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Schweb's Lounge Forum for general conversation, chit chat, or most topics that don't fit in another forum.

No antivirus is nothing more than fanboy idealism


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cwa107

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
I also don't do reactive recovery when proactive prevention is significantly more valuable and effective.
Just one small nit to pick here...

AV products are really only ever proactive if they have the virus definition in their database. Most AV products also deploy heuristics to try to recognize malware-like behavior, but by and large, they have proven to be ineffective.

A little anecdote as it relates to the proactive effectiveness of AV software, if you don't mind... In my little PC repair business, about 90% of the jobs I do are the result of some kind of malware infestation. In about half of those cases, the user had an up-to-date, commercial (pay-for) AV product installed and functional at the time of infection. In the other half, it's usually a freebie AV product or a pay-for product that is out of date by several months to a year.

Regardless, this author's point is moot as all recent versions of OS X bundle XProtect, which is a rudimentary AV product that is maintained by a definition database and automatically updated by Apple as new malware threats arrive. If you've invested in a more through suite such as McAfee's, it probably does nothing more than look for Windows malware that won't effect OS X at all. Nothing wrong with that, mind you, but I'm not personally a big fan of paying good money for something that I derive no benefit from.

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Had a outside computer consultant in at work yesterday who declared that Macs now have just as many viruses as Windows. It's pretty incredible that even tech professionals can be so misinformed. So, I did some searching. There's lots of misinformation out there, not surprisingly. But, on the internet, you can't always be sure of the writer's credentials.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
AV products are really only ever proactive if they have the virus definition in their database. Most AV products also deploy heuristics to try to recognize malware-like behavior, but by and large, they have proven to be ineffective.
Absolutely and there's nothing you can prepare for if it's never happened. I was trying to hack at this tendency for some to just wait for viruses to come and then deal with it instead of being informed users who do what they can to avoid it in the first place.

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Hi Sue,

I am the local IT at work and therefore, in a target rich environment - translation, 98% Windows OS. I am convinced there is not enough time in the day to educate the people I work with on safe internet practices or safe email practices. I am sure you have seen the blank innocent looks people have when you tell them their Windows computer is infected because they opened that attachment or went to an infected website.

Anyway, I recently started my conversion to Apple. Two reasons - malware and the constant updates that seem to take forever to install. I fell in love with the machines themselves after I started using them.

I have tried a wide variety of anti-virus products for mac - remember I am a recovering Windows-holic. (Admitting it is the first step to recovery!) I wanted to run anti-virus mainly to scan emails prior to having to open them on my work Windows computer.

I find it doesn't hurt to run an anti-virus but just like everyone else is saying, 99% of the malware is written for a Windows OS. If its not slowing your system down and it gives you peace of mind go for it. I will admit I like free products better.

Lisa
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
I was trying to hack at this tendency for some to just wait for viruses to come and then deal with it instead of being informed users who do what they can to avoid it in the first place.
I think that this is the same situation that Windows users are in. Before a new virus comes out (assuming that it has a new attack method…not detectable by an AV program)…they also have to wait & then deal with it.

And by "deal with it"…I mean that they hope they:

- don't have it already
- don't get it at all
- get an AV program update ASAP

The difference between Windows Users & Mac Users is…Windows users most likely already have an AV program installed (because they need it)…and Mac Users don't (because at this time they really don't need it).

So in regards to new virus's…Windows users and Mac users are kind of in the same boat (wait & see). In regards to current virus's…Windows users and Mac users (currently) are in different boat's. Which in my book…is a good thing…and hopefully will remain this way for a long time to come!

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He ain't malinformed toMACsh just not handling the truth very well. Some Windows techies I know just cannot STAND even thinking about lack of viruses for Macs.

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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cwa107

 
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Again, OS X ships with Anti Virus pre-installed. Any third party AV product is merely augmenting what is already there. Just because it isn't in your face, doesn't mean your system isn't protected. As usual, Apple,has it covered in a simple, elegant way.

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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I'm thinking those Apple Security Updates must contain some pretty useful stuff!

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Actually, IMO, I doubt that the current lack of OSX viruses has very little to do with Apple.

OSX has the foundation of BSD, which is derived (though completely rewritten for legal reasons) from the original Unix. That applies to Linux also, although it is a look alike clone of Unix rather than a true version. In the ‘70s, much if not most of the early Unixes were used by universities doing work for the Department of Defense. (Those were cold war days, which you are lucky if not old enough to remember.) As a result, Unix was designed almost from the start (but not at the absolute beginning) on top of a secure filesystem.

We still have that same (with enhancements) triad permission system today. The average OSX user doesn’t see it but the idea of Root/Group/User controls all files. And importantly, as far as Unix is concerned, everything is a file and therefore, everything lives under the blanket of that permission structure. It is simple, elegant and fairly easy to see any holes that develop.

When Windows started meeting the Internet, security was suddenly a requirement and it was grafted on, rather than built in, and it showed. NT was the first “secure” Windows and it was a nightmare to try to make secure. LSAs and SAMs and SRMs, Tokens and SIDs, ADEs and ACLs, Security Descriptors and Identifiers and so on. All you could do was your best and hope that nobody fell or poked through a hole somewhere. Lots of pizza cartons could stack up over the weekend while your crew tried to find out why the secretary on the third floor could save her letters over the top of the interrupt stack.

XP was better, but not much.

