Anti-virus for Mac?

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jon-nyc
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Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by jon-nyc » Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:43 pm

There have been previous threads on this but given the speed with which technology changes I thought I'd start another to get some more recent input.

What anti-virus or anti-malware programs can you recommend for the Mac? Our Macs have always gone bareback here but my wife's been nervous lately after getting a 'we detected suspicious activity' message from gmail.

kerplunk
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by kerplunk » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:02 pm

I would recommend no 3rd party antivirus software.

Just stay current with the updates and don't do go to any sketchy websites intentionally.

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stevewolfe
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by stevewolfe » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:11 pm

I run no anti-virus on my linux machines nor on the Mac Mini I use as a home theater PC (there are no windows machines on this network).

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Fletch
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by Fletch » Sun Mar 09, 2014 1:18 pm

Sophos. Free. Will protect any malware you get on your Mac (albeit that it will not likely hurt the Mac if you keep it up to date) from being forwarded to your Windows friends. Sophos has the least impact on performance (speed) of the anti-virus Mac solutions that I've tried and runs in the background with almost no user intervention required. Sophos also comes with an uninstaller in case you decide to remove it. Avast is also reportedly good but I have an older 2009 Macbook Pro that slows down noticeably, but not terribly, with Avast. I tried Bitdefender for Mac a year or two ago and decided to remove it due to the drag on performance; it was a nightmare to remove all the various traces of on my system. It took me several hours of Googling to find out how to completely remove it - perhaps they have upgraded the program to make it easier to uninstall ?????.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by ajcp » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:18 pm

kerplunk wrote:I would recommend no 3rd party antivirus software.

Just stay current with the updates and don't do go to any sketchy websites intentionally.
I wouldn't recommend this. There is a common myth that macs don't get viruses, mainly because of advertising claims from apple that are at best misleading, and at worst, lies. They claim that macs don't get viruses designed for windows...which, well yea...they get viruses designed for macs (which windows users are immune to). Apple has backed away from these claims in recent years.

To the original question, I don't know which programs are recommended these days, but I definitely do recommend something.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by kerplunk » Sun Mar 09, 2014 2:45 pm

ajcp wrote:I wouldn't recommend this. There is a common myth that macs don't get viruses, mainly because of advertising claims from apple that are at best misleading, and at worst, lies. They claim that macs don't get viruses designed for windows...which, well yea...they get viruses designed for macs (which windows users are immune to). Apple has backed away from these claims in recent years.

To the original question, I don't know which programs are recommended these days, but I definitely do recommend something.
I stand by my statement. You do not need antivirus software if you are using the latest version of OS X.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by ajcp » Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:32 pm

kerplunk wrote:
ajcp wrote:I wouldn't recommend this. There is a common myth that macs don't get viruses, mainly because of advertising claims from apple that are at best misleading, and at worst, lies. They claim that macs don't get viruses designed for windows...which, well yea...they get viruses designed for macs (which windows users are immune to). Apple has backed away from these claims in recent years.

To the original question, I don't know which programs are recommended these days, but I definitely do recommend something.
I stand by my statement. You do not need antivirus software if you are using the latest version of OS X.
That's your choice and right. It may not come back to bite you, someone being 100% stocks may not come back to bite them. I wouldn't recommend it to OP though.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by KyleAAA » Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:38 pm

kerplunk wrote:I would recommend no 3rd party antivirus software.

Just stay current with the updates and don't do go to any sketchy websites intentionally.
This is good advice that would work well on any platform (including Windows), however, you and I both know this is unrealistic for 95% of the computing population. It's not uncommon for even savvy users to somehow end up on sketchy websites and in any event, sometimes you WANT to visit sketchy websites. What then? That's like giving an addict a pound of meth and then telling them not to use it.

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pennstater2005
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by pennstater2005 » Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:48 pm

I hear Sophos is good as well. That being said, I've owned my MacBook for almost five years with no antivirus software and no issues. And I'm sure I've been to some sketchy sites.
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Cosmo
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by Cosmo » Sun Mar 09, 2014 3:49 pm

ajcp wrote:
kerplunk wrote:
ajcp wrote:I wouldn't recommend this. There is a common myth that macs don't get viruses, mainly because of advertising claims from apple that are at best misleading, and at worst, lies. They claim that macs don't get viruses designed for windows...which, well yea...they get viruses designed for macs (which windows users are immune to). Apple has backed away from these claims in recent years.

