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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

OS 10.5 - True or False? No Antivirus needed for Macs?


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stevenf99

 
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I've always heard that their is no need for an anti virus on the mac OS. I wanted to know exactly if this is true. I'm going to be a mac user in a few weeks, I'm going to be buying a MBP, and I need to know? If you don't need one, is it still better to have one? I download a lot my music and videos, through *Cough**Cough* torr ents. Should I be worried since in download a lot?, also what about a firewall?

Thanks a lot? any help appreciated.
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Jaygray

 
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Viruses are a non-issue for Macs. OS X does not allow downloaded files the same access to the OS as Windows does. The weaknesses of Windows are a result of it's being required to run on such a wide range of hardware configurations from so many manufacturers. Since OS X is only run on Apple machines, there is no need for software applications to configure the OS. They are pre-configured to run on Apple machines before they are released.

For the most part, this is also the case with your questionable downloads. However, discussion of illegal downloading is not permitted on this forum.
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lifeafter2am

 
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You really don't need any anti-virus on a Mac. As Jaygray said, being based off of the BSD kernel the way that OSX works is very different than windows. Not to say that it is completely foolproof, but as of right now there are very few Mac viruses out in the wild.

Firewall, it is always a good idea to turn on your firewall. Your Mac will have a built in firewall and that will be more than enough as long as you just turn it on and set it for what you use and don't use.

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Eric559

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenf99 View Post
I've always heard that their is no need for an anti virus on the mac OS. I wanted to know exactly if this is true. I'm going to be a mac user in a few weeks, I'm going to be buying a MBP, and I need to know? If you don't need one, is it still better to have one? I download a lot my music and videos, through *Cough**Cough* torr ents. Should I be worried since in download a lot?, also what about a firewall?

Thanks a lot? any help appreciated.
The Official Mac AntiVirus and Firewall FAQ
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harryb2448

 
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If you are going to set Windows OS up on your MBP as most folk seem so very keen to do, install s free anti-virus such as AVG as it is possible for the windows OS to become virus infected, especially from cough coughs etc.

It is however just a matter of erasing that partition and doing another install via Boot Camp et al if it does become infected, but of course then maybe problems re-registering a Windows XP install disc.
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pjhutch

 
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Get hold of Clam AV for the Mac which is free. There are viruses for the mac but there are no where near as many as Windows based viruses, but never be complacent, Macs can get infected. If you use Office, you may come across the old Macro viruses that can pass from PC to Mac. Also, have your Firewall turned on as well to stop hackers.
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Jaygray

 
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Does anyone out there actually have a hold of an OS X virus that they could email someone who asked for it? People claim they are out there, but who has one contained that they would be willing to share.

If I had a 2nd Mac that I didn't use anymore, it would be an interesting experiment to try and infect it via the same methods Windows viruses are commonly transmitted and document the results.

If I upgrade to a new MB, I might be willing to blog the results using the old machine. I assume the worst case scenario is that you reinstall OS X on the infected machine.

(Mods, feel free to edit if this post if the idea violates forum rules.)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pjhutch View Post
Get hold of Clam AV for the Mac which is free. There are viruses for the mac but there are no where near as many as Windows based viruses, but never be complacent, Macs can get infected. If you use Office, you may come across the old Macro viruses that can pass from PC to Mac. Also, have your Firewall turned on as well to stop hackers.
You don't have anything to worry about with the macro viruses. They only worked if you were using Word or Excel version 5 (circa 1995-7) for Mac... which won't even run on a current Mac.
There are no viruses for any version of the Mac OS X operating system.

It is true that you could pass one on to a Windows user, though the virus won't do a thing to your Mac.
Someday there just might be a virus for OS X, so it is up to you to decide if you want AV now or not.

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stevenf99

 
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Why is it that their are hardly any virus for the mac?, and I doubt I will ever run windows on the mac via bootcamp. Maybe just to test it out, but for nothing serious. I'm going to keep my old PC, to do anything I don't want to do on my Mac. After using Pc's for 10 years, I'm just going to be happy to be a mac user. I doubt I will ever use Pc's again.
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lifeafter2am

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenf99 View Post
Why is it that their are hardly any virus for the mac?, and I doubt I will ever run windows on the mac via bootcamp. Maybe just to test it out, but for nothing serious. I'm going to keep my old PC, to do anything I don't want to do on my Mac. After using Pc's for 10 years, I'm just going to be happy to be a mac user. I doubt I will ever use Pc's again.
There are many different answers to this question, depending upon who you ask. The best answer is that it is because of the way in which OSX is built, using the security models and such from Unix. Because of this OSX handles things way differently than Windows, because of the extreme differences between the Unix kernels and the Windows model. There is a reason that Unix is the security standard.

If Dysfunction jumps in here he can explain it in more detail if you like. I come from a Linux background, but he is the Unix guru.

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louishen

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevenf99 View Post
Why is it that their are hardly any virus for the mac?, and I doubt I will ever run windows on the mac via bootcamp. Maybe just to test it out, but for nothing serious. I'm going to keep my old PC, to do anything I don't want to do on my Mac. After using Pc's for 10 years, I'm just going to be happy to be a mac user. I doubt I will ever use Pc's again.
Applications that run are walled off from the core of the OS, making it difficult to do any real damage to the system. All applications in OS X require the User to give them permission, making stealth installs difficult, if not impossible.

Just about the only way to spread a virus or Trojan is to get the user to do it for you, and while there are plenty of stupid people out there, there are only a small sub-set that are THAT stupid.

So the problem isn't creating a virus, its getting a virus to spread to other OSX machines - the lack of easily exploitable vectors is waht hinders the spread

This article might also explain

Mac virus author admits coding difficulties: News - Security - ZDNet Australia

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