Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by EJBasile, Jul 20, 2005.

  1. EJBasile macrumors 65816


    Apr 20, 2004
    Hi Everyone,

    Would it ever be possible for a Mac to get a virus if there were Mac viruses floating around like PC viruses. What about ad-ware/spyware type problems.

    I know there isn't anything like that right now for Macs but I'm just thinking down the line in the future if/when macs become more popular.
  2. dmw007 macrumors G4


    May 26, 2005
    Working for MI-6
    Well, anything is possible...but I would doubt that we will every see many (if any) viruses/spyware for Mac OS X.
  3. strider42 macrumors 65816


    Feb 1, 2002
    there's already been a proof of concept one and apple has had a few security holes they had to fix, but they close a lot of holes windows leaves open by default, and don't have some of the common flaws exploited by windows. So yes, its absolutely possible, but you probably still won't see that many.
  4. iHacker macrumors member

    Jun 13, 2005
    Viruses will not be adapted to Mac until they have a larger audiance to destroy. As long as applr keeps elite it wont happen but I dont know :rolleyes: when we move to Intel chips it might stir things up a bit. :rolleyes:
  5. wPod macrumors 68000


    Aug 19, 2003
    Denver, CO
    if there is ever a suddun and large jump to macs being more main streem, like mac computers suddunly became as popular as the iPods then im sure viruses would follow. but, for now apple is ridding the iPod wave and i doubt there will be any catching on of apple hardware for at least a few years until they have fully integrated the intel chips.
  6. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    In order for any virus to take control of your system you'd need to give it your root password to do so. Coupled with the fact that apps cannot launch automatically (aside from Safari auto-opening ****) I'd say a virus would be hard to write as well as adware/spyware. Trojans would be easy - because all a trojan is is a program that is harmful but looks safe.
  7. idea_hamster macrumors 65816


    Jul 11, 2003
    NYC, or thereabouts
    As some of the others have noted, part of Mac owners' protection against viruses is their own low population density -- even if you own a Mac, most of the people in your e-mail address book are probably PC users.
    (Interestingly, this works exactly the same as real diseases in biological populations: it is generally accepted that disease was a very small part of human life when we were hunter/gatherers but became a major issue soon after the agricultural revolution allowed for the rise of population centers.)
    A Mac virus simply would not spread quickly enough to get very far before it was discovered and stopped.

    One of my personal half-baked theories has always been that there are different basic personalities between people who write illicit code for Windows versus those who do so for unix.
    The Windows virus writers are people who get some form of personal satisfaction from doing harm (like a kid who kicks over someone elses blocks).
    Unix hackers, however, got their experience doing things like breaking into secure servers, not to do harm specifically, but to prove that "you can't keep me out." I may be completely off the mark, but it always seemed to me that for unix hackers, it was always more of an intellectual excercise.
    While both want to somehow create mayhem, the type of ego-boost that the two types are seeking is different.
  8. Yebot macrumors 6502


    Jan 6, 2004
    New Slogan:

    Apple Computer
    Hunt. Gather.

  9. XNine macrumors 68040


    Apr 7, 2005
    Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?
    Unfortunately, most of these people are missing points and are blaming the lack of viruses on the market share of the platfrom. Which is a foolish thing to do.

    Macs are not immune to viruses, it's just the the program-by-numbers system Windows has is a very effective target. OS X is built on Unix, which, in the past has had numerous viruses. But as one member replied, you have to have root access to make system level changes. So, therefor, by Apple eliminating the biggest hole that Windows has left open, that makes it a harder target.

    There's a lot of malice toward Microsoft, and many people are targeting the paltform to get peopel away from it. Many are out to steal money or information from users that support the paltform.
    The more people are informed of this, the less I have to hear about the trivial market share excuse.
  10. wdlove macrumors P6


    Oct 20, 2002
    For the near future, I think that we are safe. Apple is good about security updates. If it indeed turns out that Intel is designing a special chip for the Mac that should also insure greater protection.
  11. tech4all macrumors 68040


    Jun 13, 2004
    This is something I've always wanted to know. Is the root password different from the Admin password? Or are they the same? I've never used root before so I have no clue on this. (did a Google search and it seems complicated)

    And the thing about Safari's auto-opening: can't you just change that in the Safari preferences? That's what I did.

    (btw: anybody can answer this, it's just that 7on brought it up for me to remember)
  12. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    By default, the root password is set to the first admin account that's created. You can change it in I believe the Netinfo Manager
  13. yellow Moderator emeritus


    Oct 21, 2003
    Portland, OR
    This is incorrect.

    By default, root is DISABLED. In order to enable it, you have to set the password right then and there in NetInfo Manager (when/where you enable root). There is not default root password.

    My suggestion is, if you don't know what root is, and don't know what it could/should be used for, don't bother enabling it and adding the security risk to your Mac. You can do 99.99999% of the things you want to do with your admin account and sudo (in the Terminal). No need to enable root.
  14. EGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 4, 2003
    Lots of members have said this here but I don't get it. Can someone explain this? :confused:

    How is Mac OS X 10.whatever going to be any less secure in terms of viruses, & spyware running on an Intel chip than on an IBM one?

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