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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Weirdest thing going on with MACbook.


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kamilwyrz

 
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My father just called and told me that his macbook is acting up very weird. I tried to do some research but cant find any info. He said that it was very slow while being online and he decided to restart it. After it restarted, the background was reset to the default. In addition, when he went back onto firefox he said all his bookmarks are gone. I walked him through to see if he can upload a back up of his bookmarks but there were no backups. Lastly, when he loaded Safari, it prompted him with a thank you for purchasing a new mac type site rather than his home page. Nothing else is missing such as documents and files off the hard drive.

Not sure if its a virus of some sort but I have a mac for 3 years and nothing like that has ever happened.
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DarkestRitual

 
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It is not a virus. FFS, there are ZERO viruses for OS X. Sounds like maybe a corrupted file system, which can be caused by many things. You know what it isn't caused by? Viruses for OS X. Why? There are none. Sounds like something goofed, but either way, as long as his files are there, it just sounds like some pref (.plist files) got deleted. Worse things have happened. If he's got a backup (which he should, but most people don't) then he's all set.
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smithk2719

 
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haha then why did I even bother using the free Norton that my comcast comes with =( lol. Guess I dont need antivirus? guess the OP doesnt either lol.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamilwyrz View Post
My father just called and told me that his macbook is acting up very weird. I tried to do some research but cant find any info. He said that it was very slow while being online and he decided to restart it. After it restarted, the background was reset to the default. In addition, when he went back onto firefox he said all his bookmarks are gone. I walked him through to see if he can upload a back up of his bookmarks but there were no backups. Lastly, when he loaded Safari, it prompted him with a thank you for purchasing a new mac type site rather than his home page. Nothing else is missing such as documents and files off the hard drive.

Not sure if its a virus of some sort but I have a mac for 3 years and nothing like that has ever happened.
Sounds a lot like he renamed his Home folder. Very common...

Recover from renaming your Home folder

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Chud

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarkestRitual View Post
It is not a virus. FFS, there are ZERO viruses for OS X. Sounds like maybe a corrupted file system, which can be caused by many things. You know what it isn't caused by? Viruses for OS X. Why? There are none.
That's a pretty strong statement there. What about the recent Botnet trojan that was found inside cracked versions of Photoshop for Mac & iWork 09?
There's also the OSX/Inqtana.A, a Java-based worm that exploits a vulnerability in the Bluetooth file and object exchange services in Mac OS X 10.4. Lots of other info out there about Mac viruses that go all the way back to the beginnings of OSX that counter the false idea that there are no OSX viruses.

I had a CIS PhD almost laugh me out of the room at a lab meeting for suggesting that same notion just recently. Oops! Wasn't that embarrassing now? They do exist and are out there, they are just not as common as PC viruses but they are getting there...

"According to another online security company, Intego, as of January 2009, over 20,000 Mac users were known to have their computers infected with the Botnet trojan or other viruses. This, of course, is just a fraction of the number of PCs infected with malware; but it represents a sharp rise in the number of Macs affected over the past two years."

Keep yer interwebz safe y'all.
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osxx

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chud View Post
That's a pretty strong statement there. What about the recent Botnet trojan that was found inside cracked versions of Photoshop for Mac & iWork 09?
There's also the OSX/Inqtana.A, a Java-based worm that exploits a vulnerability in the Bluetooth file and object exchange services in Mac OS X 10.4. Lots of other info out there about Mac viruses that go all the way back to the beginnings of OSX that counter the false idea that there are no OSX viruses.

I had a CIS PhD almost laugh me out of the room at a lab meeting for suggesting that same notion just recently. Oops! Wasn't that embarrassing now? They do exist and are out there, they are just not as common as PC viruses but they are getting there...

"According to another online security company, Intego, as of January 2009, over 20,000 Mac users were known to have their computers infected with the Botnet trojan or other viruses. This, of course, is just a fraction of the number of PCs infected with malware; but it represents a sharp rise in the number of Macs affected over the past two years."

