The "virus" debate

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by martyrk, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. martyrk macrumors regular

    martyrk

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location:
    In Lab
    #1
    Ok, is there any "documented" virus that has been on a mac? I am with a university and they insist on putting Norton on, I of course deleted it but somehow its still on my computer. I have been using the wireless for this whole time and now I have to be wired, and the IT guy was making sure I had an antivirus on my computer before he gave me access to the network via hardwire. Didn't know there was a difference between wireless and hardwired and being "exposed" to all these mac virus'
     
  2. KingYaba macrumors 68040

    KingYaba

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Up the irons
    #2
    Make a different user account and put Norton on there. :rolleyes:
     
  3. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #3
    From IT's POV, it's less about you getting a virus than passing one along to Windows machines. There are better AV solutions than Norton (regardless of the platform), ClamXav being a free and highly popular alternative.

    See if you can negotiate this as a reasonable solution. And no, ultimately wired or wireless makes no difference once you're on the same network logically.
     
  4. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #4
    Well said. At my house I am much more concerned with passing a virus to a Windows user. My home network is a mix of two Macs and three Windows boxes. (Funny. It just occurred to me one can say "Macs" to refer to the machine but there is NO equivalent in the Windows world to describe a Windows computer other than the generic "box", "machine" or "computer". Jeez, my kitchen appliances have "computers" in them! Apparently there is not much to differentiate between appliances and Windows boxes. I love it!)

    Back to the topic, I have used ClamXav for a while and like it. It catches a lot of viruses that I would have passed on to my family, friends or co-workers. Compared to some other Windows AV programs, ClamXav does not seem to hog much CPU time. Combined with the fact that most of us have 2, 4 or 8 core systems and more than ample RAM, running an AV program is not a big deal for most of us. Running an old single core G4, yeah that would be a different story.
     
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #5
    What about "PC"? "Hello, I'm a Mac" "Hello, I'm a PC"
     
  6. yellow Moderator emeritus

    yellow

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2003
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #6
    I'm going to make a wild guess here and say that it's not the "IT guy's" call if you have AV on your Mac. More likely it comes from someone a bit higher on the foodchain than both he and you. ;)

    Don't be a pain in the ass, just let them put some sort of AV on there so the execs can feel safe.
     
  7. Let's Sekuhara! macrumors 6502

    Let's Sekuhara!

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2008
    Location:
    日本
    #7
    Very true. Unfortunately I think the term "PC" gives Linux machines a bad name by lumping them together with Windows ones. :p
     
  8. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #8
    Hmmm

    You know, computers can carry viruses, not be affected by them, and still infect others. JUST like people.

    AV is required to protect your network, not your Mac. Sucks, but from an IT perspective, it makes sense.
     
  9. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Location:
    /usr/local/apps/nag
    #9
    I wouldn't use the human metaphor too extensively here. Yes, computers can act like carriers but it isn't the same problem. The problem with people not being immunized is that it provides a population for a disease to take refuge in and evolve to become resistant to immunizations being used in the rest of the population. It sort of acts like a reservoir to drive the evolution of the disease. In computers though the factor that drives the evolution of the virus or whatnot does not work like that. Humans are active in changing the virus to evade antivirus apps. Therefore whether or not there is a refuge of carrier computers is academic. The viruses will still evolve and they will still spread actively via the vectors setup by the virus maker (believe me, having macs as carriers, passively transmitting a virus is not an effective vector).

    So, it is pretty much up to the individual. If you're constantly getting files from windows users and sending those files back out to other windows users (or the same ones) it might not be a horrible idea to get an antivirus so you don't keep reinfecting the guys that are sending you infected files (since they've already proven they're easily infected by sending you said files). It shouldn't really be as dramatized at it is though.
     
  10. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #10
    Yes

    Um...yeah. Wasn't making it a strict comparison there. I appreciate the lesson.

    Attention: Computer viruses, although they are named so because they are similar to animal viruses, are NOT THE SAME THING.
     
  11. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Location:
    /usr/local/apps/nag
    #11
    I was addressing this section of your post in an effort to make sure people didn't take the metaphor too far, as is often done.

    In the end, it only makes sense for a mac user to use an antivirus program regularly in a small number of situations. In most cases the side effects are more harmful (system performance and in the case of Norton system stability) than the possibility of carrying a virus (since that possibility is very low in most cases).
     
  12. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #12
    True, but I don't know a whole lot of IT guys that make sense. I was attempting to soften the OP's reluctance to use Norton on his machine.

    So, it's kind of like this....if you want to come over to my house AND come inside, you must take off your shoes.
     
  13. JNB macrumors 604

    JNB

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    Location:
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    #13
    The cure is worse than the disease, eh? (to abuse the human-computer analogy one last time)
     
  14. skye12 macrumors 65816

    skye12

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2006
    Location:
    Austin, Tx
    #14
    There are no Mac viruses that one can get by being on the internet
    and not granting permission.
     
  15. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Location:
    /usr/local/apps/nag
    #15
    I agree that if it is an IT mandate that you use antivirus the only thing you can do is ask them if you can use ClamAV rather than the junk that is Norton.
     
  16. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #16
    Not arguing either of these points, but IT admins really don't care. Their network, their rules. If you want to set your own, get your own internet service.
     
  17. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent. UK
    #17
    I've read about this situation from a lot of people. One thing that strikes me as odd is that if all machines on the network must be running an AV, this means that the windows machines will also be running an AV, thus making the argument that the Mac needs an AV to not pass on a virus to the windows machines a bit redundant.
     
  18. QuantumLo0p macrumors 6502a

    QuantumLo0p

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Location:
    U.S.A.
    #18
    I suppose "PC" is okay, although it harkens back to darker computing days and the IBM spec.

    Naw. I like "box" as in "beige box" or "machine". They somehow seem more appropriate.

    Yeah, I'm an Apple Bigot but not a fan boy.
     
  19. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #19
    Not quite. A substantial quantity of your communications are with the outside world. Having antivirus software on all the Windows computers on your LAN means nothing to the computers outside your LAN. You can still act as a carrier for those. There are security firms that maintain blacklists of virus sources. If your Mac emails an infected Word document to a colleague whose firm subscribes to one of these blacklists, then your firm's domain will make the list. That is not a good thing.
     
  20. tdhurst macrumors 68040

    tdhurst

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2003
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #20
    yeah...

    I have two backups. Redundancy is good.
     
  21. martyrk thread starter macrumors regular

    martyrk

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location:
    In Lab
    #21
    Good point, can NAV be running remotely? Because I am pretty sure I removed the NAV, unless there is a hidden folder somewhere...
     
  22. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent. UK
    #22
    A colleague of mine installed NAV on his Mac and it was a bitch to remove. I think you have to run a dedicated uninstaller to remove it all, you cannot just drag it from applications into the trash. I think the uninstaller is on the install discs.
     
  23. MisterMe macrumors G4

    MisterMe

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2002
    Location:
    USA
    #23
    It's installed on your hard drive when you install the software.
     
  24. martyrk thread starter macrumors regular

    martyrk

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2007
    Location:
    In Lab
    #24
    The only reason I ask if can be ran remotely is because the screen pops up when I insert a disk and it scans it. At the same time, I will open up activity monitor and nothing even comes close as to what it is labeled nor do I see anything add to the list when it is running before I insert a disc and watch for an addition.... Any thoughts on that?
     
  25. NAG macrumors 68030

    NAG

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2003
    Location:
    /usr/local/apps/nag
    #25
    An application cannot be run "remotely" as you describe. It has most likely installed something in the root library folder that is running and your drag and drop uninstall missed it.
     

Share This Page