Your Mac Has a Virus


Mitthrawnuruodo

Moderator emeritus
Mar 10, 2004
13,594
141
Bergen, Norway
Whatever the IT related damage it does that will be nothing compared to the physiological and marketing fallout that will occur. It will certainly put a dent in the pride of your average Mac fanatic. Likewise the marketing arm over at Apple will have to change things to “almost” perfect. Anyway, I don’t see this happening anytime soon but I suppose, like death and taxes, it is inevitable.
...which is why Apple doesn't use this in marketing... :rolleyes:

Silly article... not even funny...
 

iDM

macrumors 6502a
Viruses will make their way to the Mac i'm only suprised they haven't yet. If the writers of these things knew how safe and cosy most mac users feel, they'd write one in a heartbeat. I think its because the average hacker doesn't use OSX(obviously) because I believe in their custom boxes they are constantly upgrading(with someone elses CC), something that is hard for mac boxes. I think depending on how this whole intel thing shakes out, if it becomes easily "hackable" to make the average PC work with OSX because of changes in the OS then I think we could start to see alot of this things.
 

Stella

macrumors G3
Apr 21, 2003
8,273
4,636
Canada
I'm pretty sure AppleScript will be a target... i'm surprised there aren't viruses / trojans that haven't exploited it yet.
 

dornoforpyros

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2004
3,070
3
Calgary, AB
you know this guy could have replaced "what would you do if you get a virus" with "what would you do if you spilt coffee on your mac" and the article would have been roughly the same.
 

iMeowbot

macrumors G3
Aug 30, 2003
8,643
0
Stella said:
I'm pretty sure AppleScript will be a target... i'm surprised there aren't viruses / trojans that haven't exploited it yet.
It's been done, as a worm. Shockingly, Outlook Express or Entourage had to be in use for it to work. linky. Entourage actually warned about the script, and there were few enough people using Mac OE that it didn't really get the opportunity to spread.
 

ITASOR

macrumors 601
Mar 20, 2005
4,400
3
iMeowbot said:
It's been done, as a worm. Shockingly, Outlook Express or Entourage had to be in use for it to work. linky. Entourage actually warned about the script, and there were few enough people using Mac OE that it didn't really get the opportunity to spread.
I think that says it's for OS 9.1 or 9.2, though, but I see the point.

See, I don't call things Virus' that have to be opened (i.e., e-mail attachments). What bugs me on Windows is that you can be a perfectly good windows user, get an e-mail with a virus, the stupid thing opens itself, and BAM: infected.

Another example. Surfing the average website, clicking around in Google, BAM: Norton comes up with a virus found. Incredible! I always thing of what would happen if I DIDN'T have Norton and had gone to that website.

If I, on a Mac, occasionally received an e-mail with an attachment about something that was from either someone I didn't know, something I wasn't interested in, etc., that wouldn't really worry me.

I'll be worried the day I'm surfing in Safari and I get something saying "Hey, thanks, buddy, ToolBar XXX is now installing so you can have access to my site!". Then. I will be worried.
 

wedge antilies

macrumors member
Dec 14, 2004
65
0
Adelaide, Australia, MAAAATE!
Well....

I've actually met people who have had viruses on their Macs :rolleyes:
Or so they said.
Then when I answer that "its impossible". I'm always countered with "the computer ground to a halt" or something similar. And then I ask them about when was the last time they ran DIsk First Aid, or have they emptied some space on hard drive, or have they thought about SERVICING the computer once in a while - I get blank stares.
More users dilutes the gene pool (I'd still like Apple to have 10-15% share, though)


------Red 2
 

slightly

macrumors regular
Mar 14, 2003
110
0
Beacon, NY
What will happen...?

The Mac community will rally round and help fellow Mac users out. Developers will release virus updates for ClamX AV, and users will recommend to their friends that they a) download ClamX, b) keep it updated, and c) set "watched" folders such as the Desktop (or their download folder) and the Mail folder. The online help forums, such as Apple Discussions, will be filled with FAQ lists and helpful guides to cleaning systems.

Nobody with any brains in their head has ever said the Mac platform was "perfect", and Apple has certainly never promised a virus-free experience forever.

Matt
 

dcv

macrumors G3
May 24, 2005
8,021
1
I think that was possibly the most dull and pointless article I have ever had the misfortune to read.
 

RobHague

macrumors 6502
Jul 8, 2005
397
0
Those 1337 h4k()rz type people cant afford to buy a mac in the first place, thats why they dont write virus's :D

OSX x86 might give rise to the first virus for OSX i guess, but also im pretty sure (even being the mac newbie i am) that OSX does not just have no virus's because not many people use it. It's just a much better OS.

EDIT:

Interesting thing happened yesterday actually, i was talking to my cousin on MSN and i told him i was upgrading my system - to a Mac.

