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Discussion in 'Apple' started by Ronald Epstein, Jan 13, 2007.
I'm getting an iMac soon and am wondering what the best av is? I know apple isn't the same target for malware as the pc is, but I presume an av and firewall is recommended. This quote is old. Anyone care to update it?
I am an apple rookie.
I'm running Sophos Anti-Virus on my Macs and have been very satisfied.
I don't mean to be a pain, but you are satisfied based on what? After the arrest of the Russian guy behind the MacDefender Trojan there hasn't been any OS X malware, certainly no viruses. So apart from hopefully not doing any harm to anything other than your pocketbook, what possible satisfaction could you get from Sophos?
To Johnny Angell: -- my advice coming from a Mac user since 1984 -- forget about anti-virus software. If there is some sudden infestation of Mac malware, you'll hear all about it and can take measures then. Somehow, I have lived for 27 years without it* and have survived with flying colors. By all indications Mac anti-virus software does more harm than good.
Best Mac security advice:
1) Upgrade to Lion if you haven't already -- it adds numerous new security features.
2) Try to perform some elementary due diligence when installing new software -- anything coming from the Mac App store will be safe, probably stuff from outside is too, but google to make sure -- what do people say about the sowtware -- is it featured on macupdate.com, etc.
3) Do enable *the built in firewall* -- there is absolutely no need for any third party software. System Preferences: Security: Firewall On. (likely it is already on by default, but check anyway).
*In fact there was some real Mac malware pre Mac OS X (pre 2001) on "classic" Mac OS. Since the switch to Mac OS X a decade ago there has not been a single virus or anything else that can possibly do any harm unless the user installed it themselves.
No need for anti-virus software.
Just keep Software Update running, and stay updated.
19 year user here.
Well you can do what you want. I would just take Ted's advice and not run anything because it's not like Mac sales have increased making it a target. I agree the chances of something happen is less but not zero. A free solution the protects you from malware is a good thing unless you live in a cave and never get on the net. Sophos has caught two malware attempts when I was running leopard. Just two keep this all level there are roughly 116 Threats for the Mac. I will agree a lot of them are keyboard loggers, etc that you would have to install or.... I will also say that a Mac is just a Unix variant and given the number of threats for Unix/Linux is on the rise it is only a mater of time. Most security experts agree on this. I will also say that most attacks no longer go after the OS but software running on the OS so if you install no software like browsers, quicktime. You should be safe...
Virus checkers on OSX only make sense if you are running bootleg software, frequent spammy porn sites, or have family members who can't be trusted to use common sense. If you fall into one of those 3 categories or worry that if something asks you for the admin password that YOU aren't trustworthy to make a smart decision knock yourself out.
A smarter safer move: Don't install Flash or Silverlight.
I am happy to agree to disagree about the rest, but I will argue strenuously against the canard that Macs have been relatively safe due to their low market share, and now that it has gone up, they are sure to be a target.
How about this: current iOS installed base: ~220 million, Android installed base, ~120 million. iOS should be the number one mobile target, right? Yet iOS malware == zero. Android malware -- truckloads. I leave it to the reader the figure out why.
If market share was important, the Mac would have been the top PC OS target for years now -- something like 80% of the $1000+ computers are Macs -- that's where the users with money are -- the prime criminal targets -- and yet...
Why are PCs running XP and IE 6 the number one target, way, way, way out in front -- because they are EASY, and because all the malware writers have Windows PCs themselves and that's where their software writing experience lies. I'll bet that Windows 7 machines are less often targeted because it is more work. Criminals, like most people out there are lazy. Why is Android so popular with the malware brigade: because it is easy. And they can write code for it in Java on their XP PCs, instead of having to buy a Mac and learn Objective C and Cocoa to do bad things to OS X/iOS users. And if they really did learn Obj C - Cocoa they could make good money writing iOS apps, no need for a life of crime. Writing Android apps -- not so much.
It really is as simple as that. Market share has NOTHING to do with it.
Ted we can disagree as a 20 year security and IT person I have numbers to back me up.
Mobile platforms are hard to attack because people don't do as much random surfing
iOS has even been better because it is a locked down platform (and a store completely controlled by Apple)
iOS has had two malware apps but they where caught before they got too far
Jailbroke iOS phones have been compromised
Android is an open platform and no central police there for badness has happened via apps
Here is a result from Pawn2Own 2011
First up, and first to fall, was Safari 5.0.3 on fully-patched Mac OS X 10.6.6. French security firm VUPEN was first to attack the browser, and five seconds after the browser visited its specially-crafted malicious web page, it had both launched the platform calculator application (a standard harmless payload to demonstrate that arbitrary code has been executed) and wrote a file to the hard disk (to demonstrate that the sandbox had been bypassed).
Full Article - http://arstechnica.com/security/news/2011/03/pwn2own-day-one-safari-ie8-fall-chrome-unchallenged.ars
So there you go full patched OSX machine cracked first and in 5 sec. As I said you want to be safe never go on the net. This type of malware has even gotten into the google ads while they are usually removed quickly it only takes once.
I'm an Apple fan and I like there laptops a lot. However, I know way entirely to much about what waits out there in the wild west to believe that Apple is perfect. After all it is still being programed by humans.
Anyway I was just answering the original question not trying to get into a firefight.
Big differences between malware in the wild versus ending a machine to a poisoned website with a day one exploit. Oh yeah, the other thing you failed to mention is that NONEof the anti-malware tools would have helped a real user avoid those exploits either.
It's nice to know there are fewer chances to be attacked by malware when running the Mac os. My iMac should already have Lion installed. If I run win7 using Parallels and browse the web, have I opened myself up to attack just as if I were on a PC?
I am not as familiar with Parallels as I am with VM Ware which I have used in the past, but *please correct me, Parallels users* I'd imagine they are similar. With VM Ware you can take "snapshots" of known good states of your machine. Should your VM get corrupted, via malware or otherwise, you can simply restore the last good know state (of course that would kill anything you did since taking the snapshot). The way I was using my Windows VMs that wasn't a concern so I felt fine running without virus protection, but after discovering that Navicat for Oracle was an excellent OS X substitute for Toad, I have stopped using Windows. I don't know of a way having an infected Windows VM can screw up OS X -- again if someone knows better, please correct me.
I don't look into it, but I would assume that any file on your Mac that can be accessed from the Windows VM could likewise be attacked by any virus within the Windows VM. so I do run the standard Windows 7 security software within parallels.
Same here, I run Microsoft Security Essentials in P6 and P7.
iMeme, hope this comes to the MAS:
Just sent Meme Generator to a friend. Think she's going to love it. That CNET story is bizarre! All the more reason to use the App Store when possible.