Keep yer interwebz safe y'all.
From my understanding those were from pirated versions and you had to give it permission to load once you give something permission to load and its not from a trusted site and a legal download you are at the mercy of what can happen.
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dtravis7

 
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There were a couple of Trojans. A Trojan is not a Virus. It does not replicate, self install. The one Trojan was a DNS redirector. I deliberately found a file with it and installed it giving it my password on a old G4. Removed it in the terminal in 15 seconds.

There are no actual Virus's for the Mac in the wild.

Intego as well as Norton is known to say things to get you to purchase their product.

Yes, OSX can have Windows Virus's. A Windows virus does nothing to OSX.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chud View Post
That's a pretty strong statement there. What about the recent Botnet trojan that was found inside cracked versions of Photoshop for Mac & iWork 09?
As dtravis7 said, there is a distinct difference between a virus and a trojan. Yes, trojans exist on all platforms. Heck, one can simply make a malicious script and call it "BESTEST PROGRAM EVER, CLICK MEEEEEEE!!!" and it would qualify as a trojan. With even a modicum of common sense, most users will never experience a trojan on OS X. Fortunately, 10.6 included measures which block even these few trojans from running without stern warnings.

Quote:
There's also the OSX/Inqtana.A, a Java-based worm that exploits a vulnerability in the Bluetooth file and object exchange services in Mac OS X 10.4.
Again, a worm is not a virus. A worm is an exploit for a vulnerability, and in this case, it's one that has long since been patched.

Quote:
Lots of other info out there about Mac viruses that go all the way back to the beginnings of OSX that counter the false idea that there are no OSX viruses.
Find a true, self-replicating, self-propagating virus and I will grant you that assertion.

Quote:
I had a CIS PhD almost laugh me out of the room at a lab meeting for suggesting that same notion just recently. Oops! Wasn't that embarrassing now? They do exist and are out there, they are just not as common as PC viruses but they are getting there...
Somehow I doubt that. There are literally thousands of viruses in the wild for Windows. If we include inactive viruses, that would be hundreds of thousands. I'm not going to say that it will never get there, but it's pretty unlikely.

DOS-based and NT-based Windows versions operate in a completely different way from UNIX-based OSes. Until Microsoft implements a truly capable Discretionary Access Control mechanism (and UAC is a good start, but weakened by provisions to keep legacy software running), it will be a very long time before we'll see the kind of resiliency that we see from OS X.


Quote:
"According to another online security company, Intego, as of January 2009, over 20,000 Mac users were known to have their computers infected with the Botnet trojan or other viruses. This, of course, is just a fraction of the number of PCs infected with malware; but it represents a sharp rise in the number of Macs affected over the past two years."

Keep yer interwebz safe y'all.
If your primary business is convincing the sheep that they need to be kept in the pen, how do you market your product? Scare tactics. Some of the claims from AV peddlers are not just merely untrue, they are irresponsible. But hey, if you're the kind of person that believes everything a used car salesman says, then so be it.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Chud

 
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I wouldn't go so far as to say that someone who has devoted 11 years of their life to the formal study of computer information systems (and numerous more "in the wild" is exactly a used car salesman, but if that it your idea of what a PhD qualifies you act as nowadays then maybe we do need some serious work on our educational system.

I've always been of the mindset that the anti-virus peddlers were in cahoots with the virus writers, keeping each other in business so to speak. And while I appreciate and understand the distinction you all have made with respect to what is a virus, what is a trojan, etc... I don't think that the average Mac user (OP possibly included) cares or assigns any difference to viruses, trojans and worms. To many, that argument is simply a semantic splitting of hairs, and an easy way for your argument to be correct. Kind of like Clinton arguing the definition of the word "is," you know?

But, ok...I'll rephrase Your Honor. There are no "VIRUSES" for OS X. But there is a bunch of other nasty stuff out there. How's that?
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osxx

 
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If there is one out there and it did work it would be in the headlines of a lot of media
not just hidden away in some link also this has been used as said a scare tactic since
I have been reading electronic media related articles and magazines.
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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chud View Post
I wouldn't go so far as to say that someone who has devoted 11 years of their life to the formal study of computer information systems (and numerous more "in the wild" is exactly a used car salesman, but if that it your idea of what a PhD qualifies you act as nowadays then maybe we do need some serious work on our educational system.
I wasn't likening your friend to a used car salesman, rather I was relating the AV vendors to one.

