Elite
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Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:01 am

I've been using my iMac since May and I've had no virus problems, but instead of assuming that my mighty Mac is invincible  Wink I decided to look for an anti-virus for it... but didn't know which one to go with.

So, fellow Mac users - which one are you using, if you are using one?
 
jogales
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:16 am

Been a mac user all my life and I've never used an anti virus program. Never had a virus either.

Josh
-
 
Cadet57
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:22 am



Quoting Elite (Thread starter):
Do You Use Anti-virus?  

Nope.
Doors open, right hand side, next stop is Springfield.
 
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LTU932
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:29 am



Quoting Elite (Thread starter):
Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

No.
 
Elite
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:32 am

I guess we are all strong believers in the "Macs don't get viruses" theory then, aren't we?  Big grin
 
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mariner
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:45 am

I've used Mac's since 1981, and I've never had a problem.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:45 am



Quoting Elite (Reply 4):
I guess we are all strong believers in the "Macs don't get viruses" theory then, aren't we?

In my case more in "OS X Macs have not so far gotten any viruses", which is a bit more cautious.

(There actually have been a handful of viruses for the "classic" MacOS quite a few years ago, but these have never gained that much distribution and they are no longer "compatible" with the new MacOS X.)


The point is that "antivirus" software is always a tradeoff: In order to work, it automatically incurs not just performance penalties but it also increases the exposure to several kinds of risks (bugs in the software itself which may cause damage, vulnerability of the antivirus software itself for external attacks).

So unless there is a compelling reason to tun one I will abstain.

It would be optimal if a combination of the pretty good inherent security of MacOS X (in part due to not being Windows with its horrendous mistakes like Active X and others), careful behaviour of most Mac users and Apple's quick responses to emerging vulnerabilities could keep this kind of software obsolete; But unfortunately neither front is completely impenetrable. Windows is just a much easier and larger target right now.

At this point I generally recommend Mac users to be cautious and circumspect in what they do and how they do it, keep an eye open for implausible things happening or being requested and being especially wary of requests for the admin password without a really good reason.

Disabling the option to 'open "safe" files after downloading' in Safari is a good idea; Being cautious about what sofware from which sources will be run or not is an essential necessity.

Currently there are no self-propagating viruses for MacOS X as far as I'm aware; There are a small number of trojans (software which tries to lure you into installing it with admin privileges) and of course regular internet fraud and phishing remain potential threats.

But for a cautious user there doesn't seem to be a need for a specialized "antivirus" software at this point. This may change at some point, but through seven years there has not been a known attack, so such a program would not really help against anything but the disadvantages would be there nevertheless.
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 3:48 am



Quoting Mariner (Reply 5):
I've used Mac's since 1981, and I've never had a problem.

Not a mean feat – Macs have been in production only since 1984...!  cool 
 
Goldenshield
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:00 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 7):
Not a mean feat – Macs have been in production only since 1984...!   

I guess it's not as bad as this guy on a VB.net forum I browse, who said he recently switched from programming Apple IIe's with Apple Basic, and made the astronomically HUGE jump up to VB.net
Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
 
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mariner
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:13 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 7):
Not a mean feat %u2013 Macs have been in production only since 1984...!

Quite a feat indeed.  Smile

The brain said 1984. The fingers typed 1981. My bad.

mariner
aeternum nauta
 
hawaiian717
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:51 am

I wouldn't pay for it. The free ClamXav is what I recommend.

http://www.clamxav.com/
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:50 am



Quoting Mariner (Reply 9):
Quite a feat indeed.

Well, some people have always been ahead of their times! I wouldn't have put it past you...

Quoting Mariner (Reply 9):
The brain said 1984. The fingers typed 1981. My bad.

That's okay too! Big grin
 
Elite
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:02 pm

Thanks for the advice Klaus, and of course all the other members who chipped in. I have come to the conclusion that the mighty Mac is still invincible Big grin and I won't worry about it until problems actually arise.
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:06 pm



Quoting Elite (Reply 12):
Thanks for the advice Klaus, and of course all the other members who chipped in. I have come to the conclusion that the mighty Mac is still invincible  and I won't worry about it until problems actually arise.

