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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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levgram

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
There's a "safety net" for just about anything…whether a likely event or an unlikely event…it's all about risk potential. If something is very likely…probably should do something about it. If something is unlikely (or very unlikely)…then the risk is not nearly as high.

If someone live's in a desert vs. a rainforest…there's a lot less need for an umbrella!

- Nick
unless you're a rainforest on vacation.
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pigoo3

 
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Originally Posted by levgram View Post
unless you're a rainforest on vacation.
Ha ha!lol

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armpit44

 
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I had a virus on my mac 15 years ago or more, but only once. I recently discovered OpenDNS.com as the ultimate compliment to Maverics built insecurity features. If you go to that website it's self explanatory, and although things like that usually involve me calling tech support, because I have ADHD, this took me less than 5 min. I learned of OpenDNS on Apple Community Support.

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Originally Posted by cptkrf View Post
Don't be a bonehead: Run antivirus on your Mac | ZDNet

He admits that he has never caught or seen an OSX virus, but that he gladly spends big money to check for them. However, since this article is by an "internationally published technology author," then I guess I need to start looking.

He might have a point. I have never seen or heard of sharks in my East Texas neighborhood, but I sleep better at night knowing that I have a full chain link fence around our property. You can't be too safe around swimming pools.

No OS is bulletproof, but if someone's Mac gets infected by a real virus, the word will get around quick enough. Until then, I prefer to use my cycles for computing, rather than dragging the performance down.
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harryb2448

 
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And only one. Classic OS 7, 8 and 9 did get the very odd virus and Peter Norton's AntiVirus was just great. He sold out to Symantec and the whole ship went down.

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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IIRC Most of what was out there at the time fell into one of two categories;
1. Microsoft Office macro viruses which could come over from the PC side because the Mac and PC versions of the language were nearly identical.
2. There was one called nVIR A Virus floating around for a while that was essentially harmless IIRC.

Sylvester Roque Former Contributing Editor About This Particular Macintosh

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TattooedMac

 
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Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
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.
True. But if we are still to believe, we, the user still needs to give it permission to install, then I still feel confident. The day, someone tells me, there is a virus that can install itself, then I will be more open to the suggestion of a AV and looking out. But for any virus to hit my Machine/OS first is 1,000,00+:1 I think I will here about it first and then react.

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Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
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.
Read above post

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Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
Difficult, but not impossible (source).
Even though you have given me a article that was written in 2011, its security flaw being open in the coreGraphics has now been fixed in Mavericks 10.9 (Source), which is another reason to try and update to the latest OS if at all possible, because with a new OS comes new Security fixes.
Although I did like the comment by
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Anonymous Coward
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So it is safe if hackers act like Apple wants but unsafe if they don't?
Quote:
Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
This remains the biggest security flaw that still lingers.
And has me buggered why they haven't closed this up, as they try and protect us against ourselves with a hidden 'Library', why not this ??

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Originally Posted by vansmith View Post
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).
Because they have the same attitude towards it as us, the user does. At the end of the day, being set on the u-Nix system, its still going to be harder to write one for the Mac OS, and hence the reason Hackers don't. I don't believe the crap about the % difference in how many of each system is out there, I just think they can't be bothered because its more difficult. FULL STOP

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lclev

 
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Just a thought.... I have wondered if the reason there are next to no viruses written for Mac is because the virus writers are using unix/linux OS based computers and prefer to avoid a possible backlash. Add to that the fact that Windows OS's making up the dominant market share, it provides a more target rich environment.

What do you think, any validity?

Lisa
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pigoo3

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lclev View Post
Add to that the fact that Windows OS's making up the dominant market share, it provides a more target rich environment.
I've considered this a valid/possible reason for a long time. But you would think after all these years…some Apple/Macintosh-hater would target us with something. We're talking 13+ years of Mac OS X.

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lclev

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
I've considered this a valid/possible reason for a long time. But you would think after all these years…some Apple/Macintosh-hater would target us with something. We're talking 13+ years of Mac OS X.
Hummm...maybe Mac OS X is left alone because the Windows community is too busy fixing holes and catching viruses????

Actually, I still think Windows makes a more target rich environment. When malware started popping up many years ago, it was about harassing the user or gathering information - now it's all about making (stealing) money.

Lisa
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MacInWin

 
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When I first came from Windows to OSX I made a deliberate decision NOT to run AV. AV was why I left Windows in the first place. I had just bought a new PC that on spec should have been much faster than my previous PC, but when I loaded the AV (Norton/Symantec as I recall) it bogged down to the point where it was no faster than the old one. I was in MicroCenter one day and saw an iMac running Windows in a window and was dropped in my tracks. I went in, asked if I could play with it, played with it for 15 minutes and bought one on the spot. I sold my old PC, installed Parallels and Windows as a VM on the iMac and never looked back. I transitioned from Windows to OSX in a few weeks and now have Windows for ONE application that has no OSX equivalent. The need for that one is going to go away next year and I plan to dump Windows completely.

OK, with that history, why did I say "deliberately?" Because I deliberated on it. I looked into the claim that there are no viruses (viri for latinists) and found it to be reasonably so. I didn't fall for the "Unix is safe by design" mantra because I remember the Morris worm. I was the IT manager at a large university at that time and many of our administrative computers used variants of Unix. Fortunately for us, we had closed the holes the worm used to do its thing, so we didn't get impacted, but I spent more time in the Dean of Administration and President's offices explaining how we were safe than I wanted to. So Unix isn't inherently safe, but it can be made so with certain settings. By now, the "default" for *nix is the safe setting so it takes some action to expose the vulnerabilities, but it's not "inherently" safe.

