The age old virus question

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Peter Franks, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Peter Franks macrumors 65816

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    #1
    Was just sent an audio clip to download from a Fileserve page. Now I know many use them, but it popped up so many pages that I know if I'd been on windows I'd probably have been in trouble, or at least got a few trojans come up on a scan afterwards. Now the only way of getting rid of some of these was to click their 'OK' box as they don't have the Mac traffic lights to close the box. Point being, what was I actually saying 'OK' to, I doubt it was just to close the box? Can it plant anything hidden in the Mac without a password?

    I don't really want to put scanners, and AV on the MBP, it defeats the object of losing Windows .... I look on the ClamXav forums and there are thousands of posts about viruses, trojans, spyware, email viruses, trojans in Flash and posing as pdf files etc. Are these really all Mac users??? I thought they can't get viruses without immense stupidity and putting in your password for stuff you don't know about. They're not all doing that, surely!! If I get a trojan on the mac what can it do?

    If I download ClamXav will it run all the time, is it necessary, do I really want it? What will it find and is it going to run in background and hog resources like they do on XP?
     
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #2
    It will use resources, whether it hogs it or not is something I don't know. Bottom line is, you should be responsible for what you send if it was originated by you. I believe that just because you won't be affected by a virus doesn't mean you won't spread it. I could be wrong.
     
  3. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #3
    So you are basically saying that I can't receive a virus but I can give one, and the only reason all those hundreds of people are on that forum talking about viruses on their Mac is so they don't spread one to a Windows user?
     
  4. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

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    #4
    There's a couple of OS X trojans (NOT VIRUSES), a trojan you basically have to infect yourself with by downloading something shady and then giving it your password. It's like if you wanted to you could delete the system folder on your computer and have it stop working, IF you give it your admin password.
     
  5. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #5
    If there are hundreds of people anywhere talking about viruses on their Mac they are either talking about Windows viruses or they are completely uninformed

    Too many people have a hiccup on their computer and yell VIRUS!!!
     
  6. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #6
    Thanks for your feedback, I just find it strange that the forum has such a thriving community.. bearing in mind what I've learnt on here. 47 pages of ClamXav Mac users talking about all the viruses they have found
     
  7. MacDawg macrumors P6

    MacDawg

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    #7
    ClamXav does basically find malware/trojans/viruses that affect Windows machines so that a Mac user does not transmit them as a carrier
     
  8. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    The Philippines...
    #8
    I have ClamXav installed but never used. Never infected by one. If you install it, it does not stay on unlike windows anti virus software.

    When I have switched to Mac, i have stopped being paranoid.
     
  9. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #9
    So you just use it as a scanner occasionally... I'm sure like most AV scanners it will cry wolf when it finds stuff probably un-virus/trojan related as well
     
  10. Nameci macrumors 68000

    Nameci

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    The Philippines...
  11. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    You can't infect your Mac with malware simply by visiting a website. The only malware in the wild that affects Mac OS X is in the form of trojans, which require you to actively install them before they can do anything. When you run into a site that launches dozens of windows or tabs and has those "OK" buttons pop up that you have to click to close, only to have it pop up another, simply Force Quit your browser, clear your cookies and cache, and you'll be fine.
    You can receive a virus-infected file from a Windows user. You can store that file on your Mac, where it can do no harm at all, since Windows software, including malware, cannot run on Mac OS X. You could then send that infected file to another Windows user, where the virus could cause problems. If you frequently trade files with Windows users, make sure they run their own antivirus software. Read the "What about sending files to Windows users?" section of the following link for more details.

    No viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any, since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install. Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.
    ClamXav is one of the better choices if you insist on running 3rd party antivirus software. It's not a resource hog, detects both Mac and Windows malware, and is quite accurate.
     
  12. Peter Franks thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2011
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    #12
    Thanks for your answers, all were very helpful for a lot of people on here, but particularly interesting is the quote above you gave. Some of the download sites particularly the one I was sent to download from, pops up a few un-savouries and you would think anything that pops up unannounced, (I should maybe have re-phrased that!) p0rn-wise, is going to attack, whatever machine you are on, so thanks for clearing that up.
     

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