I wouldn't say "invincible" so much as "not conquered at least yet"... Just keep your eyes open!  Big grin
 
AverageUser
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 12:38 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 6):
(in part due to not being Windows with its horrendous mistakes like Active X and others),

I wish you took some tile and actually explained this deficiency to common users instead of the usual rant against MS. That might give the readers an appreciation that you know what you're writing about in the Windows department.
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 2:16 pm

Windows had been written in the time before MS finally clued up to what the Internet really was and what it would mean with respect to security. Active X was conceived as a way to "expand functionality" by letting a web site take control of one's computer, and that it did – just not limited to Microsoft's system updates, but quickly adopted by malware spreaders as one of the main avenues to grow malware from the occasional exploit basically created for "fun" and ego to the multi-billion criminal industry we know today.

Active X was in some ways intended as an MS-owned, NDA-controlled proprietary competition to Java, tied into Windows as tightly as possible, just without bothering to invest as much conceptual effort into it as it would have required, especially since Active X can interfere with the system to a deeper degree than Java does.

Just one of many areas where a priority on the fight for market dominance combined with sloppy design and implementation has had severe consequences for the users.

[Edited 2009-01-12 06:18:39]
 
ajd1992
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 4:14 pm

I don't, I just have the firewall turned on.

I've never had a virus on my Macbook. At least, not on the Leopard partition... I have on the Winblows one.

 Sad

Saying that, I will definitely look into that free OSX anti-virus Hawaiian posted. Can never be too careful  Wink
 
rabenschlag
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:10 pm

I run the Sophos Antivirus that my employer provides. I did not think about it too much, I just put it on. Maybe I should consider removing it?
 
aero145
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:14 pm

Our houses have always been full of Macs, and only once there was a virusproblem (maybe not a real virus, but a problem), and that was when an “infected” file from a computer with Windows 2k was sent over to a Mac with the original Mac OS o.s. It was a long time ago, and at the moment there are three Macs in the haus, each one without problems.

As I babble in German:
Mac für den Gewinn! Big grin

Greetings,
DAE
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 5:25 pm



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 18):
Our houses have always been full of Macs, and only once there was a virusproblem (maybe not a real virus, but a problem), and that was when an “infected” file from a computer with Windows 2k was sent over to a Mac with the original Mac OS o.s.

The main function of Mac "antivirus" software is to filter communication for Windows-based malware which wouldn't be capable of affecting the Mac itself. It's probably been just that.
 
aero145
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:00 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 19):
The main function of Mac "antivirus" software is to filter communication for Windows-based malware which wouldn't be capable of affecting the Mac itself. It's probably been just that.

Ach so. I still think it’s not worth to buy antivirus software - we’ll just trust our “luck”.  Silly

Tschüü,
DAE
 
Rara
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:11 pm

For a bit of perspective from a Windows user, I also don't run a virus scanner, and I never had a virus.
Samson was a biblical tough guy, but his dad Samsonite was even more of a hard case.
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:21 pm



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 20):
Ach so. I still think it’s not worth to buy antivirus software - we’ll just trust our “luck”.

No need to get reckless – But generally being careful seems to be best right now. When actually dangerous malware should emerge one day, special software may become useful. But that day has not come yet, from all appearances.
 
aero145
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:24 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 22):
No need to get reckless – But generally being careful seems to be best right now. When actually dangerous malware should emerge one day, special software may become useful. But that day has not come yet, from all appearances.

Not reckless by any means - just don’t find it worthwhile to waste money on a software that will not be really useful. At least, if something pops up, I hope it won’t be on of your Macs and that it’ll be something very tiny and egal.
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:31 pm



Quoting Rara (Reply 21):
For a bit of perspective from a Windows user, I also don't run a virus scanner, and I never had a virus.

That, unfortunately, is a much different situation, since there is a large number of self-propagating malware threats around for Windows, but none of these for the Mac thus far.

Whether you can safely go without additional protection under Windows depends on many factors, among them the browser and the mail program you're using, your system version and update status plus various settings and behaviours beyond that.

Given the situation under Windows, I would at least recommend occasional scans for malware. Otherwise you might well have one of the many malware bots or rootkits on your machine, busily distributing spam and malware without you being even aware of it.
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 6:44 pm



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 23):
Not reckless by any means - just don’t find it worthwhile to waste money on a software that will not be really useful. At least, if something pops up, I hope it won’t be on of your Macs and that it’ll be something very tiny and egal.

I generally agrree with you on that.

The thing is that even if one day a credible threat should emerge, an existing "protection" application will usually not protect you from it right away – depending on the way it works (both the application and the threat!), it may take days or even weeks until the anti-malware application can actually do some useful work against the new threat. And some "antivirus" applications may fail to protect you from certain threats at all. That's the tricky bit about this.