From what I can see, OSX is safer than anything in Windows at this time. And IMHO it's safe enough not to need to pay money or performance for all-the-time AV software. The malware I've seen (Java exploits, for example) are in third party software. I never had Java on my OSX boxes because I was well aware of Java's lousy security from long ago. Flash is another open door, so it's not on my OSX boxes either. I don't miss either of them. I do use Ghostery to knock down the annoy-ware and spyware that infests the web, but that's just because I don't see any need for Google to know every move I make. (Install it and see how many web sites report back to Google! Even this one has a Google analytic on it!) I am circumspect in how I use my machine. I don't open attachments from people I don't know, don't visit untrustworthy web sites, don't automatically say "Yes" to every request to install something on my machine.

Finally, when the first in-the-wild virus does appear for OSX, it will have to use some totally unexpected vector to be effective. And since it has to be unexpected, it will not be covered by any AV software that exists at that time. When that first virus appears, I will abandon the internet from OSX and shift over to my IOS devices until a fix appears. That, too, is a carefully thought out plan. Not perfect, but for now it's what I plan to do.

To be safe, be deliberate.
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twizzard

 
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So long as you never correspond on email with a Windows user, it's possible that an anti-virus solution is optional for a careful Mac user. However, almost everyone I email uses a Windows system, and my Intego VirusBarrier has caught several Windows viruses that otherwise I might have inadvertently forwarded on to some hapless Windows user -- which would be embarrassing, and might even time consuming for me since I'm the tech support for family.
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Lifeisabeach

 
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I think there is one really simple explanation for why we don't see more malware on OS X: the people writing it don't have Macs. Perhaps that "culture" simply doesn't want to take the time to learn how to code this stuff for OS X, or find the idea of running OS X to be abhorrent. Of course I don't think that is the single and only reason, but perhaps a small part of it.

In reading the comments on that article, I think it's worth rebutting a common refrain from some critics who say that OS X is less secure because the whitehatters are winning that contest every year by compromising OS X, and surely they'd be going after the easiest target to win the prize. That's nonsense. They spend all year looking for vulnerabilities and invest a lot of time in the process. If they were going after something that was "easy", they'd risk someone else beating them to it, with that "someone else" including Apple, who would then patch it up before the contest and thus waste their months of hard work finding it.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
True. But if we are still to believe, we, the user still needs to give it permission to install, then I still feel confident.
Regardless of whether or not people need to install it is largely irrelevant though. What matters is feasibility and prompting users to install malware has proven to be quite effective (again, FlashBack is my example here). You and I are well informed enough to know what is legit software but most aren't.

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Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
Even though you have given me a article that was written in 2011, its security flaw being open in the coreGraphics has now been fixed in Mavericks 10.9 (Source), which is another reason to try and update to the latest OS if at all possible, because with a new OS comes new Security fixes.
It only takes one case to prove the point. You only have to sink the Titanic once to prove that it can sink.

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Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
And has me buggered why they haven't closed this up, as they try and protect us against ourselves with a hidden 'Library', why not this ??
I get why they have that functionality in Safari (convenience) but it's really stupid. And the hidden Library folder thing is a half-baked attempt. If users manipulating it was a huge concern, Apple would mandate more stringent permission requirements for it.

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Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
Because they have the same attitude towards it as us, the user does.
If Apple takes the same precautions that the average user does for security, we're all doomed.

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Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
At the end of the day, being set on the u-Nix system, its still going to be harder to write one for the Mac OS, and hence the reason Hackers don't.
Ah, but Unix is not a panacea nor does difficulty preclude the possibility of a virus. Again, I agree in principle that OS X is quite secure but I still think it's very important to realize that OS X is an operating system like any other inherently.

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Originally Posted by TattooedMac View Post
I don't believe the crap about the % difference in how many of each system is out there, I just think they can't be bothered because its more difficult. FULL STOP
You can disbelieve the numbers but they don't lie.

Just a note - I'm not trying to antagonize people nor am I trying to argue against everyone here. I'm just playing devil's advocate (because it's fun). I respect each person's opinion and anything I say here is in good spirits (I say this in the off chance that people think I'm angry).

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Codeseven

 
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I've considered this a valid/possible reason for a long time. But you would think after all these years…some Apple/Macintosh-hater would target us with something. We're talking 13+ years of Mac OS X.

- Nick
I agree.

Back when I was a Windows user and becoming interested in getting a Mac the slightest mention of doing so on some of my favorite Windows Forums was immediately met with a rabid negative response. The slightest news of an OSX virus rumor spawned page ofter page of cheering 'I told you so' negative comments only to die out after being disappointingly disproved. I got so sick of the Apple haters I stopped visiting those forums before I even owned a Mac.

I can't believe that with that kind of sentiment among a gazillion computer savvy Windows fanatics/Apple haters that in 13 years none of them has felt like targeting OSX with viruses. I would think that after all this time there has been an enormous effort at doing so that has 'so far' been unsuccessful.
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I agree.

Back when I was a Windows user and becoming interested in getting a Mac the slightest mention of doing so on some of my favorite Windows Forums was immediately met with a rabid negative response. The slightest news of an OSX virus rumor spawned page ofter page of cheering 'I told you so' negative comments only to die out after being disappointingly disproved. I got so sick of the Apple haters I stopped visiting those forums before I even owned a Mac.

I can't believe that with that kind of sentiment among a gazillion computer savvy Windows fanatics/Apple haters that in 13 years none of them has felt like targeting OSX with viruses. I would think that after all this time there has been an enormous effort at doing so that has 'so far' been unsuccessful.
The problem with Mac haters writing malware to target Macs as a way to make a demonstration of some sort is that they would have to actually buy a Mac, then learn how to code for it. Such a person would have to have serious anger issues to put out that much effort.
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