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Any good virus/spyware scanners?


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#1 Stop, Drop, and Roll

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 01:11 AM

I'm trying to decide which software I want to buy to keep my precious mac safe. I'm thinking of buying either Virex or MacScan. What do you guys use? If any of you have Virex or MacScan can you please tell me what's good and what's bad about it? Thanks all.

#2 Drinniol

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 05:14 AM

At this point, I'd say you would be wasting your money. Apple are generally very quick at closing security holes as they're found, and there's not one malicious virus about for the OS. Even then, staying safe by not opening strange attachments and other general safeguards.

Spyware should be easy to find on your mac, just open your activity monitor (/Applications/Utilities) and look around, or you can into the ternminal and type "top," that'll give you a continuously updated list of all processes, including the kernel if you can make the window big enough. If you find something that you suspect is spyware, kill the process.
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#3 The iMac Man

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 09:58 AM

There is no spyware or viruses for OS X.
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#4 Quicksilver

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 10:26 AM

The iMac Man, on January 9th 2006, 09:58 AM, said:

There is no spyware or viruses for OS X.

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I second that.  

Btw Mr. Grammar cop, wouldn't it be better to say, "There are no viruses or spyware for OS X"?  ;)
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#5 The iMac Man

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 10:47 AM

Quicksilver, on January 9th 2006, 10:26 AM, said:

Btw Mr. Grammar cop, wouldn't it be better to say, "There are no viruses or spyware for OS X"?  ;)

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Better?  I don't know, I see them the same way... your sentence has the same problem mine does.

I guess the only really safe way of saying would be:

There is no spyware, and there are no viruses, for OS X.

:D
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#6 mindnoise

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 01:04 PM

Hi,

although I agree with the above, I find it a kind gesture to pass virus free stuff to my
PC friends.

try ClamXav, it´s free and quite good. It DETECTs viri but DOESN´t remove them, though

http://www.clamxav.com/

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#7 Blackshawk

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Posted 09 January 2006 - 11:28 PM

What's the good of that? That's like having radar but no anti-aircraft gun.
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#8 Whaleman

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 09:06 AM

Blackshawk, on January 10th 2006, 06:28 AM, said:

What's the good of that? That's like having radar but no anti-aircraft gun.

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Well, if you can see enemy planes on the radar, you know there's not much use of sending away unprotected civilian airplanes.

And if you can see a file is infected with a PC virus, you can avoid sending it.
You shouldn't ask yourself such worthless questions. Aim higher. Try this: why am I here? Why do I exist, and what is my purpose in this universe?

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#9 the Battle Cat

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Posted 10 January 2006 - 09:25 AM

Blackshawk, on January 9th 2006, 09:28 PM, said:

What's the good of that? That's like having radar but no anti-aircraft gun.

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Think of it as if it were a dog poo detector.  It keeps you from stepping in a steamy pile while at the same time it doesn't make you bend over and pick it up.  It's a win-win situation.  Anyway, That's how I have my virus checker set, I want it to only notify me when it finds something.  I'll be the one to decide what to do with the file. In the past, I've always deleted the file anyway rather than having it "fixed".
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#10 Huntn

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 06:55 AM

I'm using Virus Barrier X and every so often it does download definition updates. Admittedly the only viruses I've seen are tuned for Windows in email attachments.

-Hunt'n

#11 the Battle Cat

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 10:10 AM

That's the software I use.  Our PC friends need protection, I'd hate to pass on something that destroys someone's data.
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#12 Eric5h5

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Posted 12 January 2006 - 11:25 AM

the Battle Cat, on January 12th 2006, 11:10 AM, said:

Our PC friends need protection, I'd hate to pass on something that destroys someone's data.

It depends on the person.  And the data.

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#13 Damien

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 05:26 PM

I also worry about this.

We take our secrity for granted! Surely we are setting ourselfs up for an attack. Also I would not want to spread a windows virus either, this network is full of viruses and I do not understand what happens. Do the windows virueses (worms) stay on my system and never activite? Or do they not come into the mac?

How does it work? Can we still be spreading worms?
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#14 Tesseract

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Posted 13 January 2006 - 10:57 PM

Damien, on January 14th 2006, 09:26 AM, said:

I also worry about this.

We take our secrity for granted! Surely we are setting ourselfs up for an attack. Also I would not want to spread a windows virus either, this network is full of viruses and I do not understand what happens. Do the windows virueses (worms) stay on my system and never activite? Or do they not come into the mac?

How does it work? Can we still be spreading worms?

View Post

If/when there is a 0-day exploit which is taken advantage of by a Mac worm, anti-virus software will be useless since it will most likely not be updated to detect the new worm until it's too late.

A worm, BTW, is different to a virus in that a virus needs to be hosted in other files while a worm is self-contained. Worms spread by taking advantage of network security flaws in operating systems, which allow them to transmit themselves to new hosts and run without any user interaction.

Most "viruses" spread through e-mail these days are in fact Trojan horses. They need the user to run them before they can infect a system. However, some poor design decisions in Windows and Outlook make it quite easy for a user to run a program attached to an e-mail message without actually knowing it is an executable file. Most Trojans then e-mail copies of themselves to addresses from the user's address book, and the recipients then also have to run them to be infected.

