Macs don't have viruses?

Discussion in 'Computer Security' started by Martin C.E., Sep 21, 2003.

  1. Martin C.E.

    Martin C.E. Guest

    A friend of mine is very proud of his Mac and makes the claim that
    Macs don't get viruses.

    Is this true? Or is he kidding me?
     
    Martin C.E., Sep 21, 2003
    #1
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  2. He's full of sh!t !

    There are infectors on MACs, just not as many target that platform.

    Dave

    | A friend of mine is very proud of his Mac and makes the claim that
    | Macs don't get viruses.
    |
    | Is this true? Or is he kidding me?
     
    David H. Lipman, Sep 21, 2003
    #2
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  3. Martin C.E.

    J J Guest

    Ja,

    There are quite a few and more often than not more likely to cause larger
    scale damage - i mean, less virii which are more deadly as more can be
    achieved on Unix based platforms.... mind you, to date... if my MSc
    lecturers are correct, then Linux in general has only ever had 4 known
    viruses... might bee bull$hit
     
    J J, Sep 21, 2003
    #3
  4. Martin C.E.

    Dudhorse Guest

     
    Dudhorse, Sep 21, 2003
    #4
  5. ....and we might see a substantial rise in Mac infections as Unix-based
    OSX gains popularity.

    Nigel
     
    Nigel Blatheringstock, Sep 21, 2003
    #5
  6. Martin C.E.

    Moonlit Guest

    Hi,

    The more popular a system is the more virusses it will have (because then it
    becomes more interesting to write it in the first place). This is the reason
    MS based systems have the most virusses not because the technology is worse
    thann *nix like systems. A virus writer obviously wants to have maximum
    impact, therefore he writes his stuff for the most popular OS.

    Regards, Ron AF Greve.
     
    Moonlit, Sep 21, 2003
    #6
  7. Martin C.E.

    optikl Guest

    There are some number of Mac specific viruses; I think the number is around
    40 to 50. Mac's can receive macro viruses which will infect Word, Excel and
    Power Point (assuming they have imbedded macros) files. By and large though,
    because the operating system isn't built on a house of cards (dll files),
    it's much less susceptible to malicious coding. Too, the Mac Operating
    System isn't licensed the way Windows is and that may be a factor, as well.
    If there were more software applications available for Mac's, I'd turn in
    these Windows boxes in a heart-beat.
     
    optikl, Sep 21, 2003
    #7
  8. :The more popular a system is the more virusses it will have (because then it
    :becomes more interesting to write it in the first place). This is the reason
    :MS based systems have the most virusses not because the technology is worse
    :thann *nix like systems. A virus writer obviously wants to have maximum
    :impact, therefore he writes his stuff for the most popular OS.

    That's a fallacy.

    To quote myself from another posting in another group a month ago:

    Microsoft until a year ago had a policy of emphasizing
    features over security. Read Gate's interview with a German
    computer magazine a few years ago: he outright said that people
    should not obtain MS software upgrades expecting bugs to be fixed,
    because "no-one buys security" so MS changes were aimed at new
    features and any bug fixes were incidental.

    Microsoft has now implimented a policy of security-first, but
    you don't reverse 15+ years of bad coding in just one year.
    Windows is *huge* (something like 55 million lines) and is not
    internally well compartimentalized. Retrofitting security seldom
    works: if it isn't designed in from the beginning, you're probably
    better to re-write the whole thing.

    Mac OS X, though, is based upon OpenBSD, the authors of which
    take pride in security, and whom have spent years specifically
    designing and testing for security. With all these exploits being
    exposed over the years, less than half a dozen of them have applied
    to OpenBSD. And the OpenBSD people keep actively thinking about how
    they could do better. It's hard to say, though, how well Apple is
    carrying those security concerns over into its customized version.
     
    Walter Roberson, Sep 21, 2003
    #8
  9. Martin C.E.

    Guillermito Guest

    -cnrc.gc.ca (Walter Roberson) :
    .... [and that's why there are fewer viruses, to make it short]

    This is not a good argument, for historical reasons.

    There was less viruses for Mac even when MacOS was not Unix-based,
    and, according to MrSandman, an excellent virus coder who coded a few
    bugs for Mac, DOS and Win32, it was actually much easier to code
    viruses for for Mac than for PCs. But most virus writers didn't care
    (or didn't have a Mac).

    So obviously the popularity of a computer system has an impact on the
    number of viruses written. If you want to make headlines (and that's
    the goal of some coders), you need a certain critical mass.
     
    Guillermito, Sep 21, 2003
    #9
  10. Martin C.E.

    Tommy Guest

    www.openbsd.org
    Only one remote hole in the default install, in more than 7 years!


    I dropped windblows about two monthes ago and have been useing FreeBSD. I
    Couldn't be happier, It's super secure and very stable. Not to mention you
    have a whole world of free software..BSD also has a port system that has
    thousands of programs.

    Don't have to worry about viruses or Trojans, the good points go on and on..
     
    Tommy, Sep 21, 2003
    #10
  11. Martin C.E.