To the original question, I don't know which programs are recommended these days, but I definitely do recommend something.
I stand by my statement. You do not need antivirus software if you are using the latest version of OS X.
That's your choice and right. It may not come back to bite you, someone being 100% stocks may not come back to bite them. I wouldn't recommend it to OP though.
No OS X antivirus software is necessary, in my opinion. The key here is to have things locked down and only download/install software from their Apps Store. This can be somewhat inconvenient but makes things safe. However, the truth is no operating system is 100% immune to viruses, even these with an anti-virus program running in the background.

With OS X, it is very important to update and install OS X updates promptly in order to keep risks levels low.

Tom_T
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by Tom_T » Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:29 pm

Apple explains Mac security. This might be helpful if you're trying to decide.

http://www.apple.com/osx/what-is/security.html

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by tetractys » Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:38 pm

I stay away from security software because with every past trial it hasn't helped and only caused massive headaches. And further I've found that most of this stuff is a virus in itself. But definitely set the firewall, delete all spam, and generally be prudent online and anywhere else that could affect your computer access. -- Tet

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by G-Force » Sun Mar 09, 2014 4:54 pm

I use the free virusbarrier express. It does not run any active protection and only scans on demand. You can download it from the mac app store.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by mnaspbh » Sun Mar 09, 2014 5:49 pm

Tom_T wrote:Apple explains Mac security. This might be helpful if you're trying to decide.

http://www.apple.com/osx/what-is/security.html
Apple has too much of a history of ignoring serious security issues, and clearly has poor to no security-based testing in some of their software (e.g., the recent critical "goto fail" issue). At the last Fortune 100 company I worked for, there was an effort to phase out OSX-based Macs company-wide because they were the source of the majority of security problems (even moreso than Windows 7 machines, which at least could be locked down compared to the Macs).

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Not for me

Post by davebarnes » Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:28 pm

I do not not and have run AV software on my Macs. Since 2005.
I do run Little Snitch on my iMac for fun. I am a nerd.
I do visit questionable sites and have never had malware.
A nerd living in Denver

sambb
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by sambb » Sun Mar 09, 2014 9:13 pm

our corporate filter receives mac viruses. It intercepts them. Macs are vulnerable, and updates correct the flaws. But there are flaws and issues can happen.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by Angelus359 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:44 pm

I'm an IT professional, as my career.

Macs get viruses too. They don't get windows only viruses, but they get mac viruses and polymorphic viruses.

Get AV.
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by englishgirl » Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:50 pm

I used not to bother with anything and never had any problems. However, I installed Sophos when I needed enhanced security to get approval to interact with some other networks. There were a couple of free antivirus programs recommended, and when I checked out the reviews, etc, Sophos looked like it would work well for me.

I don't have any reviews, other than when I first turn my laptop on, it slows things up for a while and there appears to be no way to pause it. So I can't immediately stream a video. It stops being annoying after a few minutes though.
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Ice-9
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by Ice-9 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 3:08 pm

I used Macs from maybe 1995 through 2010 with no antivirus software at all and never had any (known) problems with viruses.

In 2010, I was required to use anti-virus to be allowed to use my work's VPN. I chose Sophos based on (1) it seemed to get good reviews and (2) it's free. Still no viruses detected. However, I have been tempted lately to switch to ClamAV because when Sophos automatically updates (which it does once or twice a week) it can slow the system down to a crawl for several minutes. It's happened a couple times when I just didn't have a couple minutes to spare. However, for the most part, it hasn't been horrible, so I haven't gone to the trouble to switch. I did read on some other forum that ClamAV doesn't slow systems to a crawl in this manner.