I see - why a mac - the only one I've delt with have been a real pain to setup
So i replied
Hmm, well no one reason exactley - i have just wanted to try one for a long while - and OSX is looking really nice. It will be an interesting experience :) i checked out all the forums and such and people seem to be pretty happy so i want to see what the fuss is about kinda thing. Plus i like the idea of not having to worry about virus's and exploits, im hoping it will run photoshop better too as well as other things.
Response...
good for you - but still watch out for virusus - there has been a few new ones that targeting OSX. I'm a MSCP MSDST. I've played around with MAC & Linux but still come back to MS. For ease of use & compatabilty its still way ahead of the rest. But one day this may change.
Hmmm :confused: a few new ones that targeting OSX?
 

cwtnospam

macrumors regular
Sep 4, 2004
148
0
iDM said:
Viruses will make their way to the Mac i'm only suprised they haven't yet. If the writers of these things knew how safe and cosy most mac users feel, they'd write one in a heartbeat. I think its because the average hacker doesn't use OSX(obviously) because I believe in their custom boxes they are constantly upgrading(with someone elses CC), something that is hard for mac boxes. I think depending on how this whole intel thing shakes out, if it becomes easily "hackable" to make the average PC work with OSX because of changes in the OS then I think we could start to see alot of this things.
It isn't easy to write a Mac virus and that's why they haven't done it. It has nothing to do with what boxes hackers use or Mac market share. There are cell phone OSes with only a few hundred thousand users and they have viruses. As an example, hackers don't use boxes with the Symbian OS, but they write viruses for it.

The only logical explanation for there being no Mac viruses is that the OS is very secure. We can't hope that it's 100% secure, but at least it's so secure that hackers are likely to abandon any attempts and go for an easier target. One like Windoze.
 

montex

macrumors regular
Jan 17, 2002
245
0
Seattle, WA
Until a real, live, in-the-wild virus strikes the Mac OS X community, we are officially virus free. I will continue to point out to my Windows using friends that we don't suffer and neither should they. And articles like this one make my eyes roll so far back in my head that I fear they will get stuck back there. At least, that is a bigger threat to me than the nebulous fear of an unseen, unknown and unproven Mac OS X virus! :rolleyes:
 

wdlove

macrumors P6
Oct 20, 2002
16,570
0
I have always used Norton Antivirus on my Mac. I download the updates weekly. So I'm as prepared as I can be.
 

SFVCyclone

macrumors 6502a
Feb 24, 2005
518
0
Pasadena, Ca
Luckily its on the internet, and because of that the credibility of the writer goes down unless they are some famous writer i dont know about, I bet he couldn't get this article on print, I wouldn't pay for it to be on print. :D
 

nagromme

macrumors G5
May 2, 2002
12,551
1,186
I'll gladly take a secure UNIX design and "will have a few viruses someday" over "has a zillion viruses now."

Reminds me of the common refrain we all hear in one form or another:

1. Macs suck, that's why nobody uses them.

2. But soon as many people will use Macs as Windows.

3. Then Macs will suddenly have as many viruses as Windows has.

:D

Of course, Windows zealots like to go straight from #1 to #3 skipping past #2, which makes even LESS sense :)

EDIT: Here are two anti-virus strategies for OS X.

Strategy A:

1. Buy/download antivirus software.

2. When a real-world Mac virus finally arrives, you aren't protected at first because it's not in the virus definitions.

3. But soon after, new virus definitions (and maybe a system patch) will be available. Download the definitions. Now you're saved!

Or strategy B:

1. Buy pizza instead.

2. When a real-world Mac virus finally arrives, you aren't protected at first (just like plan A).

3. But soon after, new virus definitions (and maybe a system patch) will be available. Download antivirus software AND the definitions. Now you're saved! (And if it's a single virus with an Apple patch that closes the hole, you might STILL not need to buy anything.)

Both plans protect you just as quickly, but plan A has pizza. The choice is easy for me.
 

matthew24

macrumors 6502
May 30, 2002
388
0
Netherlands
Apple is very pro-active if it comes to virii, the architecture is as secure as an OS can be. So if any bugs keeps being patched as fast as it happens now, I don't think it is even possible to write a virus for the Mac. I believe the main difference between OSX and Windows is that because of design issues, Windows will never be 100% save even with all known bugs fixed. While I believe OSX can be 100% save. The statement that it will be unavoidable that OSX will once be infected does not make any sense.

We have another advantage over Windows, our OS is being respected, the reason Windows is being attacked is because hackers want to expose the failed design of the OS.
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
ITASOR said:
I think that says it's for OS 9.1 or 9.2, though, but I see the point.

See, I don't call things Virus' that have to be opened (i.e., e-mail attachments). What bugs me on Windows is that you can be a perfectly good windows user, get an e-mail with a virus, the stupid thing opens itself, and BAM: infected.
Umm not since Lookout 2000 you haven’t. Opening an e-mail does not open the attachment. Don’t know about Lookout Express but in the pro app it does not run and with Lookout 2003 it won’t load ANY external links without you right clicking and selecting load or right clicking and selecting add user to safe domain list.

