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Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: JEBB
Date: April 10, 2010 11:11AM
Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?

I keep hearing from PC people and even from a computer security officer at a local university that Macs are at risk and not immune. Using Google I've haven't been able to find anything that that backs their assertions. I think they can't accept the idea that the Mac world could be any different than their Windows world.

Thanks.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: modelamac
Date: April 10, 2010 11:16AM
What does Google get you?



Remember how when you were little
you could just rip off your diaper and
just run around naked and everyone
thought it was so cute and funny?


Anyway, I need bail money.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: jdc
Date: April 10, 2010 11:31AM
Ask them to show you proof. Not the other way around...



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: April 10, 2010 11:35AM
last week's issue of Forbes mag had an article about a geek who keeps finding vulnerabilities in macs. he politely tells apple about them before he trumpets them to the world so those weaknesses are never used by him to wreak havoc. perhaps this is what the naysayers are referring to.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2010 11:36AM by graylocks.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: Seacrest
Date: April 10, 2010 12:00PM
Quote
JEBB's friend
Macs are at risk and not immune.

This is a true statement.
Yet it is still far from "just connecting your computer to the Internet will get it infected by hundreds -- if not more -- malicious programs within a few minutes."

There have not been widespread, documented successful malware attacks on Macs for over a decade, IIRC.





I am not Ryan Seacrest, and I do not approve this message.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: jdc
Date: April 10, 2010 12:08PM
And all of those "malware" attacks need user interaction.

Is this the time to differentiate between a "virus" and "malware/spyware"?

A Virus is self propagating, the rest are not...



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: April 10, 2010 12:23PM
Actual viruses - so far none besides some proof-of-concept code that has never been seen in the wild.

There have been some number of Trojan horse files as downloads and attachments, they take fooling the user into using an admin password to install to have any effect beyond personal files. But, nowhere as common as in the PC world.

There are a number of security holes and exploits to use them in the OS and the Apple supplied apps to go with the OS. Apple supplies patches for these as they are found. Most require someone to be at the keyboard to use them, but as has been the case for decades, physical access to the hardware negates several layers of security. As with Trojan horse files, part of the PEBKAC.

As Seacrest excerpted from the OP, Mac's do have some risk and are not immune. But that is at a level much less than most PC's running Windows. Still at this point the main reason to run any anti-virus is more to remove Windows malware aimed at either the Windows OS or as macro code embedded in MS Office documents. Use a firewall to close port access to anything you are not running on your Mac, and that takes care of most, probably more than 99%, of potential problems.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2010 12:35PM by JoeH.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: jdc
Date: April 10, 2010 12:28PM
For me it comes down to "show me".

And no one can "show me" anything.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: Mini 9
Date: April 10, 2010 01:07PM
agreed.
I've never seen anything bad happen.
That is proof enough for me.
And even if something happened, crashing hard drives bug me more than any of that likely would.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: zeppo2
Date: April 10, 2010 01:39PM
After years of having out IT at school tell us the same thing (and making us run a virus protection software), the protection software quietly disappeared over the Xmas break. Although I think they'd be delighted to find a virus on any Mac after years of internecine warfare, IT seems to have made a quiet policy change based on the lack of any problems. Or so I guess.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: hal
Date: April 10, 2010 01:46PM
correct me if I'm wrong, but one could easily write an applescript that would place everything in your documents folder into the trash then empty it? Then call it 'Speed up your MAC!'
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: JoeH
Date: April 10, 2010 01:53PM
Quote
hal
correct me if I'm wrong, but one could easily write an applescript that would place everything in your documents folder into the trash then empty it? Then call it 'Speed up your MAC!'

That is just a specific case of the type of Trojan horse file that I already mentioned. It would still require the user to download it, and run it. Its effect would be limited to the user's files except if they were convinced to install the script with an admin password. It would still not be considered a virus as it would not be self-propagating.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: Acer
Date: April 10, 2010 01:55PM
The last--and only--mac virus I personally encountered in the wild was in 1993.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: Mike Sellers
Date: April 10, 2010 02:17PM
This is what they're probably referring to. Exploiting a security hole in Safari transforms into an OS security breach which isn't the same thing. And they cackle about the Mac being hacked first but that's only because the winner gets to take home the computer he hacks and a Windows machines is no one's first choice.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2010 02:28PM by Mike Sellers.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: April 10, 2010 02:20PM
I remember getting a disk from MacAddict that had the SenDust worm (or something like that) embedded.

The word was out before I got the magazine, so I never loaded it.




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must suffer with him.

Everybody matters or nobody matters.

You and I have memories longer than the road that stretches out ahead.

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by believing all possible evil of evil men.

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-An armed society is a polite society.
And hope is a lousy defense.

You make me pull, I'll put you down.

Mister, that's a ten-gallon hat on a twenty-gallon head.

I *love* SIGs. It's Glocks I hate.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: Forrest
Date: April 10, 2010 04:53PM
Quote
RAMd®d
I remember getting a disk from MacAddict that had the SenDust worm (or something like that) embedded.

The word was out before I got the magazine, so I never loaded it.

I'm aware of the virus on the MacAddict CD. Note it predates OSX!
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: testcase
Date: April 10, 2010 05:06PM
Two weeks ago, an Apple Genius stated that for all practical purposes, there is nothing "out in the wild" that I had to worry about. This conversation ensued because I was unable to download several programs I had recently purchased via " special Mac bundles". From an earlier bundle, I had purchased and installed Intego Net Barrier. An Archive & Install by the Apple Genius failed to solve my DL problem. I had to do a "Nuke & Pave" and then restore everything without Intego. Then my DL problem disappeared. Bottom line, if you're not blindly allowing access, your Mac is safe. 17" Unibody MBP, 3.06GHz, 4GB RAM, 10.6.3.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: graylocks
Date: April 10, 2010 05:24PM
Quote
Mike Sellers
This is what they're probably referring to. Exploiting a security hole in Safari transforms into an OS security breach which isn't the same thing. And they cackle about the Mac being hacked first but that's only because the winner gets to take home the computer he hacks and a Windows machines is no one's first choice.

that's the guy Forbes did the piece on last week.



"Success isn't about how much money you make. It is about the difference you make in people's lives."--Michelle Obama
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: jdc
Date: April 10, 2010 07:17PM
Quote
graylocks
Quote
Mike Sellers
This is what they're probably referring to. Exploiting a security hole in Safari transforms into an OS security breach which isn't the same thing. And they cackle about the Mac being hacked first but that's only because the winner gets to take home the computer he hacks and a Windows machines is no one's first choice.

that's the guy Forbes did the piece on last week.

old news, he does that every year?



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Has there been any documented Mac virus or spyware in the last 5 years?
Posted by: Mike V
Date: April 13, 2010 05:17AM
I definitely had a virus on the 840AV in the vicinity of 1986.

It even reprogrammed my startup chime to a little jungle beat.

Totally killed the OS, but after reloading the OS and pulling the PRAM battery for a couple of hours all was well.

At the time it took me awhile to work out that I had to pull the PRAM battery to fix it though.



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