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Thread: Virus Question

  1. #1


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    Virus Question
    I know this has been asked to death, but just TODAY, I saw in a Mac magazine that there are viri for Macs, and that ClamXav, for example, is not a terrible idea. Is this Windows mentality, or do you all run it? Again, this was information I read today, and although I searched the fora, I sort of wanted an up to date answer. Thanks so much, and for bearing with me as I leave the Windows mentality behind hehe

  2. #2

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    And one more time, there have not been, nor are there at this time any virii in the wild that can affect OS X.

    The very first post in "The Official Mac AntiVirus and Firewall FAQ" is just as true today as it was at the time it was written and contains everything you need to make an informed decision as to whether you want to run an A-V app or not.

    The only virii for OS X have been proof of concept in the lab. There has not been a major virus since OS 7.2.

    So, you can run an anti-virus for several years, using resources on your system, as those in 2005 that insisted "it's coming" will now have been worrying about it for 4 years and having to keep their A-V updated. Or, you can wait until we all read and hear about the first virus to make it into the wild and will be spread across every major (and minor) media network in the world.

    There are (or were) a couple of DNS trojans being spread by pirated copies of Mac software and supposed video codec downloads on some p0rn sites. Stay away from both. Both also required that you enable them by entering your master password.

    edit: As an aside, we see more issues caused by anti-virus and 3rd party firewall programs than we saw of those affected by either of those trojans.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  3. #3


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    I personally run ClamXav, but it's mainly b/c I run another operating system. It doesn't hurt to perform scans of your hard drives for viruses, but most of what I have read suggests that it's not necessary. That being said, if you download extensively from questionable sites (i.e. random freeware that you don't know about), then I would run it, because it really doesn't hurt to have a virus scanner. Also, as a side note, make sure you use a credible virus scanner. It's foreseeable that you could just get a virus instead of a scanner.

  4. #4


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    Bob,
    Thanks. Done. I will leave it alone, and enjoy the Mac. Thanks!

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by cowwart View Post
    I personally run ClamXav, but it's mainly b/c I run another operating system. It doesn't hurt to perform scans of your hard drives for viruses, but most of what I have read suggests that it's not necessary. That being said, if you download extensively from questionable sites (i.e. random freeware that you don't know about), then I would run it, because it really doesn't hurt to have a virus scanner. Also, as a side note, make sure you use a credible virus scanner. It's foreseeable that you could just get a virus instead of a scanner.
    ok so please tell me what your virus scanner is scaning for ? Anti virus only works when it has a known issue to scan for. So please tell me what your scanner is scanning for. There isn't any reason at all to waste money or CPU cycles on a product that by definition can't work.

    Clay
    MY ADVICE COMES WITH A DOUBLE YOUR MONEY BACK GUARANTEE!

  6. #6


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    Clay,
    There are worms and malwares for Mac, but not technically any true viri, as my research has found, and I could be wrong. So maybe it searches for those? Just a thought.

  7. #7

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    No worms, no malware that can affect OS X either.

    What are you reading, some article put out by the anti-virus vendors and or sponsored by them so they can convince the unsuspecting the money you spend on them is worthwhile?
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  8. #8


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    I was reading the UK publication, "Macbook Magazine." However, I am no expert and certainly could be wrong. I just do not see why everyone has to be so unkind. We are switchers just learning, so have a little mercy, yes?

  9. #9

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    I don't think anyone is really trying not to be nice. Just telling you that at this time, a full time virus scanner is not necessary on OSX. That might change someday and if it does, we will warn our users also.

    I keep ClamAV installed but not running in case some file with a Windows virus gets on my system so I can kill it rather than forwarding it to some poor Windows user.

  10. #10


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    ok fair enough
    ok thanks

  11. #11


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    @clay
    It scans for common windows viruses that could harm the windows side of my machine. I'm not sure if it scans particularly for one issue, nor do I use it that much anyway, so it doesn't really waste CPU when I would be using the computer for something else.
    @Bob
    I read about something called "iServicestrojan" that is an actual trojan that went around that affected macs (apparently). Do you know of such a file?

  12. #12

    bobtomay's Avatar
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    Not unkind, just adamant. We go through this same question, as you've already pointed out, quite often.

    The bottom line is that there is no virus, no worm, and no malware that can affect OS X at this time. There have been the couple of trojans in the last year or so as I pointed out earlier.

    All the newbies come back pointing out some article they have read saying they should run an A-V on their Mac. Time after time, these articles have either been written by an A-V company or sponsored by an A-V company. And all the virii, worms and malware they point to pre-date OS X and have not been seen in the wild in almost 10 years.

    Seems it's easy for them to convince the long time windows users that their software is needed, when it couldn't be farther from the truth.

    In the end, it's up to each individual. Believe the purveyors of the software that you need them, or believe the users of OS X that have been using their machines for years without that software.

    One thing you'll notice on practically all Mac forums whether this one or another... those recommending an A-V typically have <50 posts, while those recommending against using one have >500 posts.

    Quote Originally Posted by cowwart View Post
    ...
    @Bob
    I read about something called "iServicestrojan" that is an actual trojan that went around that affected macs (apparently). Do you know of such a file?
    And from my first post above:

    There are (or were) a couple of DNS trojans being spread by pirated copies of Mac software and supposed video codec downloads on some p0rn sites. Stay away from both. Both also required that you enable them by entering your master password.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  13. #13


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    Quote Originally Posted by OnceYouGoMac View Post
    I was reading the UK publication, "Macbook Magazine." However, I am no expert and certainly could be wrong. I just do not see why everyone has to be so unkind. We are switchers just learning, so have a little mercy, yes?
    No! There will be no mercy you wretched switcher!

  14. #14


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    lol hahah

  15. #15


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    Sorry bob, missed that.

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