Viruses from DMG files?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Ev0d3vil, Dec 3, 2016.

  1. Ev0d3vil macrumors 6502

    Sep 22, 2014
    Hi guys, my gatekeeper setting is set to default. Is it possible to get viruses from DMG files ? and how do i scan them for viruses or spyware?
  2. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    No known virus affects Mac OS X.
    Spyware, maybe - from a dmg file? Don't know. A brief search told me it's not likely.
  3. KALLT macrumors 601

    Sep 23, 2008
    DMG files are disk images; they are containers, like ZIP files. Think of them as virtual CDs. They are not themselves dangerous, at least I don’t think that the process of opening them executes any code. Potentially dangerous is what they carry, namely programs. Gatekeeper checks if programs are code-signed by the developer, but this check will only be performed automatically when you obtained the disk image via a browser or like. If you want some extra security, then you should download a malware scanner.

    For macOS Sierra, developers can code-sign the disk image as well and vouch for all the contents. This gives you some extra certainty, provided that you download the disk image from a trusted source and make sure that it is signed by the person or organisation you downloaded it from.

    For malware in general, you should have a look at this guide:
  4. iphonehighfivingfanboy macrumors newbie

    Jun 26, 2017
    True, but malicious people often put their malicious programs in DMG files. If you are downloading something like a movie (obviously not supposed to be a program), and you double click on the DMG file and it wants to install, you can almost certainly guarantee that you have downloaded malware - do not proceed with the install.
  5. Toutou macrumors 6502a


    Jan 6, 2015
    Prague, Czech Republic
    No. They're just stupid containers for data, mostly for apps. You can't damage your computer just by opening the DMG.

    The app inside, on the other hand, may or may not be legit, depending on where it came from. Some very reputable apps are distributed in DMGs, e.g. Firefox, VLC.


    There are no Mac viruses in the wild. The number one attack vector on a Mac is tricking the user into manually installing a malicious app (distributed in a DMG or not).
  6. AjTee macrumors regular


    Aug 17, 2018
    Banino, Poland
    No Viruses from DMG, good practice to scan sometimes Mac using BitDefender (it is free)

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