Generally the authors of the vulnerable code that's being attacked by the malware should issue a fix as soon as possible; Ideally before it's even attacked, but sometimes that takes a while (threat analysis, code modification, tests...), during which an additional protection could only help if it closes the gap faster than Apple or the third-party source can fix the original vulnerability.

Producers of "antivirus" software love to make their own product appear airtight and reliable, but in practice they are anything but that (mostly for fundamental reasons). By far the best strategy is to use relatively safe software in the first place, and use it in a relatively safe way yourself. Plus keep your system up-to-date as far as possible (have Software Update check for new versions daily).

Additional software can be a useful band-aid (under Windows the total situation has become so bad that it is near-reckless to go without it under many circumstances), but it still has rather limited powers.
 
aero145
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 7:05 pm



Quoting Klaus (Reply 25):

Hey. I escaped problems (as in PC - my PC was the first and last PC in our home!) just by switching to Mac. Problems solved, and more so.

If I’ll start noticing problems I’ll just drop you an IM.  Silly
 
DfwRevolution
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:48 pm

I haven't used anti-virus or malware software on my Mac and I've owned it for about 2.5 years. My credit card number was recently stolen, so I took the opportunity to refresh my passwords and generally review my security procedures. Part of that was downloading and running a malware utility.

Didn't turn-up anything suspicious on my machine.
 
mirrodie
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:05 pm



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 23):
Not reckless by any means - just don’t find it worthwhile to waste money on a software that will not be really useful. At least, if something pops up, I hope it won’t be on of your Macs and that it’ll be something very tiny and egal.

I'd tend to agree with respect to MS. Seems my current McAfee protection software along with others really slows down the functioning of my computer.

Quoting DfwRevolution (Reply 27):

Didn't turn-up anything suspicious on my machine.

Good luck with that. SO many ways your cc details can be stolen and such a hassle to resolve.

BTW, Klaus, thanks for the help in the past. My MAC is in the mail  Big grin

And thanks to my friend who allowed me to borrow his Mac for a few months. I was so happy with it and its ease of transition and ease of customer service (Genius bar is 3 minutes from my place.) made it an expensive but worthwhile purchase.
Forum moderator 2001-2010; He's a pedantic, pontificating, pretentious bastard, a belligerent old fart, a worthless st
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:21 pm



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 28):
BTW, Klaus, thanks for the help in the past. My MAC is in the mail

You're welcome! I hope you'll enjoy your new toy!  bigthumbsup 
 
Elite
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 1:49 am



Quoting Mirrodie (Reply 28):
BTW, Klaus, thanks for the help in the past. My MAC is in the mail

Looks like I wasn't the only one that consulted Klaus before buying a Mac!! You should apply for a part time marketing job with them.

Quoting Rara (Reply 21):
For a bit of perspective from a Windows user, I also don't run a virus scanner, and I never had a virus.

Hm, that's risky. I've never known a person who used Windows without using an anti-virus program... but I guess safe and smart browsing goes a long way.
 
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LTU932
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:56 am



Quoting Elite (Reply 30):
Looks like I wasn't the only one that consulted Klaus before buying a Mac!! You should apply for a part time marketing job with them.

What I could need is maybe a job at Gravis (the biggest Apple retailer in Germany). Given that I work multi-platform with Windows and Mac, plus have some experience with Bootcamp, I could help people set up multiplatform Macs.  Wink

At home I have a computer that has been re-formatted back to Vista, and I have a Macbook (where I previously ran Vista through Bootcamp once a week or so, but then decided to dump it and leave only OSX on it). Knowing both platforms I can say that, even without antispyware software, you can work safely on a Windows computer. Just make sure that you have the firewall on (BTW: MacOS also has an integrated basic firewall for accessing the internet). You just need to be very careful and not click on links that look suspicious. This is why I have gotten along running Windows without an antivirus these last years.
 
Elite
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:10 am



Quoting LTU932 (Reply 31):

Should I select the "Allow only essential services" option under Firewall? Because right now my setting is "Allow all incoming connections".
 
ANCsupercub
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 3:21 am

i don't.... i haven't had any problems
 
hawaiian717
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:34 am



Quoting Rara (Reply 21):
For a bit of perspective from a Windows user, I also don't run a virus scanner, and I never had a virus.

You're not the first person I've seen state this, and I don't understand it. If you don't run a virus scanner, how do you know you don't have a virus. With the trend of wanting to use malware for identity theft and botnets, its to the malware authors' interest to make the software less noticeable.

Quoting Rabenschlag (Reply 17):
I run the Sophos Antivirus that my employer provides. I did not think about it too much, I just put it on. Maybe I should consider removing it?