Other than AV software, one major piece of advice is to turn off Java in your browsers, as this is apparently becoming a vector of choice that can definitely effect Mac users. I actually need Java to access my work's VPN, so I turn it off in Firefox and Chrome but leave it on in Safari. Then I ONLY use Safari to VPN in to work, and do my real browsing in one of the other browsers.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by tennisplyr » Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:52 pm

Curious, does anyone use protection for their ipad.
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Only you can decide

Post by davebarnes » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:24 pm

tennisplyr wrote:Curious, does anyone use protection for their ipad.
Think about it.
Image
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by abuss368 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 5:39 pm

I am in the process of learning about Apple products too as we buy them. Overall we are very pleased. We do not have any anti virus software.

I have always heard that Apple products can not get a virus. I do not know how true that is however.

One thing I have thought about and Vanguard just posted a security message on their website last week as they often do. In their note, their is a point of recommended to have anti virus software and to keep it up to date. If something happened, what would the impact be if your Apple product did not have any anti virus software?
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by Jake46 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 6:16 pm

Been a Mac guy since 1984. Never installed anti-virus software but always update my OS software. Never had a virus.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by michaelsieg » Mon Mar 10, 2014 7:02 pm

Kerplunk wrote
I stand by my statement. You do not need antivirus software if you are using the latest version of OS X.
Funny, this thread is being discussed now. I kind of felt the same way too until yesterday, and I am running the newest Os X on my mac.
But my MacBook Pro 2013 was getting slow over the past few days and I ran Sophos for the first time yesterday - it found 6 pieces of malware/trojans - it was easy to get rid of it with the software. I don't know if they were PC based viruses or not, but I am sure glad that they are taken care of. But what surprised me most is, that despite safe surfing habits, i.e. I never click on a link sent to me, I don't open emails from senders I don't know -( but I get a lot of files sent to me from work)- this malware somehow made it on my HD.

I also didn't have the firewall activated, thanks Tetractys for mentioning this.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:29 pm

For people who claim to have never had a virus: how do you know? Most viruses wouldn't exactly announce themselves. You could easily have a virus for years and never know about it.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by aquifer » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:36 pm

I use Sophos. Macs aren't immune to viruses, there just aren't many viruses out there due to the Mac's relatively small market share. Sophos is free so I don't see what it hurts to carry a bit of extra protection. In my case, my work requires me to have an antivirus program installed if I want to VPN in from home. They mainly assume you're using a Windows computer, but I had to sign a document stating that I would keep a current antivirus package installed. So I do.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 8:39 pm

KyleAAA wrote:For people who claim to have never had a virus: how do you know? Most viruses wouldn't exactly announce themselves. You could easily have a virus for years and never know about it.
If I had a virus for years and didn't know it then that's a pretty lame virus. I've had a PC with a virus and I knew it. It completely froze everything and rendered the computer useless.
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by KyleAAA » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:37 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:For people who claim to have never had a virus: how do you know? Most viruses wouldn't exactly announce themselves. You could easily have a virus for years and never know about it.
If I had a virus for years and didn't know it then that's a pretty lame virus. I've had a PC with a virus and I knew it. It completely froze everything and rendered the computer useless.
A virus that grinds your computer to a halt is a pretty lame virus, actually. Clever viruses do their work and replicate themselves behind the scenes, of which there are many out there. The entire point is not to get caught. There have even been documented cases of viruses deleting OTHER pieces of malware that might show up in an anti-virus scan and risk revealing its presence. The ones that freeze your computer aren't the ones you need to worry about.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by pennstater2005 » Mon Mar 10, 2014 9:51 pm

