Virus Question?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Hylekmi, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. Hylekmi macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2010
    Hey, I am a new mac user. I go to college and I had a quick question. My school feeds me a line of BS that macs CAN get viruses, but they do not affect the user. Is this true?
  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    If, for example you receive an email that contains a virus it will not 'infect' your Mac. However if you send this onto a colleague who works on a Windows machine they could still get the Virus. The same could be said about sharing memory sticks.
  3. MacDawg macrumors Core


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    They can transfer Windows viruses, but they will not affect OSX, that is correct
  4. Hylekmi thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2010
  5. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Macs CAN get viruses (no OS is immune), but since there ARE no viruses in the wild that run on current Mac OS X, you'd have to wait until someone creates one. You can have Windows virus-infected files on your Mac, but they can't run on Mac OS X.

    Mac Virus/Malware Info
  6. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
    If you share files with PC users you can easily spread viruses for windows. And as stated above no Mac is immune. People have created malicious software for Macs in the past, so they can in the future.
  7. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yes, you have a virus question. Just clearing that up from the thread title. Carry on.
  8. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Before we get too far ahead of ourselves here, we need to get back to reality. In the entire history of the Mac, there have been something like 26 Mac-only viruses. Most of those were developed during the reign of System 6 and the early reign of System 7. By the time MacOS 9 came onto the scene, there were fewer than one new Mac virus per year. With Word 6, Microsoft enabled the first cross-platform virus. With Office 98, Microsoft enabled the plethora of VBA macro-viruses on the Mac. Because VBA and Microsoft's older scripting language were sandboxed to the Office environment, Office macroviruses could do damage only within the Office environment. By contrast, VBA was the run of the system on Windows. Therefore, Office macroviruses can damage anything on a Windows system.

    A Mac may act as a relay and repository of Windows viruses. That said, your Boot Camp installation of Windows and your installation of Windows within Parallels or any other virtual environment are just as susceptible to Windows viruses as an Dell laptop.

    Let's get back to the present. MacOS X has now been around for a decade. In all this time, there has not been one single MacOS X virus in the wild. There are zero reports of uncooperative MacOS X targets having been breached. Is MacOS X invulnerable to viruses? That I don't know. What I know is that no one has proven that it is vulnerable.

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