What are we going to do about viruses?

Eusebius

macrumors member
Original poster
Dec 9, 2006
76
0
Here's a quote from today's NYTimes article about the iphone's security flaw:

“Windows gets hacked all the time not because it is more insecure than Apple, but because 95 percent of computer users are on Windows. The other 5 percent have enjoyed a honeymoon that will eventually come to an end.”

Apple is so successful that apparently we'll soon have to start worrying about viruses. Does there even exist Apple antivirus software? *sigh* I was so enjoying the virus-free, worry-free Apple world.

Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/23/technology/23iphone.html?ref=technology
 

Magritte

macrumors member
Jul 14, 2007
91
0
Los Angeles, CA
There's plenty of antivirus software for Macs but of all the things to stress about I think you could probably shelve this one for now.

"Worry is like interest paid in advance on a debt that never comes due."
 

elppa

macrumors 68040
Nov 26, 2003
3,230
108
They're talking out of their backside.

Sure there are more attacks on Windows, but Mac OS X has better, more secure under-pinnings.
 

kolax

macrumors G3
Mar 20, 2007
9,186
115
iPhones security breach isn't a virus - it is Apple being clumsy with their Safari web browser, and a fix is on the way.

There is no known viruses to Mac's at this time (although Norton for Mac says there is). There may be at some point, but Apple adapts UNIX's secure system so it would be hard to do any serious damage.

I wouldn't worry about virus's for Mac's. You are safe for the time being, so don't go and buy any anti virus crap like Norton. Norton is a virus in my mind.

Just keep all your personal photos etc backed up incase something did happen - but there is plenty other things that could happen aside from you getting a virus which could cause you to loose all your data.
 

saxman

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2004
299
0
Most people here are against antivirus on macs. Probably the ones that have been longtime Mac users are most devout in their belief that antivirus should not be installed on Macs.

Since I exchange files regularly with windows users, I have Norton antivirus installed on my macs. Not for mac viruses (since none have been documented "in the wild") but to protect other PC users who I might send infected files unknowingly. Although with the new version of Office not supporting visual basic any more, it won't be a big deal to me.

Contrary to popular belief, NAV has never caused any problems for me. It works silently in the background and I've had no ill effects - ever.

My philosophy is that there will be viruses for the mac in the future. I'd rather have software installed and running so I'm prepared when it happens. Call me paranoid if you want to. OS's are incredibly complex and there will be mistakes and security holes in every OS. This will not change. It just depends on your comfort level.

If you read these forums a lot, you will get a heads up on any virus found, so you could wait until that time to buy virus protection if you want to. A consistent, rotating backup plan is usually more effective and protects you the most of anything in computing anyway
 

yellow

Moderator emeritus
Oct 21, 2003
16,033
1
Portland, OR
Here's a quote from today's NYTimes article about the iphone's security flaw:

“Windows gets hacked all the time not because it is more insecure than Apple, but because 95 percent of computer users are on Windows. The other 5 percent have enjoyed a honeymoon that will eventually come to an end.”

Apple is so successful that apparently we'll soon have to start worrying about viruses. Does there even exist Apple antivirus software? *sigh* I was so enjoying the virus-free, worry-free Apple world.

Full article: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/07/23/technology/23iphone.html?ref=technology

Argh! FUD!

OS X has been the defacto OS for Apple since 2001. Will the honeymoon come to an end eventaully? Sure. Does one have to run out and get an AV NOW NOW NOW NOW NOW? **** no.
 

yetanotherdave

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2007
1,767
3
Bristol, England
I would be very surprised if apple didn't have an anti-virus ready and waiting to distribute via software update the moment there is a viru that they can't fix with a patch to close any memory leak, flaw etc. But after 6 years of OS X, with a solid UAC system, it doesn't look likely there will be much in the way of exploits that apple can't patch. I don't think AV software is on my todo list for a good long time yet :)
 

zap2

macrumors 604
Mar 8, 2005
7,241
1
Washington D.C
that article is all wrong. If os x and windows are both the same security wise, apple would have viruses. Apple has about 5% of the market...there for they should have some virus....about 5% of the virus market no?

Also the fame a hacker would get for writing a virus for os x would be high...there have been contest to hack a mac, no one did
 

saxman

macrumors 6502
May 13, 2004
299
0
I assure you.. it is much more than a "popular belief". You've been lucky thus far.
Perhaps. I've had problems with NAV on windows a lot over the years, especially in my networking days, but never the Mac version.

My experience: 3+ years, two macs, two "in-place" OS upgrades on each machine, no ill effects. Caught a few viruses from my PC friends and didn't pass them on. YMMV.

To be honest though, if I didn't exchange files between windows users, I probably would not run antivirus since there is no current need
 

Sherman Homan

macrumors 6502
Oct 27, 2006
463
0
You get no street cred for writing yet another virus for Windows. So the Times is just plain wrong. Be the first to write a real virus for OS X and the script kiddies will sing your name. And the amount of damage that Norton's products have done over the last five years makes it a far more real threat! Although NAV has been harmless, although annoying, for me.
 

Edge100

macrumors 68000
May 14, 2002
1,557
10
Where am I???
that article is all wrong. If os x and windows are both the same security wise, apple would have viruses. Apple has about 5% of the market...there for they should have some virus....about 5% of the virus market no?

Also the fame a hacker would get for writing a virus for os x would be high...there have been contest to hack a mac, no one did
Not necessarily. There could be a threshold dynamic at play, whereby viruses wont get created until an OS as a certain percentage of the market.

I tend to think that the current lack of OS X viruses is down to both factors; the relative security of OS X vs. Windows and the limited marketshare.

However, while it's certainly not fair to compare Windows to Mac OS X with regards to the number of viruses affecting each platform (one must correct for marketshare, as you suggest), this doesn't change the fact that Windows viruses exist! If you're making a purchase decision, and the prevalence of viruses is an important consideration, then that is a "con" against Windows, like it or not. The explanation is irrelevant; the viruses exist!

I guess as the Mac OS gains marketshare, we'll see just how secure it really is (i.e. does the threshold effect really exist, is OS X really more secure than Windows, or is it a combination of both?)
 

Stampyhead

macrumors 68020
Sep 3, 2004
2,294
30
London, UK
My philosophy is that there will be viruses for the mac in the future. I'd rather have software installed and running so I'm prepared when it happens.
That doesn't make any sense to me. How can an existing anti-virus program protect against viruses that don't exist yet?