It's Paranoia Time

We all know that even paranoids have real enemies. I don’t know that I have an enemy, real or unreal, but I do have Firefox weirdnesses from two websites I visit regularly and I think I’ll feel safer with some anti-enemy software.

The choices look like ClamXav (donation ware) and Intego (commercial). I’ve found a few posts here from people using one or the other, and a lot more saying don’t bother. Most of them are pretty old, so I thought I’d ask if anyone has recent experience with either program, or with Mac malware in general. I’m particularly interested in how well they uninstall - early versions of Intego apparently refused to go away - and in the effect, if any, on performance.

I’ve also considered Little Snitch, but it only looks at outgoing information. I’m a refugee from Windoze and that doesn’t feel like enough for me.

Thanks guys.


I had Intego for a year, and although the company claimed it updated its virus definitions regularly, it only did so once during the year, so I came to the conclusion it wasn’t worth the money … you have to subscribe every year to continue to get the “updates” which never seemed to happen. Since I am in China, it’s possible that that part of the service was blocked by the Great Firewall of China.

ClamXav, on the other hand does update the definitions and checks for newer versions of the ClamAV engine, on which it’s based, every time you start it up, which in my case is basically every day.

Intego apparently provides the ability to clean a file, removing any virus code it finds, while ClamXav will only quarantine any infected or suspicious files leaving you to delete them. I would like it if I could disinfect any files, but I’d rather have an app that can be seen to be updating itself regularly.

Viruses are so rife here at Xiamen University, that I have to have something to make sure I don’t pass them on to my colleagues and students, even though it’s unlikely my machines will be affected.


Thanks Mark. Your life sounds very exciting.

The symptom was intermittently getting redirected to a not-good (though so far not malicious) url. My first thought was malware, my second was browser problems, but I’m now pretty sure that the source of my problems is a documented feature with the UNIX DNS resolver and how it behaves with a country domain that has subclassifications (such as “”, “” or “”)

There’s a writeup here which might be useful to other people one day.

I downloaded ClamXav but I haven’t installed it. I have cleared the DNS cache, the Firefox cache, cookies, and history . I think I will install Little Snitch.



Thank you. My life here is very enjoyable, if not always exciting. :slight_smile:

As for that UNIX question, I’ve never had such a problem, but I can tell you that is on the other side of the Great Firewall, so although I’d love to read it, it’ll have to wait until I’m back in the UK for the summer.

I did try Little Snitch at one moment, and it drove me absolutely doolally, so within 24 hours it was off the system.


Hi ghoti
For yet another option, have a look at this article in MacWorld. … irus1.html

PS Love your username - perhaps my favourite word! If I could write like Oscar…