    Dudhorse Guest

    .... have to agree with you - in order to kill off Netscape and any other
    browsers Micro$oft made Explorer part of the OS - so all a hacker has to do
    is crack Explorer and then they are in Windows and they own the system. They
    also bundled a "free" version of Internet Explorer(Outlook Express)with
    their OS which just about everyone uses(including me). Outlook Express is
    one big magnet for spyware, viruses/worms whatever. So we all are paying
    the price for Micro$oft wanting to kill off the competition. From what I
    have read OSX keeps every app. separate from the OS so they are more
    bulletproof(they make hackers work harder or they have to rely on the
    stupidity of the user). Suspect that vulnerability is the biggest reason
    why the next version of Windows(codenamed Longhorn) release date keeps
    getting pushed back; they are having to totally rewrite Windows and have
    Explorer separate and away from Windows. Also wonder if Linux wasn't around
    and taking business away from Micr$oft would they be all that concerned
    about security?
    Seriously thinking of downloading/installing Mozilla but I know nothing of
    its newsgroup abilities.
     
    Dudhorse, Sep 21, 2003
    #11
  12. Martin C.E.

    E. Guest

    TRanslation: even virus writers don't support mac's anymore...
    E.
     
    E., Sep 21, 2003
    #12
  13. Martin C.E.

    kurt wismer Guest

    its not true... but he's probably not kidding either... he's probably
    just ignorant of the fact that there are mac viruses...

    not surprising since the number of mac viruses is far, far less than
    the number of pc viruses, and the likelihood of getting one is much,
    much less (in part because there are fewer of them and because there
    are fewer mac computers from which mac viruses can spread)...
     
    kurt wismer, Sep 21, 2003
    #13
  14. Martin C.E.

    kurt wismer Guest

    no it's not...
    while this is true it's also a non-sequitur... when one releases a
    virus, the hope is that it will have a big impact... the single most
    important consideration in maximizing the impact is to go after the
    largest userbase...
     
    kurt wismer, Sep 21, 2003
    #14
  15. While this is true, there is also the fact that when an OS
    bundles so many utilities and applications with it, it creates
    a wider platform to attack. If we were all running a wide
    disparity of utilities and applications, even on Windows
    machines, we wouldn't be as likely to see phenomena
    such as this. Since almost *every* Windows machine has
    a honeypot of addresses available in .dbx files, worms
    have a good meal waiting for them in every Windows
    lunchbox.

    Linux distros may suffer the same fate if one becomes
    too much more popular than another, and they bundle
    too much application software.
     
    FromTheRafters, Sep 21, 2003
    #15
  16. | Ja,
    |
    | There are quite a few and more often than not more likely to cause larger
    | scale damage - i mean, less virii which are more deadly as more can be
    | achieved on Unix based platforms.... mind you, to date... if my MSc
    | lecturers are correct, then Linux in general has only ever had 4 known
    | viruses... might bee bull$hit
    |
    |
     
    David H. Lipman, Sep 21, 2003
    #16
  17. JJ:

    There is no such term as virii - the term is viruses - PERIOD !

    Please read the following URL which relates the subject far better than I could ...

    http://www.perl.com/language/misc/virus.html

    Dave


    | Ja,
    |
    | There are quite a few and more often than not more likely to cause larger
    | scale damage - i mean, less virii which are more deadly as more can be
    | achieved on Unix based platforms.... mind you, to date... if my MSc
    | lecturers are correct, then Linux in general has only ever had 4 known
    | viruses... might bee bull$hit
    |
    |
     
    David H. Lipman, Sep 21, 2003
    #17
  18. Martin C.E.

    mhagen Guest

    snip
    Mozilla's news capabilities are excellant. Go for it! 1.5 rc 1 is the
    current flavour.
     
    mhagen, Sep 21, 2003
    #18
  19. Thanks for posting this. I too was under the mistaken impression that virii
    was a word.
     
    Indigo Moon Man, Sep 21, 2003
    #19
  20. Martin C.E.

    KRF Guest

    False. He may be kidding you or he may just be ignorant.

    ANY, operating system, including mainframes, can be attacked by a virus if
    there is an infection point, and that is a negative that can't be proven
    until a successful attack occures.

    Both Mac and Linux machines have far fewer successful virii attacks,
    mainly because there are far fewer Mac's and Linux machines and writers go
    after the most numerous targets. That and the fact that both OSs are
    quite a bit more rationally written than the warmed-over-from-DOS days
    versions from Redmond. Unfortunately the swiss cheese attributes of
    Windows are not going to be fixed in the forseeable future just because of
    the huge size of the task. Bill Gates policy of quantity over quality has
    come home to roost.

    However, I would suggest that Linux and Mac users slow down on the
    hoorawing of the current WinSituation that has almost closed down Al
    Gore's invention. It is just a matter of time until someone finds a
    massive hole in one of their favorites and the horselaughs from the other
    side of the fence are going to be hughly enjoyed.

    KRF
     
    KRF, Sep 21, 2003
    #20
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