KyleAAA wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:For people who claim to have never had a virus: how do you know? Most viruses wouldn't exactly announce themselves. You could easily have a virus for years and never know about it.
If I had a virus for years and didn't know it then that's a pretty lame virus. I've had a PC with a virus and I knew it. It completely froze everything and rendered the computer useless.
A virus that grinds your computer to a halt is a pretty lame virus, actually. Clever viruses do their work and replicate themselves behind the scenes, of which there are many out there. The entire point is not to get caught. There have even been documented cases of viruses deleting OTHER pieces of malware that might show up in an anti-virus scan and risk revealing its presence. The ones that freeze your computer aren't the ones you need to worry about.
Five years with this Mac. I'm still waiting.
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by ejvyas » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:00 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:For people who claim to have never had a virus: how do you know? Most viruses wouldn't exactly announce themselves. You could easily have a virus for years and never know about it.
If I had a virus for years and didn't know it then that's a pretty lame virus. I've had a PC with a virus and I knew it. It completely froze everything and rendered the computer useless.
A virus that grinds your computer to a halt is a pretty lame virus, actually. Clever viruses do their work and replicate themselves behind the scenes, of which there are many out there. The entire point is not to get caught. There have even been documented cases of viruses deleting OTHER pieces of malware that might show up in an anti-virus scan and risk revealing its presence. The ones that freeze your computer aren't the ones you need to worry about.
Five years with this Mac. I'm still waiting.
Similarly - One needs life insurance only once in a lifetime. 5 yrs/1-2 users may not be a good sample size :confused

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by ajcp » Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:38 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:For people who claim to have never had a virus: how do you know? Most viruses wouldn't exactly announce themselves. You could easily have a virus for years and never know about it.
If I had a virus for years and didn't know it then that's a pretty lame virus. I've had a PC with a virus and I knew it. It completely froze everything and rendered the computer useless.
A virus that grinds your computer to a halt is a pretty lame virus, actually. Clever viruses do their work and replicate themselves behind the scenes, of which there are many out there. The entire point is not to get caught. There have even been documented cases of viruses deleting OTHER pieces of malware that might show up in an anti-virus scan and risk revealing its presence. The ones that freeze your computer aren't the ones you need to worry about.
Five years with this Mac. I'm still waiting.
8 years on my Windows laptop, never had a BSOD. Doesn't mean they don't exist.
abuss368 wrote:I am in the process of learning about Apple products too as we buy them. Overall we are very pleased. We do not have any anti virus software.

I have always heard that Apple products can not get a virus. I do not know how true that is however.
It is 0% true. As Angelus pointed out, they just don't get viruses that are designed for windows. Apple used to advertise this while phrasing it in a way that implied that they don't get any viruses, and since people believed it, the myth spread. But both IT professionals in this thread have stated that it is not true.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Mar 11, 2014 7:12 am

pennstater2005 wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:
pennstater2005 wrote:
KyleAAA wrote:For people who claim to have never had a virus: how do you know? Most viruses wouldn't exactly announce themselves. You could easily have a virus for years and never know about it.
If I had a virus for years and didn't know it then that's a pretty lame virus. I've had a PC with a virus and I knew it. It completely froze everything and rendered the computer useless.
A virus that grinds your computer to a halt is a pretty lame virus, actually. Clever viruses do their work and replicate themselves behind the scenes, of which there are many out there. The entire point is not to get caught. There have even been documented cases of viruses deleting OTHER pieces of malware that might show up in an anti-virus scan and risk revealing its presence. The ones that freeze your computer aren't the ones you need to worry about.
Five years with this Mac. I'm still waiting.
But if you don't regularly run scans, how do you KNOW? You could be posting from a virus-infected computer right now. Or even if you don't have a virus, you could have some other form of malware, which is just as bad.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by jon-nyc » Tue Mar 11, 2014 8:36 am

How do you know if you have a virus? It hurts when you type 'P'.


Seriously, though, thanks for the recommendations and comments all.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by Auream » Tue Mar 11, 2014 10:20 am

People tend to use the term "virus" interchangeably for trojans, worms, malware etc. They are actually all different things. As far as I know, there are not any known viruses that affect Mac OS X. However, there are various forms of malware. The distinction is, malware has to be given permission to execute. They usually do this through trickery (i.e., pretend to be something that you want, like pictures from grandma or a Java update).

In any event, I do not personally run any antivirus software on my Mac. I don't generally download files from random websites or e-mail attachments, though. And I always keep my Mac OS X and other software up-to-date. But based on reading this thread, I decided to give Sophos a try at scanning my machine to see if it came up with anything.