Another example. Surfing the average website, clicking around in Google, BAM: Norton comes up with a virus found. Incredible! I always thing of what would happen if I DIDN'T have Norton and had gone to that website.
That is what is know as spyware. Which could TECHNICALLY be called a virus. Actual it’s more of a Trojan then anything else in that its doing things to your system you didn’t intend. The file may be downloaded into your browser cache but it isn't loaded. Assuming you aren't using IE that is. Those files are generally isolated and the only thing going on is that Norton is going "AH-HA! I see a file that is a know Trojan is being placed on your hard drive I am super AV and I will quarantine it! *Norton sings* HERE I COME TO SAVE THE DAY!" OK that would be kinda spooky if NAV sang. o_O

If I, on a Mac, occasionally received an e-mail with an attachment about something that was from either someone I didn't know, something I wasn't interested in, etc., that wouldn't really worry me.
And there is the rub of it. Windows users, to a certain extent, are immunized to the fact that their platform has viruses because they/we have had to deal with this **** for years. The nanosecond a virus or worm is found on a Mac its going to spread like wildfire because Mac users are currently secure in the knowledge that their platform has no viruses. adware doesn't affect them. Worms? Bah. Whatever.
Its stupid but the Windows platform has lived through a trial by fire (Everyone's gone to hell and back.) Mac users. Not yet. That being said the nature of OS X will limit the spread of any virus or worm. A worm will have to bring its own SMTP server with it to spread because of the locked down nature of X. So while I think a worm or virus will spread fast on OS X it won't spread as far as MS Blaster.

I'll be worried the day I'm surfing in Safari and I get something saying "Hey, thanks, buddy, ToolBar XXX is now installing so you can have access to my site!". Then. I will be worried.
And as long as Safari and Firefox and such are locked down to the extent that it prompts before installing this won't be an issue. The problem is that there will always be work arounds. Both technical and social work arounds. People can and are routinely tricked into clicking on a popup. People are tricked into installing a spyware addin. People are tricked into running that attachment on their e-mail because its from friend joe who would never intend me any hard. Its similar to how for music.....if you can hear it....you can copy it. Browsing in its vary nature is designed to render a page on your screen. IMHO there will always be ways around security as browser pages become more and more complex as time goes on.


Sorry ITASOR. I wasn’t picking on your. I guess my little response to your post ended up being my response to the thread, :)
 

SiliconAddict

macrumors 603
Jun 19, 2003
5,889
0
Chicago, IL
matthew24 said:
Apple is very pro-active if it comes to virii, the architecture is as secure as an OS can be.
Don't EVER say that. There is no such thing as being too secure in code. Now in usage is a differnt matter. I can lock down windows to the extent that I need to do something on screen before I go to the bathroom. But there there is a fine line beween security and paroinoia.


[/quote]So if any bugs keeps being patched as fast as it happens now, I don't think it is even possible to write a virus for the Mac. [/QUOTE]

Don't believe that for a minute. The standard MO for Microsoft worms that spread in Windows is to reverse engineer the patches when they come out and figure out what the hole is in Windows, create a virus based on that, and release it into the wild with the idea that people aren't going to patch their system in a timely manner. MS is stuck in hell right now. Do they release a major security patch and let the script kiddies of the world know that there is this big bad hole or not release it and keep it hidden. The solution is Windows Update that in XP SP2 is enabled by default to download patches automatically so they get distributed to users in a faster manner. The problem though is that many users ignore the patches even when they get a popup window saying

OMG OMG NEW PATCH!! IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD. INSTALL IT NOW OR WE WILL ALL DIE!!!!


OK that is overstating things a tad :p but the simple truth is MS cries wolf so frequently (In this case there is a wolf every time.) that people are getting sick of needing to reboot and reboot, and reboot, and reboot, and break the computer, and reboot, and reboot. So many don't install it immediately. Others who run XP without SP2 or Windows 200 have to set WU to automatically download. It’s not set by default so in those cases how many systems aren't getting the patches at all?

Where am I going with this? Simple. How many Mac users don’t install patches in a timely manner? How many wait until they are done with a project. How many are simply confident that the patch release is simply a preventive measure and they can get to it later.
Here is a clue as to what could happen with OS X. The latest Zotob worm that is causing some serious havoc on Windows. The worm itself was discovered, I think, the 17th or 18th. The patch for that worm came out on the 9th. Realistically that is enough time for home users to patch. Not a chance for corp environments to run tests against their apps for compatibility and roll it out to an environment from anywhere from a couple computers to 6 figures plus.

My point is simply putting out a patch for a major security hole doesn’t guarantee that its going to keep a virus from running ramped. Fortunately AFAIK most of the holes that Apple has patched haven’t been outward facing holes that can be utilized by a worm without user intervention. I could be wrong on that count. As long as that remains true then Apple will continue to have a decided advantage over Windows and AFAICT that WILL remain the case simple because OS X isn’t exposing as much of itself to the net as Windows is through various TCP/IP Ports.