No. Especially not if it's a company computer, and even if its a personal computer, your company policy may require you to run antivirus software if you do work on the computer, connect it to the company VPN, etc.
 
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LTU932
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:04 am



Quoting Elite (Reply 32):
Should I select the "Allow only essential services" option under Firewall? Because right now my setting is "Allow all incoming connections".

Which firewall? In Windows, I simply let everything as it is (default settings) and I still don't have any problems. In any case, just be careful. For the moment, leave it as it is. If it hasn't done any harm to your computer, then there's no need to change a winning combination.  Wink
 
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TheRedBaron
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:09 am

NO. I have never had a virus in the 23 years I have been a MAc User.
The best seat in a Plane is the Jumpseat.
 
bill142
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 7:37 am

I haven't had any problems with viruses or spyware etc. But just because there risk is lower, does not mean it should be ignored. Macs are still susceptible to viruses and intrusion and their growing popularity will only increase the risk.

So to everyone thinking about buying a Mac, don't do it. I want my Mac to stay safe! And in answer to the thread starters question, yes I do use anti-virus. I use Intego Internet Security, but I don't think it's very user friendly.
 
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vhqpa
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 2:16 pm

I only recently made the switch from PC to Mac after loosing a few PC's to Malware/Viruses I'd rather play it safe. At the moment I'm running a 2 month trial of a program called Avast! however and he end of the trial period I haven't made the decision to go ahead and purchase a subscription or just use a free program.




Vhq
"There you go ladies and gentleman we're through Mach 1 the speed of sound no bumps no bangs... CONCORDE"
 
aero145
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 4:25 pm



Quoting Bill142 (Reply 37):
Macs are still susceptible to viruses

Well, if I didn’t know better, Macs can’t have viruses. I saw an explanation for it once, but I can’t find it anymore.

I remember also that I read that Macs are susceptible to Trojan horses and stuff, but not viruses.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Tue Jan 13, 2009 5:57 pm

I have be using Mac Os10 since 10.1.2 right through to 10.5.6.
Have never run any anti virus , however do have port monitoring programme called little snitch which is more important as it monitors ALL incoming and outgoing calls learns and can be set to block/Allow particular calls.
The Leopard (OS10.5) firewall is just not helpful it telling you what its doing .
You can also use terminal to get better control if Unix doesn't send fear through your bones first.

Some point to having anti virus for email scanning as a good windows neighbour, better that YOU don't forward spam or any unsolicited mail in the first place!

Anyway almost all email malicious code is deigned to hook into that wonderful all in one place MS organizer OFFICE.

Bill142
Mac OsX by design is not susceptible to virus proliferation period.
Nether is is it susceptible to replicating worn infections.

It is however potentially just as susceptible to Trojan Horse infections and there have been a few of these.
A Trojan Horse being malicious payload packaged and hidden in what appears to be a legitimate application or file JPEG or MP3 for instance.
These have been proliferated via P2P in the past. They work actually making the vulnerable down-loader and computer operator physically install them. Same for Windows and Linux .
Linux distributions use of repositories or down right hardwork in terminal when installing applications makes Trojans even rarer than in Mac Os actually.

There was an early "Ms Office for Mac demo" that got distributed via P2P that destroyed the Home Folder.
Other software distributed illegally via cheap adverts may also have Trojan horse payloads.
Suffice to say make sure your software is legit

Another thing make sure blue-tooth is switched Off when not needed for that mouse or mobile connection, and never accept an unknown blue-tooth file transfer!
 
FlyKev
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:59 am

No anti virus on this iMac.
Not invincible, but at the moment, the lack of viruses for mac, and to get one, you would really have to be wanting one seems good enough for me.
The uni bundled me a copy of an anti virus program when they gave me the mac, so we can always use that should the needs be.

Kev.
The white zone is for immediate loading and unloading of passengers only
 
ikramerica
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Wed Jan 14, 2009 11:25 pm

I've found the anti-virus stuff to be a PITA, myself. It bogs down the system, and creates instability, and never has a scan ever found anything!

And on the Mac, the only real exploits out there are related to things like Quicktime, jpgs, and now RSS in Safari (you must turn this off ASAP until Apple fixes it!), and no virus software will protect you from those things, as they are flaws that Apple has to find (or be alerted to) and fixed.

People who want to hack mac files don't bother with the randomness of viruses, and instead would focus on exploits that take no user participation, and there are (have been) a few of those.