Here's a good primer on Mac malware that I found while doing some google searches:
http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_Virus/Malware_FAQ

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by KyleAAA » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:47 am

Auream wrote:People tend to use the term "virus" interchangeably for trojans, worms, malware etc. They are actually all different things. As far as I know, there are not any known viruses that affect Mac OS X. However, there are various forms of malware. The distinction is, malware has to be given permission to execute. They usually do this through trickery (i.e., pretend to be something that you want, like pictures from grandma or a Java update).

In any event, I do not personally run any antivirus software on my Mac. I don't generally download files from random websites or e-mail attachments, though. And I always keep my Mac OS X and other software up-to-date. But based on reading this thread, I decided to give Sophos a try at scanning my machine to see if it came up with anything.

Here's a good primer on Mac malware that I found while doing some google searches:
http://guides.macrumors.com/Mac_Virus/Malware_FAQ
True, at this point "virus" just means malware in the vernacular. And Anti-Virus software really means Anti-Malware software. When somebody says "Macs don't get viruses" what they are really saying is "Macs don't get malware," which is flat-out false.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by Auream » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:55 am

KyleAAA wrote: True, at this point "virus" just means malware in the vernacular. And Anti-Virus software really means Anti-Malware software. When somebody says "Macs don't get viruses" what they are really saying is "Macs don't get malware," which is flat-out false.
Right. Although malware is relatively rare on the Mac, it certainly exists. If you turn off Java and flash, and limit yourself to installing software from the Mac App store, its almost impossible to be infected by malware on a Mac (basically, you're using your machine like an iDevice).

As soon as you start installing software from random places though, or running Java and/or flash, it is probably worth looking into software for protecting you from malware. There is a list of products on the link in my previous post.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by pennstater2005 » Tue Mar 11, 2014 11:58 am

What would that malware do?
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by Auream » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:04 pm

pennstater2005 wrote:What would that malware do?
Here's a site that tracks known Mac malware:
http://www.securemac.com

Note that pretty much all of these are trojans, not viruses. They're basically little programs that trick you into running them (by pretending to be a video link from a friend, for example). A recent one on that list is something called "CoinThief" that steals bitcoins from you. Obviously, if you don't use bitcoin that particular one doesn't do anything (other than probably slowing down your machine). But there are others that do things like run a special server that lets the trojan writer access all files on your machine (tax records, credit card statements, browsing history, etc.).

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by montesquieu » Tue Mar 11, 2014 12:24 pm

I agree with the posts by Auream.

On various Macs, I take a few common-sense precautions, like not installing Java or Flash (Macs come without both, out of the box); making sure that Gatekeeper settings are set properly (in System Preferences >> Security & Privacy >> General); and perhaps even using a non-administrator account. I am cautious about email attachments and files downloaded from the Internet. I avoid giving apps administrator privileges, and find that the best apps don't ask for those privileges.

I use ClamXAV (from the Mac App Store) to scan things (usually Office documents) on an ad-hoc basis. I am aware of Mac security flaws, but the most serious (like the recent "Gotofail" bug, which existed in a similar incarnation on Linux) would NOT have been mitigated by anti-virus software. Almost all other potential security issues are mitigated by the simple precautions recommended above and elsewhere.

So in my own cost-benefit analysis, anti-virus software running in the background, using system resources, is not worth the speculative benefit it might offer, keeping in mind that anti-virus software only protects against bad files and software, not Mac security flaws, network security flaws, etc.

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by JupiterJones » Tue Mar 11, 2014 2:00 pm

My sister and BIL live waaaaay out in the country. They don't even lock their doors half the time.

Is that because home burglaries are impossible there? And will always be impossible in the future, forever and ever?

Of course not. But it does mean that the chances are so low right now that it's currently not worth the hassle.

I've been a Mac owner for two decades, and I sort of feel the same way when it comes to viruses/malware/etc.
Stay on target...

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by Stonebr » Tue Mar 11, 2014 3:00 pm

I have Sophus and have used it for several years.
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by crumbgrabber » Tue Mar 11, 2014 4:22 pm

I uninstalled Flash and Java on my Mac about a year ago and haven't really run into any websites I can't load. Once in awhile something will need Flash, at which point I simply load the Chrome browser, which has Flash support built in.

