A Mac have a Virus? Inconceivable!

Bob Hubbard

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I love dealing with blind fools who think that having a Mac means you can't get viruses. I spent 20+ years of my life studying computer security. I spent a year working for a city in Ohio where most of my day was spent doing virus removal. I run Macs exclusively in-office and I guarantee you, that if you are not running some form of protection, you have a high probability of something malicious lurking on yours.
"But Bob, the Genius at the Apple Store said I can't get one."


Yeah, and the "Genius" at mine was so clueless about their own products native capabilities that I went to Best Buy and bought an Android tablet rather than an iPad.


You have a Mac? You need to do 2 things.


1- Surf Smart. Only install trusted software from verified trusted sources. Don't "OK" every pop up automatically. Run ad blockers and pop up blockers in your browsers. Maybe skip the 'website of questionable content'.


2- Install a quality Malware Stopper. Sophos makes a good one, for free. Avast is also highly recommended. While traditional viruses are hard put to impact OSX, there are still worms, trojans, phishing attacks, and other types that do.


Apple makes great computers. OSX comes out of the box fairly well hardened, but fairly well doesn't mean invulnerable. You need to adjust some bits, and you need to operate smartly. With some reports suggesting that 1 in 6 Facebook links are hostile, a little prevention can go a long way in saving you time and reputation.



avast! Free Antivirus for Mac | Security Software for Apple OS X

Mac Antivirus | Free Antivirus for Mac Tool Download | Sophos
 

Tames D

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I don't know much about Mac computers, and I've never had an iinterest in purchasing one. I've alwys heard that Apple is virus resistant. Seems that Apple isn't working too hard to set the record straight. Maybe this falls into the "false advertising" catagory?
 
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Bob Hubbard

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It's misinformation, but I don't believe Apple themselves have officially said "Macs can't get cooties". In fact, Apple has continually increased security and made it harder for malware to get in unassisted.
The Safe Mac 罈 Mac Malware Guide : How does Mac OS X protect me?

By unassisted, I mean you the user will need to hit OK a few times, ignore some warnings, and probably enter a password before you get to see the pretty skull and crossbones letting you know your Mac is now hurting.

Unfortunately, a lot of people believe the myth that OSX is 'safe', and it's spread by the Faithful and the "Geniuses" alike.

The Ten Most Dangerous Mac Viruses

http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_Virus/Malware_FAQ

Strictly defined, it is very hard for a Mac that is up to date to get a true virus.

A virus must meet two criteria:
  • It must execute itself. It often places its own code in the path of execution of another program.
  • It must replicate itself. For example, it may replace other executable files with a copy of the virus infected file. Viruses can infect desktop computers and network servers alike

However, there are other threats to be concerned with which is why being a little paranoid, making sure you're using reliable security and safe computing practices is a good idea, regardless of platform or operating system.
 

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macs have historically been less vulnerable because they were closed systems and because their percentage of the market share was so small. There was little incentive for hackers to hack them because almost no one used them, compared to windows, And few software apps ran on them. If you weren't running Final Cut Pro and photoshop or illustrator, you probably owned a PC.

The price of success is vulnerability.


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Reedone816

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Never have one, but isn't it the range of time between knowing an exploit exist and for the apple to patch it, is still dangerously long? As for the trend for malware handling i like the non admin user and sandbox mode.
I use comodo as my first line defense since it has firewall and sandbox mode, and tor browser for anonymous browsing (fear the nsa :) )
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Badger1777

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There are two reasons why Windows PC's are more vulnerable to malware than Macs.

1. Windows is, at its core, very weak in its design.
2. Windows is prominent, and therefore more worthy of attack.

There is nothing, nothing at all, about Mac OSX, which has the same origin is Linux and Unix (its based on open BSD), that makes it secure. It is just slightly more secure than Windows at its core, and a lot more secure simply because less people want to attack it.

Its like breaking into a a house with locked doors in a street full of houses with doors that don't lock. Why go to any effort. But as Apple software becomes more prevalent and at the same time Windows security gets stronger, it is inevitable that people will target it.
 

Reedone816

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I beg to differ on point one.
Since they overhaul the kernel, and their timely respons on exploits, windows as it is has better security than mac.
What makes it weak is the end users.
The combination of windows 7 and comodo security free is enough to repel most attacks.
Even back then windows xp plus microsoft security essential can be a tough system for malware to crack into (not now unfortunately).
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Bob Hubbard

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Both Windows and OSX have continued to improve their built in security. They've added built in malware checks, added protection around critical system files, made it harder for infections to jump around, and more. Meanwhile AVS and AMS have continued to improve detection and analysis capabilities to try and keep up with the malware writers. But it's always catch up. Never can stay ahead for long unfortunately.

User action is the biggest problem. No AVS, no hardening, no protection will work when someone blindly says "ok", clicks past a warning, enters a password and invites trouble.

My approach to security is simple. Onion. Many many layers. I run 1 AVS at the server level, and a different one on the desktop. Why? Different detection methods, virus definitions, etc. A separate set of eyes if you will. 2 spam blockers. redundant password layers. etc.