But using Macs since 1991, I've never been hacked, virused, wormed or otherwise so far, nor has my identity been stolen.

People have tried to hack into the appleid system, but according to apple, nobody has succeeded. Occasionally you may get an email telling you that there were requests to reset your password, but of course the person would have to know your appleid AND your other email address it was linked to, with passwords...

I even got a warning in German once, so someone at the German Apple portal had tried to hack my account. Kind of bizarre...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
AverageUser
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:20 am



Quoting Klaus (Reply 15):
Active X was conceived as a way to "expand functionality" by letting a web site take control of one's computer, and that it did – just not limited to Microsoft's system updates, but quickly adopted by malware spreaders as one of the main avenues to grow malware from the occasional exploit basically created for "fun" and ego to the multi-billion criminal industry we know today.

That's correct. You might also know that the default security settings for running ActiveX components are pretty tight in MS Explorer. An ActiveX Control is really not different from downloading a piece of software "directly" off the net and running it, only that you'll get a measure of security if and when you require the control be signed (and you should be able to know whom that signature really represents.)

I'll tell you what I do if I encounter an unknown control or any old executable program. I go and google the object and any other data I may find along with it. If I find nothing good from what I consider a reliable source, I'll not run it. I'm relying on the user collective, in other words.

The "is this a safe pice of code to run" question will remain an Achilles' heel in every system. I don't see anything particularly safe in Apple's approach to this problem re Windows. OS X will also run unsigned code in most circumstances. Nothing to do with sloppiness, but there's simply no practical administration that would verify each and every program written and available somewhere, and even do that for free and without delay.

This is a far more complex problem to solve that most people realize, and that typically includes any freelance MacVangelists as well.
 
bill142
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Thu Jan 15, 2009 9:38 am



Quoting Rutankrd (Reply 40):
Bill142
Mac OsX by design is not susceptible to virus proliferation period.
Nether is is it susceptible to replicating worn infections.



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 39):

Well, if I didn’t know better, Macs can’t have viruses. I saw an explanation for it once, but I can’t find it anymore.

I remember also that I read that Macs are susceptible to Trojan horses and stuff, but not viruses

Rubbish. If some nerd wanted to write malicious code for Macs they could. If they weren't susceptible to attacks, why does Apple release security patches periodically? You may wish to do some research into the Leap-A worm.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:38 am

Bill142

LEAP-A is not strictly a virus or worm
Its a Trojan Horse and as i said there have been some of them


Also Apple release dozens of security patches through year AND several OS updates that include changes at kernel level making attacks at core OS that much more difficult.

Vulnerabilities in software and buffer overruns for instance are certainly security risks and are evident in EVERY computer OS. These are patched frequently .
These sort security risks differ substantially from the subject of malicious code distribution and are in the main hypothetical risks or more importantly risks that a certain piece of software you are using adversely effects the OS stability.

What I think you are really saying is that as an I.T. guy is prefer the MS way with update Tuesday each month
When you have a large network to administer this certainly has advantages compared to the Apple approach of release when patches ready (By the way Apple also include Open Source Unix patches that effect core services in their up dates and provide accreditation to the discoverer on their web site)

Quote:
If some nerd wanted to write malicious code for Macs they could

Not disputed but the delivery of said code remains the hurdle (Other than as a Trojan Horse)

OSx is a mature OS in the market place. The usable versions (after 10.1.2 -onwards) have been out for 8 years and still NO genuine virus infections in the wild says something .

Mac OSx by design is not susceptible to virus proliferation period.
Nether is it susceptible to REPLICATING worn infections.
Now Ichat not OSx had a flaw in file transfer process the LEAP-A exploited.THIS has been patched some time ago.

As for intrusions of cause there is risk and EXACTLY the reason why I have port and network monitoring software. FAR more important to know what traffic is coming in and out of your network and block ALL unauthorized calls in the first place.

It remains (yet we should be vigilant) that Commercial anti-virus software for Mac OSx has little if any value
 
AverageUser
Posts: 1824
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 6:21 pm

RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:58 pm



Quoting Rutankrd (Reply 45):
Also Apple release dozens of security patches through year AND several OS updates that include changes at kernel level making attacks at core OS that much more difficult.



Quoting Rutankrd (Reply 45):

Mac OSx by design is not susceptible to virus proliferation period.

Does anyone else see a contradiction here?

If having patches applicable is a certain sign of a "by-design" insusceptibility then the various MS OSs are among the safest in the world.
 
Klaus
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:11 pm



Quoting Rutankrd (Reply 45):
Mac OSx by design is not susceptible to virus proliferation period.

