Windows Viruses on a MAC

SheriffParker

macrumors 6502a
May 24, 2006
579
0
The land of love
Yeah, the windows virus would only affect your computer while running windows. You may have to re-install it or whatever, but if you're booting in osx, the viruses shouldn't be a problem. They affect the windows software, not the hardware or anything that would transfer over to osx. At least that's the way I understand it.
 

Danksi

macrumors 68000
Oct 3, 2005
1,554
0
Nelson, BC. Canada
SheriffParker said:
Yeah, the windows virus would only affect your computer while running windows. You may have to re-install it or whatever, but if you're booting in osx, the viruses shouldn't be a problem. They affect the windows software, not the hardware or anything that would transfer over to osx. At least that's the way I understand it.
There's a chance that a Windows virus could damage the OSX partition though right?
 

Copland

macrumors regular
May 26, 2006
114
0
Rochester, NY
Danksi said:
There's a chance that a Windows virus could damage the OSX partition though right?
I think that it would be difficult for a virus to do that: a very strong one might bring down the entire drive/computer hardware. In which case, yes it would mess up the OSX partition and the Windows partition.
 

Unorthodox

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2006
1,087
1
Not at the beach...
Danksi said:
There's a chance that a Windows virus could damage the OSX partition though right?
The Mac OS X partition is hidden from Windows.
So when your boot up into Windows it doesn't even know your Mac partition exists.
So unless someone invents new a virus that physical attacks your computer, or you use a third-party application allowing Windows to see your Mac OS X partition, then your safe.
 

CanadaRAM

macrumors G5
Word / Office Macroviruses can certainly go cross-platform. Also theoretically could viruses written in Java -- both because they would use a non-os-dependant language. Due to the file read/write security of OSX the damage they could do would be more limited.
 

storage

macrumors 6502
Jun 4, 2005
275
0
Danksi said:
There's a chance that a Windows virus could damage the OSX partition though right?
It could, if it somehow used fdisk or something similar to alter the partition table.
 

T-Stex

macrumors 6502
Jan 15, 2006
470
1
Pennsylvania
CanadaRAM said:
Word / Office Macroviruses can certainly go cross-platform. Also theoretically could viruses written in Java -- both because they would use a non-os-dependant language. Due to the file read/write security of OSX the damage they could do would be more limited.
I'm certainly not an expert on this subject, but I would think that the separation between processes and hardware that the Java Virtual Machine provides would prevent against a virus doing major damage to either partition. I think the "sandbox" that the Java program runs in stops a process from accessing system components that could be used to do damage to the computer.
 

Zorkon

macrumors newbie
Jul 25, 2003
28
0
Kamloops BC
Unorthodox said:
The Mac OS X partition is hidden from Windows.
So when your boot up into Windows it doesn't even know your Mac partition exists.
Not true. The OS X partition is visible in Windows. The contents of the partition are not visible, because Windows doesn't understand the HFS+ filesystem used in OS X. But that doesn't mean that a particularly nasty piece of code (or a particularly clueless user) couldn't wipe out the OS X partition itself from within Windows.

Now, running Windows in Parallels is a better way to go from a security standpoint, because in that case the "hard drive" seen by Windows is actually a single disk-image file on the OS X filesystem. So, if something got out of control inside a Parallels virtual machine, the worst that could happen is that you could lose that virtual machine. The OS X environment would be untouched.
 

xfiftyfour

macrumors 68030
Apr 14, 2006
2,573
0
Clemson, SC
i'll bet we start seeing code written that can cross platforms as the intel switch becomes more widespread. hackers haven't had a reason to try, yet, but as more users begin dual-booting both os x and windows, you can bet many will start (at least that's my prediction, anyway).
 

ChrisBrightwell

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2004
2,294
0
Huntsville, AL
Unorthodox said:
The Mac OS X partition is hidden from Windows.
Is this true?!

I assumed the HFS+ partition(s) would just show up as unformatted drives, such as when you plug an HFS+-formatted hard drive into a "normal" Windows machine.

If that's the case (and I'd assume that it is), anything with access to the hard drive can nuke that partition.
 

Unorthodox

macrumors 65816
Mar 3, 2006
1,087
1
Not at the beach...
ChrisBrightwell said:
Is this true?!

I assumed the HFS+ partition(s) would just show up as unformatted drives, such as when you plug an HFS+-formatted hard drive into a "normal" Windows machine.

If that's the case (and I'd assume that it is), anything with access to the hard drive can nuke that partition.
I'll quote from my MacWorld magazine:
MacWorld June 2006 said:
You can't see your Mac partition from when your running XP, but you can see your XP partition when your running Mac OS X.
I got the impression that your Mac partition was invisible to XP.
Maybe it means that you can see your Mac's partition, but not the files. :confused:
 

ChrisBrightwell

macrumors 68020
Apr 5, 2004
2,294
0
Huntsville, AL
savar said:
But please tell me that fdisk on windows requires an admin password, right?
fdisk is not included with Windows XP. You have to use one of the Admin Tools to do the job.

That said, low-level access to the hardware is still available to anyone talented enough to write the code.
 

Timepass

macrumors 65816
Jan 4, 2005
1,051
0
fact I would not worry about a virus that could damage the OSX partitoin of the drive. If there are any out there they are very small and chances are a SP1 will not be infected by them.

People here get over worried about viruses. I know I can take some hard drive which is loaded with viruses and plug it right into my computer and it will be fine because a virus can not run if it not told to. And since windows will not open any of the files on that drive with out me telling it it will not touch my computer. Reason I took that drive and put it on my computer as a 2nd hard drive was so I could remove the viruses from it since we couldnt even get his computer booted up to do it from there. Ran the scan and then put it back in his computer and it boot up just fine no viruses.


Also a windows virus can not infect or do damage in OSX or linux because the OS are not compatible in that way. Just like a OSX or a linux virus (not say that there are any) could not do any damages in windows because the OS is different.
 

Felldownthewell

macrumors 65816
Feb 10, 2006
1,053
0
Portland
Spyware/Adware/OS dependant viruses wouldn't effect OS X, but if you get a really nasty virus that wipes your HDD, then yah, that would effect OS X.


In other words, only look at porn and open e-mails that say "Hey There-34863DSGLB-23yyFF-ASH-FreEE-CiAlIs-ViAgRa" in OS X.
 

elfin buddy

macrumors 6502a
Sep 16, 2001
608
0
Tuttlingen, Germany
Something I've been wondering for a while is whether or not something like Parallels or other virtualisation software is susceptible to Windows viruses. Can software running in Parallels (or even Virtual PC) actually damage your Mac?
 

janey

macrumors 603
Dec 20, 2002
5,319
0
sunny los angeles
CanadaRAM said:
Also theoretically could viruses written in Java -- both because they would use a non-os-dependant language. Due to the file read/write security of OSX the damage they could do would be more limited.
Theoretically, said viruses in Java would have to use some native code to do significant damage but unfortunately it's not difficult as an API like JNI enables your Java stuff to interact with libraries and applications written in other languages (which can be fun...transparent windows in java! wheee)

But yes, permissions might just stop it in its tracks...unless you're stupid enough to give your administrator password to the program, in which case it can just prefix everything it does with 'sudo'.
 

secondplace

macrumors member
Apr 4, 2006
42
0
elfin buddy said:
Something I've been wondering for a while is whether or not something like Parallels or other virtualisation software is susceptible to Windows viruses. Can software running in Parallels (or even Virtual PC) actually damage your Mac?
The most likely possibility of this happening would be by sharing folders between the 2 OSes. If you get a virus on a VM running windows, you can simply trash that VM, and start over good as new.