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

If Macs have no spyware, why does Macscan exist?


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oxband

 
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I was browsing the internet, and I must have clicked onto the wrong site. It became an add for a anti-spyware program that claimed to do a quick scan, finding a few problems with my computer.

I assume its "findings" were just part of the ad, but it got me a bit nervous. I started reading threads on this website, and they said that no spyware or viruses exist for Macs. If that's true, why does a program like MacScan exist? Would i want to buy that program? Do I need protection for spyware?
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cwa107

 
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To date, there is no executable, covertly installing Spyware for Macs.

There are keyloggers, but they are generally installed intentionally (to monitor other users' behavior on a particular computer). There are also tracking cookies, which some consider to be a breach of privacy. Of course, they are easily deleted using the browser's own purging functions. These are the things that MacScan is designed to find.

It behooves the makers of MacScan, just as it behooves Symantec to make you believe that that you need their products. But IMO, it's really not necessary (at least not at this point in time).

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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NanoBite

 
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Those ads are a nuisance and should be ignored IMHO. That is a way to attract new customers ....

Macs can 'carry' and pass bugs on to Windows PCs and even viruses too. The execution of *most* bugs need the Windows environment to run ...

So if you run Windows on your Mac you do need to be careful about when transferring files from Mac ~> PC, but as far as Mac Viruses go we've been lucky so far but that doesn't mean we can fully drop our guard about this ... make sure your Firewall is enabled if you feel a little vulnerable and read up on Mac OS X Security and what you can do about it.

Top 12 OS X Tiger Security Issues

The last two topics in that article are Open Firmware Password and Filevault.

The recommendations given are to use an Open Firmware Password and to enable Filevault.

While the Filevault advice is given to protect Identity Theft, the pitfalls of using this area of the OS without understanding exactly what you're getting yourself in for by changing the default setting are serious enough for me to advise you leave it well alone until you feel otherwise.

The same applies to using an Open Firmware Password ... make sure you read up on the pros/cons before you delve further into using an Open Fimware Password.
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technologist

 
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Q. If Macs have no spyware, why does Macscan exist?
A. To make money for the people selling it.
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MACyMouse

 
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Press released for a trojan through a porn site........ hmmmmmm

Ok.. I can see if your a porn freak and want to download porn..... which IMO is where crap like that comes from.

Avoid those sites....... avoid those emails....... avoids the problem!
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GringoBoy87

 
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Are there any free anti-spyware applications that we can download? I just recently switched from PC and feel more comfortable knowing that I can check. I also just downloaded ClamXav to scan for viruses (despite the fact that supposedly none exist for Mac, call it PTSD if you will ). Even if my Mac won't be affected I would like to be able to help protect against being a middleman for transferring malicious programs.

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damainman

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GringoBoy87 View Post
Are there any free anti-spyware applications that we can download? I just recently switched from PC and feel more comfortable knowing that I can check. I also just downloaded ClamXav to scan for viruses (despite the fact that supposedly none exist for Mac, call it PTSD if you will ). Even if my Mac won't be affected I would like to be able to help protect against being a middleman for transferring malicious programs.
I know exactly how you feel. I just moved into the mac world myself, but I haven't found any free anti virus or anti spyware programs.

I just enabled the mac firewall, and I honestly don't know what else to do to have that extra piece of mind that your looking for lol.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damainman View Post
. . . I haven't found any free anti virus or anti spyware programs.
OS X, but I suppose it isn't free.
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goobimama

 
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Even that stupid trojan requires you to enter your administrator username/pass. Nothing like the plug-and-play features that Windows viruses have...
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GringoBoy87

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damainman View Post
I know exactly how you feel. I just moved into the mac world myself, but I haven't found any free anti virus or anti spyware programs.

I just enabled the mac firewall, and I honestly don't know what else to do to have that extra piece of mind that your looking for lol.
You can download ClamXav for free as an anti-virus program. I don't know how good it is since I just got it but it was recommended by the forum moderators. Here's the link:

http://www.clamxav.com/

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cwa107

 
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As Goobi said, just refrain from entering your admin password (unless you know exactly what it is that you're installing) and you'll likely never have a problem.

The biggest issue with Windows, and what makes it so susceptible, is that prior to Vista, everyone was an admin and programs didn't need your permission to install. That's not the case with OS X and other UNIX-based OSes (including Linux). So, even if someone wrote a virus or a piece of spyware, it would be pretty recognizable as you'd be asked for your admin password for no apparent reason.

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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damainman

 
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how about rootkits?

By the way, thank for all the replies
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damainman View Post
how about rootkits?

By the way, thank for all the replies

There is one from about 2004

SH/Renepo-A is a shell script worm targeted at the Macintosh OS X platform. If run on your computer (either accidentally or by design), it copies itself to the local startup directory (/System/Library/StartupItems) and to any other mounted volumes, including other computers on your network. SH/Renepo-A also makes infected StartupItems folders world-writeable, thus opening a dangerous backdoor on any system it infects.

You would have to be logged in to your Mac as Root for it to get a toehold, hence the fact it never successfully spread beyond the odd mac os server box
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Never, ever take any notice of a "scan" performed by a website. Would you listen to a report on your health from a newspaper?

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