I would agree with most of your statements, but this one I must disagree with.

I'd rather say that MacOS X is not as susceptible to virus proliferation as Windows in a rather substantial way.

At this point it appears strong enough so the added risks and disadvantages of installing additional "antivirus" software seem larger than the chance that it could actually prevent any damage, but it is possible that this may change one day.

That's why I'm cautious but still relatively scare-free right now.


About running Windows without malware checks:

Not noticing any problems doesn't say much. Many if not most pieces of malware run silently in the background, acting as a bot which spreads spam or malware to other computers under control of criminals, or silently trying to catch your passwords and account data when you're accessing your banks.

Given the massive amount of self-propagating malware of that kind under Windows, I would recommend more caution there. I would at least run occasional scans with decent and current detection software. It might be that the russian or chinese mob has actually planted parasites into your machine without you knowing about it.

This kind of problem does not seem to exist on the Mac at this time, but it might at some point.


About firewalls:

A firewall can help to block incoming or outgoing traffic you might not want (there are usually different ones for either direction), but most of the malware spread around is pulled into your machine by you deliberately accessing some web sites with malware riding piggyback on data you've asked for, using browser vulnerabilities, mail client security holes (Outlook has long been a super-spreader there) or plain old social engineering with trojan horses ("just install this codec to view the porn you've been looking for!").

A firewall can often(!) prevent attacks from the outside through ports carelessly left open with vulnerabilities in the code that manages them or it can often(!) prevent software from "phoning home" without your consent, but a lot of malware comes in at your invitation as an unwanted additional guest.

So firewalls are a sensible additional line of defense against certain threats, but most people massively overestimate their utility and effectiveness as a general catch-all. That they are not!

(On the Mac the standard firewall does a decent job of controlling incoming traffic; And MacOS X generally leaves only very few ports open to the outside anyway depending on your settings in the "Sharing" control panel, so the risks are relatively limited. For controlling of outgoing traffic I use Little Snitch.)


About "trusted sites":

You may trust a certain web site, but that trust is often misplaced. Many legitimate web sites are being attacked themselves and malicious modifications are being made. Such as invisibly adding malicious JavaScript code to every page of that site which then tells your browser to access some other malware site which loads attack code trying to find vulnerabilities in your browser or pulling in a direct attack (firewalls can indeed become useful at that point).

There are even attacks nowadays which can reconfigure your internet router (if its password has not been set properly or if its firmware has vulnerabilities) so that you may believe you're accessing your bank when you're actually talking to a phishing site somewhere in Russia or China merely mimicking your bank and phishing for your account data and passwords at the real one.

So I would be cautious even about "trusted sites". If they are suddenly asking for security-relevant information in a suspicious way, if they are trying to coax you into installing software which doesn't look plausible or if things "don't look right" for other reasons, it may be a good idea to make a "real-world check" before proceeding (like calling your bank by phone, for instance) or just getting out of there.

Especially when downloading software I try to be careful about verifying the legitimacy and reputation of the manufacturer and their site, especially when it's about software which requires admin privileges for installation (such as Little Snitch above - don't just blindly follow links!).


I personally have JavaScript and browser plugins disabled in my standard browser on all but a few sites, but then I may be a bit paranoid and I'm ready to experience the occasional inconvenience in exchange for a bit of added security. I'm not saying everybody should go that far, but general caution is definitely recommended – even on a Mac.
 
rutankrd
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RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:27 pm

AverageUser.

No contradiction the patches are for vulnerabilities in the OS to buffer overrruns and software compatibliities. Hell you don't want a buffer leak is say iChat to damage the core OSand/or your data.
These are very real threats.

There have been instances of buffer overruns found in the OSx log in screen for instance such that being directly at the Mac in question (Not remote) you could type in a very long and random series of charactures and gain access.A security risk and quickly patched.
These type of things are real security issues and as said evident in EVERY OS.

Suffice to say Computer Security IS more than just protection from VIrus/Worm or Tojan Horce infections.
Sometimes you and you own machine and installed software put YOUR data at risk.

OSx In NOT invincible but you need very strong tools to break in.And in eight years its still yet to happen.
 
rutankrd
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Joined: Mon Sep 08, 2003 6:08 am

RE: Mac Users: Do You Use Anti-virus?

Thu Jan 15, 2009 1:36 pm

Klaus OK i agree to add --- as.
Truth be told when talking of Security there is always the "Known unknown and unknown unknown" factors.

And we both seem to be following similar security models.
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