I can’t speak for Win7 and beyond, as I have never even seen them other than on the shelf of a store, but past experience with Redmond products does not give me the warm fuzzys.

Apple could certainly screw up, either through an honest mistake or careless code and open a hole(s) in the foundation security, since they control the code and do what they want under the BSD license. Hopefully, that won’t happen.

So…

In actual fact, we probably owe our lack of driveby malware to those programmers doing work for the US Government in those scary days of yore.

How scary is that, given what government programmers are doing today?

Last edited by cptkrf; 07-11-2014 at 08:57 AM. Reason: wrong word
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We have been saying that since OS X.1 ten years ago. Hooray for Unix!

Windows 7 is quite a good platform ~ bearing in mind 2000, NT, Vista etc!

Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
For those who automatically dismiss anti-virus news or claims of increasing malware, can you explain to me why you do especially given the very basic fact that OS X is in no way some exception to the normal rules of OS design? I'm genuinely curious to know what the root of automatic dismissal is.
You asked Van, and my reasoning is I don't go to sites that may affect me, I don't open emails I'm not sure about, and I don't put in my Admin password if I'm not 110% sure why my machine is asking for it.
On top of that, I have Little Snitch running, and I know exactly whats coming into my machine. Does this make me complacent ? Yes. Does it make me feel threatened ? No. Do I feel safe ? Yes. Why ? Because I believe I know enough about whats going on with my OS, to know when something is up, and not right. I know of friends (running Windows) that have excellent Internet mind set, and they have had maybe 2 or 3 pieces of malware that has effected them.

Its all about discipline IMHO, and if you can get that down pat, then you should be safe enough from the 'baddies'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
I was trying to hack at this tendency for some to just wait for viruses to come and then deal with it instead of being informed users who do what they can to avoid it in the first place.
How can 1 be informed about something when there is nothing there to be informed about. Isn't that counter productive ??

Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Again, OS X ships with Anti Virus pre-installed. Any third party AV product is merely augmenting what is already there. Just because it isn't in your face, doesn't mean your system isn't protected. As usual, Apple,has it covered in a simple, elegant way.
And this is one good reason to download the Apps you want from the Mac App Store, being Sandboxed, makes it quite difficult to get into and wreak havoc.
As much as I think its a good idea, it really restricts some Apps, namely | Text Expander | Coda 2 | BBEdit from allowing some great features.
In Safari, I really think they should take the Option away from "Open 'safe' files after downloading" which would give you another level of security.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cptkrf View Post
When Windows started meeting the Internet, security was suddenly a requirement and it was grafted on, rather than built in, and it showed. NT was the first “secure” Windows and it was a nightmare to try to make secure.
Im reading a short book of 46pages on iBook from the iBooks Store called the Billy Gates Affair - How Hackers at Microsoft and Google Revealed Their Massive Malware Operation, which I believe EVERYONE here should read, and IF its got even a little truth to it, then after reading this book, you can understand, WHY its so easy to be able to make virus/malware/and so on, for the Windows Operating System. If there are those holes in the system, for the hackers to easily enough get in there, then you can understand why, it would be easy enough, to circumvent those holes and drop so bad stuff onto your computer.

Honestly, after reading the book, it scared me, and I promise myself, until the day I die, I WILL NOT own a Windows computer for my everyday computing needs. Ever !!!!

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Last edited by TattooedMac; 07-11-2014 at 10:02 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
Again, OS X ships with Anti Virus pre-installed.
Interesting choice of words.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
Because I believe I know enough about whats going on with my OS, to know when something is up, and not right.
The reason that malware is successful is because it's hidden. I'm not suggesting that you have any (you're savvy enough to avoid things that'll like infect your machine) but what makes malware so prolific is its obscurity.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
How can 1 be informed about something when there is nothing there to be informed about. Isn't that counter productive ??
It's not only about being informed but also being aware of possibilities and open to them. I don't know of any Mac viruses but I'm open to the idea that they're likely going to come.

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Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
And this is one good reason to download the Apps you want from the Mac App Store, being Sandboxed, makes it quite difficult to get into and wreak havoc.
Difficult, but not impossible (source).

Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
In Safari, I really think they should take the Option away from "Open 'safe' files after downloading" which would give you another level of security.
This remains the biggest security flaw that still lingers.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
Im reading a short book of 46pages on iBook from the iBooks Store called the Billy Gates Affair - How Hackers at Microsoft and Google Revealed Their Massive Malware Operation, which I believe EVERYONE here should read, and IF its got even a little truth to it, then after reading this book, you can understand, WHY its so easy to be able to make virus/malware/and so on, for the Windows Operating System. If there are those holes in the system, for the hackers to easily enough get in there, then you can understand why, it would be easy enough, to circumvent those holes and drop so bad stuff onto your computer.!
I think there's an equally important problem here for Apple though. While Windows might be less secure inherently, Apple is magnitudes less prepared to deal with malware than MS. The whole Flashback debacle is a perfect example of this. This is why I think we ought to take the stand that OS X is more secure now, not more secure (full stop).

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A good read here:
[URL="http://www.thesafemac.com"]
regularly updated
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A good read here:
[URL="http://www.thesafemac.com"]
regularly updated
Hi LexS - agree; I provided that link on the first page of this thread - worth a look! Dave
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Hi Dave, indeed I oversaw it. Thomas Reed, the writer of that site, is a very conscientious person. And he follows most publications and forums (fora for the latinist, ha) and updates the site regularly. Have a good time.
Lex
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