So to answer your questions:
* No, your Mac cannot spread Windows worms;
* If you receive a Trojan horse or virus-infected file, it will do nothing on your Mac, but if you forward it to a Windows user then they can get infected if they run it.

Finally, in my opinion, if you are not forwarding attachments to Windows users then anti-virus software on the Mac is a waste of money (well, apart from the free ones). If there is ever a serious threat on the Mac, you can get the cure then.

#15 Damien

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 03:59 AM

Tesseract, on January 14th 2006, 05:57 AM, said:

If/when there is a 0-day exploit which is taken advantage of by a Mac worm, anti-virus software will be useless since it will most likely not be updated to detect the new worm until it's too late.

A worm, BTW, is different to a virus in that a virus needs to be hosted in other files while a worm is self-contained. Worms spread by taking advantage of network security flaws in operating systems, which allow them to transmit themselves to new hosts and run without any user interaction.

Most "viruses" spread through e-mail these days are in fact Trojan horses. They need the user to run them before they can infect a system. However, some poor design decisions in Windows and Outlook make it quite easy for a user to run a program attached to an e-mail message without actually knowing it is an executable file. Most Trojans then e-mail copies of themselves to addresses from the user's address book, and the recipients then also have to run them to be infected.

So to answer your questions:
* No, your Mac cannot spread Windows worms;
* If you receive a Trojan horse or virus-infected file, it will do nothing on your Mac, but if you forward it to a Windows user then they can get infected if they run it.

Finally, in my opinion, if you are not forwarding attachments to Windows users then anti-virus software on the Mac is a waste of money (well, apart from the free ones). If there is ever a serious threat on the Mac, you can get the cure then.

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Yah, But if a worm is bounding around a network what happens when it tries to get into the mac?
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#16 Tesseract

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 05:58 AM

Damien, on January 14th 2006, 07:59 PM, said:

Yah, But if a worm is bounding around a network what happens when it tries to get into the mac?

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Worst case: it's a really dumb worm and it keeps trying and failing over and over, and your network connection gets slowed down.

Best case: your Mac isn't even listening on the port the worm uses, the worm fails to connect, and it moves on to greener pastures.

In-between-ish case: The worm sends its maliciously crafted packets (virtually always containing invalid data) to your Mac, the Mac recognises that the data is invalid, and replies with an error code. The worm recognises that your Mac is not vulnerable to the exploit it is using and gives up.

#17 Damien

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 06:17 AM

Excellent! I was worried I was spreading worms on this network.

By the way, What is UDP and why does my firewall log keep having to refuse connections from it
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#18 Huntn

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 06:47 AM

Tesseract, on January 13th 2006, 10:57 PM, said:

Most Trojans then e-mail copies of themselves to addresses from the user's address book, and the recipients then also have to run them to be infected.

View Post


I was not there to witness it but several years ago this happened to my Aunt using an original iMac, OS9, and AOL for email. Several people in her address who use PCs told her they got an email from her with what ever it was included (Trojan Horse/Virus). So I think it is possible especially if you use AOL or Outlook Express to pass on items.

-Hunt'n

#19 Tesseract

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Posted 14 January 2006 - 08:57 AM

Huntn, on January 14th 2006, 10:47 PM, said:

I was not there to witness it but several years ago this happened to my Aunt using an original iMac, OS9, and AOL for email. Several people in her address who use PCs told her they got an email from her with what ever it was included (Trojan Horse/Virus). So I think it is possible especially if you use AOL or Outlook Express to pass on items.

View Post

It's likely that the emails were not actually sent by your Aunt's Mac, but by someone's Windows box which happened to have her address in its address book. A lot of malware spoofs the "from" address in messages it sends.

Damien, on January 14th 2006, 10:17 PM, said:

By the way, What is UDP and why does my firewall log keep having to refuse connections from it

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UDP is a network protocol which occupies the same layer as TCP but doesn't provide any guarantee that your packet will reach its destination. Your firewall doesn't have to deny UDP packets, but obviously it is configured to do so (probably a good default setting if you're not running any UDP-based services).

#20 Greg Grant

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Posted 22 January 2006 - 01:54 AM

While as bode of superiority and arrogance most Mac users laugh at the idea of Mac Spyware. Right now there isn't any threat the possibility could emerge. There was a minor virus that was out that was a form of Malware that someone discovered when "Trying to download a beta of Office on Gnutella" as I recall that was blown out of proportion by a software company with anti virus product for the Mac (can't remember).

Anyhow, as of right now there isn't much point of Mac virus protection. Malware is more likely to arise if Apple starts to experience remarkable sector growth as there's profit to be made. Spreading a virus/worm/malware quickly is incredibly hard as there just simply not enough Mac users. Perhaps if we saw a super worm that was able to procreate as hybrid, it could put unsuspecting users in jeopordy but the engineering of such a thing hardly worth the increased payload effect.

Rest assured its only a matter of time that some security exploit comes about as the longer it goes, the more likely someone finds the urge to strike an unsuspecting communit but it might be years off before Apple grows from 3%-4% of the market to 6%-8% making it at least tempting for spyware makers looking for new profit.  Until then, we're the extreme minority. Most of the time it sucks but this is a time when you can just kick back and gloat.

Until threats emerge, I'm not bothering with Anti-virus/malware/spyware or such...
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