Virus?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by lperc, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. lperc macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    New York City
    #1
    I have a MacBook Pro, which I purchased in July. I haven't had any problems with it until recently, and I'm thinking it might be a virus. The MacBook:

    -goes much more slowly when using the internet than it used to
    -will only allow me to use one application at a time
    -will not print anything
    -all of the icons on my desktop disappeared after I did the Quicktime Update last night

    I still have all of my files as far as I know, but why would they just randomly disappear from the desktop? I don't have any virus software, but I have never downloaded anything from the internet other than Microsoft Office Software from my University and files that were e-mailed to me from trusted sources (i.e. test reviews, syllabi, etc).
    I was told that Macs rarely get viruses, but I have also heard that college campuses are targeted with Mac viruses more than any other place. Does any of this sound like a virus? And if so, is there anything I can do to fix it other than calling Apple Tech Support and having them erase my hard drive? Any help will be appreciated!!!
     
  2. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #2
    Macs don't get viruses - end of story.

    Back-up and reinstall time here we come.
     
  3. BaldiMac macrumors 604

    BaldiMac

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2008
    #3
    There are no Mac viruses in the wild. The only significant malware are trojans that are basically programs that you would need to enter your password to install.

    Likely, you either have a permissions problem, a hard drive problem, or a corruption problem. You can use Disk Utility to repair permissions and verify your hard drive. If that does not fix your problems after a restart. You can reinstall the OS from the DVD using the "Archive and Install" setting. This setting would maintain all of your programs, documents, and settings, but give you a clean install of the OS.
     
  4. uuaschbaer macrumors regular

    uuaschbaer

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2009
    #4
    Consider my suspicion raised :).
     
  5. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #5
    The only way your mac can get a "virus" is if you run a malicious program and give it your password. Technically that is a trojan, a malicious program disguised as something you want, but most people use virus as an all-inclusive term for viruses, trojans, worms, exploits, and other malware. While it is very unlikely, if not impossible for a mac to get a virus in the strict sense of a program that self replicates and spreads, using a broader definition, it is possible, and the iWork Services trojan is a good example.

    To avoid malicious software, only download things from sources you trust, and make sure noting upstream on your network is redirecting requests for sites you trust to unsafe sites (a hacked router could potentially do that, but router hacking is not too widespread, and not all routers are capable of being modified for this kind of exploit). Only downloading from SSL secure sites is one way to be absolutely sure what you get is from who you think it is from, but most download sites don't have SSL, and SSL doesn't necessarily mean what you download is safe. Any kind of peer-to-peer downloads should be assumed to be unsafe (the iWork trojan was mostly on P2P sites). Another way to verify that a file is from the intended source is to check the MD5 or SHA1 sum, but not many sites provide them. You can get the checksum of a file in the terminal using a command that would be something like "md5 /Users/yourname/desktop/program.dmg" without the quotes, then compare that to the checksum on the website you got it from. Problem is, if the website is hijacked, the checksum on the hijacked page can be changed to match the checksum of the malicious file.

    Finally, don't run any unnecessary services (under "sharing" in system preferences) and make sure your firewall is turned on. Using a NAT router (essentially any home router) will also provide a lot of protection since they act as firewalls. Be sure to back up your computer regularly so you can restore to a known good state if anything goes wrong.
     
  6. mpuck972 macrumors 6502

    mpuck972

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    #6
    I always like how people are so quick to point out "There are no viruses for Mac, only Trojans". Like a trojan is any better?
     
  7. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #7
    Launch Disk Utility and Repair Permissions. Then shut down and turn back on.
     
  8. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #8
    Because its a lot scarier if the user thinks that all they need to do to get infected is exist on the same subnet with an infected box (like on an NT machine) but a trojan and thus all malware can be minimized on a mac box with a little due dilligence (no give-my-password-to-every-prompt-that-asks-for-it business)

    So yes, a trojan is better than a virus. Any attempt to imply anything contrary to the above will rightly be labeled fear mongering.
     
  9. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2008
    #9
    But people who don't know the difference might assume that if macs can't get viruses, they don't have to be careful about what they install, or keeping the computer secure. Saying macs can't get viruses creates a false sense of security in a way.

    Your average computer user doesn't know or care how they get malicious software, and they don't know the difference between viruses, trojans, or whatever. It is important to follow good security practices with any OS, even if it can't get viruses in the strict sense.
     
  10. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2007
    #10
    The issue is who lies at fault.
    No OS can protect against a user who provides top level credentials and a baddie destroys their machine.

    A virus utilizes exploits and not user interaction (i.e. infected box on the network). Of course to the credit of MS...most don't patch as often as they should which would alleviate the issues, but it still stands.

    Anyway i'm not going any further with this discussion like I did last time (two pages of back and fourth in a 10 or so page thread) lol just want to keep this one clean. I just wish people would stop assuming that because its a computer it automatically gets viruses and completely disregard the fundamental differences of NT and *NIX.
     
  11. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604

    thegoldenmackid

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Location:
    dallas, texas
    #11
    The people that claim that there won't ever be one are wrong as well, but for something to go wrong, you would have to do it, or at least approve it.
     
  12. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #12
    Please stay on topic.

    OP, it's unlikely (as in statistically unlikely with a p value of < 0.00000000001) that you have a virus or any other malware. Just do a Repair Permissions and your problems may go away.
     
  13. Ice Dragon macrumors 6502a

    Ice Dragon

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2009
    #13
    I have a question if you don't mind me asking. I see quite a few topics on having to repair permissions in disk utility. Is this something that I have to do often because of issues with OS X?
     
  14. jedivulcan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 15, 2007
    #14
    If you ever suspect a file being a virus, upload it to virustotal.com and find out (granted the file isn't too big).
     
  15. Cave Man macrumors 604

    Cave Man

    #15
    Usually no, but when weird things happen running a Repair Permissions can fix a lot of things.
     
  16. lperc thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    New York City
    #16
    Thank you for all the suggestions. I called Apple Tech Support and got everything sorted out. And can I just say that not only are Apple computers better, but their tech support is WAY better too? I will honestly never buy a PC.
     

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