Mac virus, anybody?

[size=150]Mac virus, anybody?[/size]
Moved from there [size=200][1] to here [size=150]v[/size] .
[size=150]Mac virus, and other similar nasty Mac specific undesirables, anybody?[/size]

How often have we heard it said, that, “Macs just don’t get viruses etc.etc.” despite an abundance of, ‘Proof of Concept’, little wrigglers to prove that they can and do get 'em, going back years. And how often have we heard it said, “The only reason, Macs don’t get viruses, is because nobody is making them. Macs’ share of the market is too small, there’s no real incentive.”

Well, given: … -pc-market
can we expect the dawning of,‘The Golden Age of Virus/ Malware/Adware/Spyware/Trojans: keyloggers, for Mac’. :open_mouth: :confused: :cry:

Off the top of my head, I’ll hazard a guess, and say, that to the average none techie computer user, comme je, the word ‘virus’ alludes to all manner of nasty undesirables (not referring to Scriv crew members in this case), lurking out there in cyberspace.

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A friend sent me a link to an article in the “Daily Muddle” online which presumably says the same thing. In the past, it has often seemed to me that these articles are basically urged by anti-virus software makers as a way of driving sales.

However, I run ClamXav currently, which picked up a couple of Trojans a week or two ago. Unfortunately one of them has installed itself on my MBA, so every time I boot up, if I’m connecting to the internet, up comes a dialogue saying “Enter an administrator name and password to allow your system to make changes”. I tell it to bog off and turn off my internet connection except when I really need it. I’m going to do a complete reformat of the SSD and re-install of everything as soon as I have a moment.

The Daily Muddle article has someone recommending Intego Virus Barrier as the best there is. I bought a one year licence … I continually told it to update virus definitions and it always responded with “Virus definitions are up to date”, without having changed anything. In the meantime, ClamXav was updating its virus definitions daily!


OSX is a modified BSD which is a derivative of ATT Unix with huge changes (not just based on time, but operational theories). The result is that there are common attack vectors that are inherent in the system, just like in winblows, at each stage of OSX’s historical life cycle. Some of the vectors are Unix generic, some are BSD some are unique to apple. The vectors are mitigated by kernel, filesystem, and runtime design strategies that attempt to “isolate” baddies.

That said, ANY system is open to various attacks. There is no 100% safe system unless a system is powered off. Then it is only safe until you turn it on. AV software is not preventative, but is reactive. It can not defend against a new, unknown attack. Think of it as an inoculation; you are protected from only the designed disease.

So the only real answer to avoiding computer security compromise is to not use a computer.

How’s that for an irony?

A few things.

(1) Viruses aren’t as common as they used to be since so many AV products out there have cut into their numbers. The main threats you usually see now a days are Malware/Adware/Spyware and also the trojan with a payload opening a backdoor or dropping in a keylogger.

(2) Macs can spread many PC “Viruses” with actually showing signs of being infected. (Just being the host or a “carrier”.) This was most obvious in older Office Macro Viruses.

(3) The reason(s) why you see less infection in OSX is simply GUI interaction. Ever notice if you download a program from the internet and the first time you try to launch it you get a dialog box warning you and asking you if you wish to proceed. XP does not have this. Also many software titoles require your Admin password in order to proceed.

(4) The next frontier in “infection” is not the home PC but rather the other device like the Android Smart Phone, iOS device, WebOS, or MS Phone OS device. Already malware is popping up on these devices.

Now to set some things to rest. The first argument that Macs never get viruses because their market share is not big enough is a load of crap.

Apple has a larger market share than Mercedes and BMW have COMBINED in the car market. So that is like me saying “Mercedes never get stolen because there isn’t enough market share to generate enough demand.” No Mercedes get stolen less often because they are a LITTLE better (not a whole lot) at security (lazer cut keys, low jack, etc).

What it comes down to it Macs running OSX are less likely to get the evil stuff than its counterparts (winbloze).


People get struck by lightning all the time.

But can you name 3 people you personally know that have been struck by lightning in the past 30 years?

Can you name 3 people you personally know who have been infected with a Mac OSX virus?

Can you name 3 people you personally know who have been infected with a Windows virus?

PS: There was one safe system.

It was the Atari 2600. It was safe because it had a joystick and a red button and if you timed it right you could jump over 3 crocodiles without getting eaten!

Very asstoot observation.

(note that the above “spelling error” is what is known as an attempt at humor)