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OS X - Apps and Games Discussion of applications and games available for Mac OS X.

Mac 10.x hosting Windows Virus'

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Member Since: May 25, 2009
Posts: 2
mtyoung400 is on a distinguished road

mtyoung400 is offline
G'day everyone,

I'm relatively new to the Apple platform, and I have a question regarding Windows virus' and Mac's.

Whilst I'm aware that Mac's aren't susceptible to being infected by a Windows based virus, what I don't know is whether a Mac connected to a Windows domain can host a Windows specific virus.

Specificially I am asking regarding the recent Conficker virus' infecting Windows XPSP2, but I would be keen to hear if anyone knows of other virus' that behave like this.

If anyone knows whether this can happen, and how it happens, then I'ld greatly appreciate any help and information you could offer.


NB: I have been doing some research and have found that it is possible for Macro virus imbedded within MS applications to be hosted on mac's without infecting them.
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Member Since: Feb 25, 2009
Posts: 2,109
Nethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of lightNethfel is a glorious beacon of light
Mac Specs: Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10

Nethfel is offline
The only ways a Mac could "host" a windows virus, that I know of (I am not an OSX expert, this is just from things I've read and researched):

1) Somehow are using a darwine based install of a windows software package that has a virus where it would try to propagate outside of your system (rare, but possible - happens more often to those running outlook or IE under darwine or crossover).

2) You run some sort of virtual machine (parallels, virtualbox, vmware fusion) with a windows install that gets a virus so whenever that VM is running, it's possible for the virus to spread to other windows machines.

3) Not really propagate, but you forward an email onto someone that contains a windows virus - might call it manual propagation since you had to manually forward it on.

4) You have dual booted into windows (via bootcamp) and have a virus on your bootcamp partition.

5) Certain macro virus' on certain versions of microsoft products could propagate a virus - I think this is broken in Office '08 since vbscript is not available in that release of office, but I could be wrong (ie: if there is a macro virus that doesn't depend on vbscript).

6) You open up a file share area on your mac, and someone stores an infected file on your computer that other people copy off of your share (not really you propagating, more just it being shared and other people taking the file and infecting themselves - I could see this happening with someone sharing an illegal download)

The chance of you propagating a windows virus via a Mac is very slim - I'm not saying it's impossible, but it's slim.

My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Debian as a server; Apple TV (1080p version)
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Member Since: May 25, 2009
Posts: 2
mtyoung400 is on a distinguished road

mtyoung400 is offline
Thanks Nethfel for the prompt and informative response.
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