The need for anti-virus softwear

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by russed, Feb 7, 2004.

  1. russed macrumors 68000


    Jan 16, 2004
    hi, how common are viruses for mac? i have the optopn to download the sophos anti-virus off my uni website but when i was on XP (thank god no more) i found that it made my machine run like a snail.

    so basically shouldn't i bother with it as there is no need and it will only slow down the comp or should i take advantage of the free softwear?

  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus


    Mar 25, 2002
    London, England
    Don't bother, I've never seen or heard from anyone running OS X that they have had a virus.
  3. MetallicPenguin macrumors 6502

    Mar 4, 2003
    NC, USA
    I've never had a virus or even heard of one, so I really wouldn't bother.
  4. virividox macrumors 601


    Aug 19, 2003
    Manila - Nottingham - Philadelphia - Santa Barbar
    iv been swamped with viruses on my pc, so i tested it out and sent a couple over to my mac, nothing happened. it just came out as files that couldnt be opened. recently the my doom really messed up my schools network, but i was fine even if i got a bajillion messages from ppl.
  5. SiliconAddict macrumors 603


    Jun 19, 2003
    Chicago, IL
    Right now it's pretty much pointless. OS X has something like 1 virus if even that.

    I really believe that one day OS X is going to get a major slapdown via an e-mail virus. Contrary to popular belief no OS is virus proof. All you need is some idiot in front of the keyboard to think he's got an impervious computer to click on a program file and run it and *shrugs*. A virus is nothing more then a computer program. An OS's primary purpose is to follow orders. OS X is no diff. A properly scripted virus could trash a computer. Or if the author is smart enough they can wrap a SMTP engine in the virus and send out infected e-mail from the system.
    What I'm interested in is this: Can outside programs access or read a file on OS X's mail prog to harvest e-mail addresses?
  6. MoparShaha macrumors 68000


    May 15, 2003
    San Francisco
    I'm sure a program could. All of Apple's programs draw off Address Book's database. All of the contacts in Address Book are accessible by iChat, Mail, iSync, iCal...ect.
  7. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    You have to realize something--Windows is fertile ground for viruses. MacOS X 10.x is not. On Windows, a substantial number of the viruses rely on a single Microsoft technology, Visual Basic for Applications. Whereas virus writers in the old days were skilled assembly language programmers, today's virus writers can wreck havoc by cutting and pasting VBA code. VBA code enjoys virtually unfettered access to the Windows operating system. It doesn't have the kind of limitations imposed on AppleScript, Java, and other scripting languages. With VBA, Microsoft has virtually eliminated the barriers to entry into the virus-writing market.

    Despite all evidence to the contrary, many hold on to the notion that somehow, somewhere, sometime, a smart virus writer will decide to hack the Mac Address Book and wreck havor on us blissfully ignorant Mac users with the Mother of All Mac Viruses. Remember, now that Windows doesn't impose an IQ test on its virus writers. But, for argument's sake let's assume that this smart young person goes astray and decides to do the evil deed. Have you ever opened the MacOS X file? Email addresses are encrypted. To the legitimate account holder, these fields are decrypted automatically. However, this smart virus writer is going to have to develop an application that does this in order for his virus to read the addresses of his next set of victims. He is then going to have to get his victims to install this nasty little critter on their machines.

    By the time his is finished developing the infrastructure for his virus to propagate, he will end up with something that barely qualifies as spam, let alone a virus.

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