand. I mean, look at how long we've been spewing "don't click on unknown attachments", but we still see this week after week with new viruses.

    Just because a program "phones home" doesn't automatically qualify it as spyware. I mean, Software Update "phones home," as do other apps with auto-update facilities. SpyWare is such that it collects information about you (whether your surfing habits, your daily activities, maybe even personal files) and transmits this to parties without your knowledge/permission (usually these are "forgotten" by the user). But there are also apps that have "spyware"-type activities. Case in point is the Hotline client (adware).

    While there aren't any known annoying spyware on Mac OS X yet, it isn't impossible to write one. And like in MS Windows, a potential spyware program CAN run on startup, by simply being put in the /Library/StartupItems folder. And what's worse is that, since these programs need not have an icon or somesuch, they don't appear in the "programs list" when you invoke the Force Quit menu. Rather, you'd have to look at the entire process list, and not all applications there have exactly obvious names to most users (e.g. smbd, nmbd, nfsiod, rpc.lockd are alien to most users).
  9. TheMac19 macrumors regular


    May 13, 2004
    so what is "nfsiod" ?

    Looking through my activity monitor I found a few things which I don't recognise, but pardon my ignorance as I'm a newish switcher...

    On my activity monitor:
    510 nfsiod user 0.00 5 16.82 MB 222.89 MB
    i did a search on for nfsiod, and this is the only thread to pop up... thanks,
  10. Oirectine macrumors regular


    Aug 11, 2003
    Don't worry, it's just a system thing. Nothing to worry about!

    Just on a related note, I find that many processes I'm unfamiliar with are part of the OS or related systems. If you're unsure, one way to find out is to open the terminal and type "man [strange program]" and it'll try to find if there is a manual page entry for it. "man nfsoid" returns this:

    Attached Files:

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