I've used Macs since about 2000 and have never installed any anti-"virus" software/bloatware on them or any family member's Macs. I've never had any viruses or malware. I agree with other posters that the downside and hassle of installing malware software outweighs the potential risk of actually getting infected.

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sans souliers
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by sans souliers » Wed Mar 12, 2014 1:05 am

Part of the reason I went with the expense of a Mac was to have the peace of mind that came with it. I have no anti-virus ware and no virus.

And I have better things to do than talk about it. No brag, just fact.
Sometimes pessimism leaves me pretty well prepared for when things don't go my way, and pleasantly surprised when they do.

TheCounselor
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by TheCounselor » Wed Mar 12, 2014 3:59 am

I find the answers in this thread to be pretty funny. Most IT-experts tell the truth and Mac-users don`t see to want to listen.

Anyway, back to the topic. The only reason why the apple "no viruses"-myth still exists is because of ignorance. Macs get viruses just as easy as windows machines and most of the time even easier (because mac users usually don`t use AV-software). The only reason that all these unprotected mac machines don`t have viruses yet is because viruses (or malware, w/e you want to call it) are made en-masse and because over 80% of the worlds computers run windows it`s clearly alot more efficient to make lots of malware to target windows machines.

Also, to the person in the thread who said he/she had no malware because "the computer hasn`t jammed up", I believe you`ve severely misunderstood the function of malware. Malware creators want their malware to go unnoticed so that they can log your keystrokes and try to steal information from you, such as credit card numbers/bank account information and all other types of critical financial information. Malware creators don`t do it for fun, they want to create a cashflow. It`s their job. Thus, if you`ve had your computer for years and noticed nothing out of the ordinary despite sometimes visiting weird sites or clicking on suspicious links by mistake, chances are that you have malware on your computer so go run a scan right now. This applies mostly to mac users who don`t use any AV, but windows users should also run scans regularly since malware becomes more sophisticated all the time and your AV won`t catch everything.

TL;DR: Macs do get viruses so install a lightweight, free AV and run a scan right now. There is no reason to [(ignore the problem) --admin LadyGeek] when faced with irrefutable facts.

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PaddyMac
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by PaddyMac » Wed Mar 12, 2014 5:41 pm

Been using Macs since the late '80s and there were a few nasty viruses around in the early days, esp. contagious floppy disks. Even got one already installed on a hard drive.

Currently I don't run anti-virus software but that doesn't mean never. I just found it more problematic than helpful years ago.

The only issue I've had is the "coupon" Firefox extension that I managed to get (I think it was from visiting "free coupon" sites, which I now avoid). Unless you can "see" the coupon code on the screen, don't click a link to "get the code". It should be clearly visible.

more info here if interested
https://discussions.apple.com/message/20485742

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JupiterJones
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by JupiterJones » Thu Mar 13, 2014 5:06 pm

TheCounselor wrote:Macs do get viruses so install a lightweight, free AV and run a scan right now. There is no reason to [ignore the problem] when faced with irrefutable facts.
Sure there's a reason: Probability.

Your "irrefutable fact" only covers the possibility of a Mac getting a virus. It ignores the likelihood of any given Mac getting a virus, which currently happens to be very low (another irrefutable fact, for those keeping score at home).

Heck, it's an irrefutable fact that people fall in the bathtub and die. But I'm not going to start wearing a padded helmet in the shower. :D

Whether a Mac user opts for a 100% chance of facing some small amount of hassle caused by fooling with AV software or a <1% chance of some potentially larger amount of hassle caused by getting malware on their Mac is up to them. If they choose the latter, I don't see that as "ignoring the problem" as much as "assessing risk".
Stay on target...

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magellan
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by magellan » Thu Mar 13, 2014 7:12 pm

JupiterJones wrote:Whether a Mac user opts for a 100% chance of facing some small amount of hassle caused by fooling with AV software or a <1% chance of some potentially larger amount of hassle caused by getting malware on their Mac is up to them.
As others have posted, well-built modern viruses don't cause any undesirable side effects on your machine. Everything will work perfectly. Without AV software, the first sign of trouble will be a compromised credit card, bank account, or investment account, or if you're very lucky, an email from your ISP that they've detected botnet activity originating from inside your home.