Quote:
I've always been of the mindset that the anti-virus peddlers were in cahoots with the virus writers, keeping each other in business so to speak. And while I appreciate and understand the distinction you all have made with respect to what is a virus, what is a trojan, etc... I don't think that the average Mac user (OP possibly included) cares or assigns any difference to viruses, trojans and worms. To many, that argument is simply a semantic splitting of hairs, and an easy way for your argument to be correct. Kind of like Clinton arguing the definition of the word "is," you know?

But, ok...I'll rephrase Your Honor. There are no "VIRUSES" for OS X. But there is a bunch of other nasty stuff out there. How's that?
You downplay the differences between the categories of malware, but in terms of imminent threat to an ordinary user, they are important. An unprotected Windows system will be exposed to thousands of threats that the user can unwittingly install with very little to no interaction. Trojans are quite different - the user must not only be tricked into executing them, but on OS X, also enter their admin password in order to have it actually make a significant change to the behavior of the system. That's what makes this distinction key.

Worms can certainly be unwittingly installed, but if the OS vendor is good about patching any known flaws, the threat is essentially non-existent. And once the update is widespread, the worm is no longer "in-the-wild", much like Polio is practically non-existent in developed countries.

Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!
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Chud

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
I wasn't likening your friend to a used car salesman, rather I was relating the AV vendors to one.
Well, I might call him that, but then again... I never referred to him as my friend, just a knowledgeable PhD in his field who was an ***** in a lab meeting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
You downplay the differences between the categories of malware, but in terms of imminent threat to an ordinary user, they are important. An unprotected Windows system will be exposed to thousands of threats that the user can unwittingly install with very little to no interaction. Trojans are quite different - the user must not only be tricked into executing them, but on OS X, also enter their admin password in order to have it actually make a significant change to the behavior of the system. That's what makes this distinction key.
Like I said, I understand the distinction (particularly since several posters have made sure to define them here) but again, the catchall phrase is virus and the ordinary user makes no real distinction between viruses, malware, spyware, trojans, and what-have-you. That was my point with the original poster who spoke of no viruses with OS X. The OP was slammed "FFS" for asking if his father's issues might be due to a virus.
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dtravis7

 
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I really do not see how telling the OP the truth is Slamming them. I think the wording of some of the answers is being taken wrong.

I know for sure I never slammed anyone. Telling people there are hundreds of virus's running all over the internet for OSX is just wrong and not true. Why should people run a performance sucking Anti Virus application if they do not (at this time) need to?
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If bad things happen to a system, nobody cares if it's called trojan, virus or whatever.... the damage is done.
The world is moving on and malware ' developers ' are getting pretty clever .... hiding code in images ... I have seen some nifty stuff, almost OS agnostic.
Now you don't need to type any password when viewing pictures .... right.... not even on OS X.

For the time being I agree that there is a lower threat level for Mac users, and the theory behind that is that the bad guys are ' following the money ' and the mass deployment of ' other OS's ' provides a more target rich environment.

Often I read that the OS we all love and trust is build on Unix and therefor more robust. Whilst that is absolutely true, people forget how many layers are build on top of Unix to make it OS X.

The best malware is the one that keeps a low profile and does not advertise anything on your screen.

The statement that OS X has a firewall so ... don't worry is true to some extent. If you configured it wrongly and put it to the test, you'd be surprised.

Having looked at IT risks for all my life, I can say that 1 ounce of prevention equals 1 pound of cure.
IT Security is more about people and their behavior than it is about machines and their settings.

My only reason for posting this is ' to abide by the code of ethics and not to hide any risk ' and make people aware that if they believe technology is going to solve their problems, then they don't understand the technology and they don't understand the problems.

My 2 cents.

Cheers ... McBie

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dtravis7

 
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McBie, I agree with you BTW. Someday something will probably happen and probably to the layers on top of the BSD layer that is OSX.

Agreed on software firewalls also. I have seen countless Windows systems with ZoneAlarm running and set up and still the system was full of Malware and Virus's.

One thing I am very sure of though, when/if that day does come that OSX gets hit by some real nasties, it will make the news!
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