I'm paranoid. :) My clients like me that way, LOL!
 

Reedone816

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And beware of installing software from softwares compendium websites (ex. Cnet). There sometimes hidden softwares being installed in default mode, and read the agreement, look what it do to your system (this also need to be addressed in phone, especially in android)...
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Bob Hubbard

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Update:

I uninstalled Sophos which I've been running for 5 years, and installed Avast!

I then began deep scanning my archive drives.

3 infected files found so far in an archive from 2002. 1 old Windows trojan, and 2 questionable images, all in an old email archive.
It's also caught 1 infected email that just came in.

Right now, leaning towards switching my recommendation to Avast!
 

Xue Sheng

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It is very difficult to get a Mac user to believe they need antivirus, I deal with it continually with our Mac users who want it removed from their Macs because "Macs don't get viruses" and of course they want Admin rights to their Macs...which historically has proven to be disastoruos ebcuase they kill their macs. So they have AV and they are not Admins...end of story. If they own their own mac at home I always tell them they need AV and they need to browse the web with a non-admin account...

It's misinformation, but I don't believe Apple themselves have officially said "Macs can't get cooties".

Well they were at one point training their people in the Mac store and at the "Genius bar" to tell customers that Macs did not get viruses

1. Windows is, at its core, very weak in its design.

First Windows is not at the core, Intel is and that is hardware.

The ONLY reason Macs are not prone to viruses is because they are not big in enterprise as compared to PC running Windows. Also take into account what most Macs are used for in enterprise. Also Mac has stated it does not care about enterprise markets. SO basically, for the most part, as a target of any worth, they really are not worth much. But I have seen and removed viruses on Macs and I will say this...the graphics on a mac virus are by far much cooler that the graphics on I have come across on a PC virus.

Linux by the way is gaining as a target since it is coming into greater use in enterprise, particularly in the server world
 

Buka

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I know even less about computers than I do about women. Fortunately, my friends advise and hook me up with whatever they think I need. I've been using Linux for several years now, although I know nothing about it. Seems to work okay. I've had recent computer problems but they were due to me screwing things up (I clicked on something and got these big "panels" on each side that obscured most of my screen) and on an outdated computer that needed attention.

Anything I should do to protect myself with this Linux thing? Or, at least anything not too complicated?
 

crushing

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Update:

I uninstalled Sophos which I've been running for 5 years, and installed Avast!

I then began deep scanning my archive drives.

3 infected files found so far in an archive from 2002. 1 old Windows trojan, and 2 questionable images, all in an old email archive.
It's also caught 1 infected email that just came in.

Right now, leaning towards switching my recommendation to Avast!


I was an AVG Free, then an AVAST! user. I haven't regretted switching to (and paying for) Kaspersky to do the job right.
 
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Bob Hubbard

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I was an AVG Free, then an AVAST! user. I haven't regretted switching to (and paying for) Kaspersky to do the job right.

I started with McAfee. It made my mp3's stutter. I switched to something else, FProtect I think. Eventually I ended up on AVG free. Was ok. Friend suggested Vipre. On a Windows system, it's the only anti-malware I recommend. It found stuff no one else did.

I would rather put a bullet into a PC than subject it to anything McAfee, Symantic or Norton related, LOL.

I've heard good things about Kaspersky, but haven't used it myself.
 

crushing

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I started with McAfee. It made my mp3's stutter. I switched to something else, FProtect I think. Eventually I ended up on AVG free. Was ok. Friend suggested Vipre. On a Windows system, it's the only anti-malware I recommend. It found stuff no one else did.

I would rather put a bullet into a PC than subject it to anything McAfee, Symantic or Norton related, LOL.

I've heard good things about Kaspersky, but haven't used it myself.


I forgot about trying Vipre too, that was short lived.

My company went from Trend to Kaspersky and it has made a world of difference in reducing infections and hours spent recovering from those infections. After recurring incidents at home with a computer and the the effectiveness of Kaserpsky at work it what led me to purchase the same for home. I heard ya about McAffee and Symantec/Norton. Dealing with and and trying to remove Symantec Norton can be as frustrating as dealing with a malware infection itself.
 

crushing

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Although, it does drive me crazy that I have to clean up after Kaspersky installs on Windows to close the 'unquoted service path enumeration' security vulnerability. If any company knows that if their paths to service executables should either NOT contain spaces or should be enclosed in quotes it should be a security company that deals with malware.
 

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Although its not as easy to get viruses with the PC, Macs do get viruses. That's why Im going to take mine in, some of the functions aren't working properly.
 

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Avast has good detection ability, but like avira it is in trade of false positive. I had used avast, but when it detect a legit apps and its whitelisting is not working on my free version, i had to use avg free as the replacement since it whitelisting is easy to do.
For company server just becareful of using kaspersy version 6 since sometimes it can freeze your windows 2003 when it scan, happened to me several times but still unable to pin point why...
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