Another consideration is that the online fraud protection policy at most investment firms requires that you run up to date AV software.

Jim

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in_reality
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by in_reality » Fri Mar 14, 2014 7:47 am

magellan wrote:
As others have posted, well-built modern viruses don't cause any undesirable side effects on your machine. Everything will work perfectly. Without AV software, the first sign of trouble will be a compromised credit card, bank account, or investment account, or if you're very lucky, an email from your ISP that they've detected botnet activity originating from inside your home.
I don't believe your statement is factually correct.

I do scan with ClamXav and find Windows virus' in the spam folder but I don't believe OSX needs AV.

Why shouldn't you use commercial "anti-virus" products?
  • Their design is predicated on the nonexistent threat that malware may be injected at any time, anywhere in the file system. Malware is downloaded from the network; it doesn't materialize from nowhere.
  • In order to meet that nonexistent threat, the software modifies or duplicates low-level functions of the operating system, which is a waste of resources and a common cause of instability, bugs, and poor performance.
  • By modifying the operating system, the software itself may create weaknesses that could be exploited by malware attackers.
Keep in mind:

1) All versions of OS X since 10.6.7 have been able to detect known Mac malware in downloaded files, and to block insecure web plugins. This feature is transparent to the user, but internally Apple calls it "XProtect" The malware recognition database is automatically checked for updates once a day.

2) Starting with OS X 10.7.5, there has been a second layer of built-in malware protection, designated "Gatekeeper" by Apple. By default, applications and Installer packages downloaded from the network will only run if they're digitally signed by a developer with a certificate issued by Apple.

3) Starting with OS X 10.8.3, a third layer of protection has been added: a "Malware Removal Tool" (MRT). MRT runs automatically in the background when you update the OS.

None of those are perfect, and you have to be careful to not let yourself fall victim to social engineering of course.
magellan wrote:
Another consideration is that the online fraud protection policy at most investment firms requires that you run up to date AV software.
Well, Schwab will cover 100% of any losses in any of your Schwab accounts due to unauthorized activity. They don't require AV software.

Vanguard does though. Technically, you might not be covered anyway by giving your login credentials to Turbotax. That is one of their prerequisites as well. [again Schwab is different in that they consider you having granted authority, so your giving your credentials to turbo tax won't void the protection against me somehow stealing your credentials -- as opposed to seemingly pulling your guarantee for all fraud by sharing access credentials with anyone which is what Vanguard states they will do]

If Vanguard is requiring AV, why don't they say what to use. There have been any number of fake programs the duped people. Technically, I don't know how Vanguard can say that OSX is safer with AV. Yeah an occasional scan is a good idea, but really are they qualified to say that you in fact are not making your system less secure by introducing another attack vector?

I would argue that OSX's XProtect is AV. Others consider it to be. Maybe it is not the best, but what is the best? Norton has had occasional flaws that could be attack vectors. Haven't other major AV products as well? I think so.

So I believe i run an updated OS that has AV and that removes malware when I update. If OSX's XProtect is not good enough for Vanguard and something else is needed, well then they need to tell me what to use now or I guess we just end up dealing with it in court. I don't want to add another attack vector.



see https://discussions.apple.com/message/23436924#23436924
also interesting is the view of those who break into systems that OSX is safer http://9to5mac.com/2014/03/14/contestan ... r-systems/

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magellan
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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by magellan » Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:48 am

in_reality wrote:
magellan wrote:
As others have posted, well-built modern viruses don't cause any undesirable side effects on your machine. Everything will work perfectly. Without AV software, the first sign of trouble will be a compromised credit card, bank account, or investment account, or if you're very lucky, an email from your ISP that they've detected botnet activity originating from inside your home.
I don't believe your statement is factually correct.
Which part don't you agree with?

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Re: Anti-virus for Mac?

Post by enebyberg » Fri Mar 14, 2014 9:05 am

There are very few virus problems with Macs compared to Windows. I use Avast! on my Mac. Give Avast! a try. It's free.

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