Macs don't have viruses?

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

  1. Martin C.E.

    Steve Guest

    OK, time to clear up a bit of mistaken perception. I've seen it said
    that OS X is based on FreeBSD, or on OpenBSD, or even Linux. I have
    reason to believe that much of the early code came from NetBSD. So I
    did a search through the OpenDarwin 10.2.6 sources to see how many of
    the files mention which BSD.

    It might be more correct to say that "OS X is based on *BSD":

    find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 grep -l FreeBSD | wc -l
    find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 grep -l NetBSD | wc -l
    find . -type f -print0 | xargs -0 grep -l OpenBSD | wc -l

    To be sure, there are files that mention more than one of the BSDs:

    comm -12 freebsd.list openbsd.list | wc -l
    comm -12 freebsd.list netbsd.list | wc -l
    comm -12 openbsd.list netbsd.list | wc -l

    Not sure where I'm going with this, except that it's a mistake to
    say OS X is based on one particular BSD, which implies exclusivity
    of the others...

    Steve, Sep 23, 2003
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  2. If it didn't spread to more abacii, then it wasn't a virus.
    FromTheRafters, Sep 24, 2003
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  3. Martin C.E.

    Moonlit Guest

    Hmm, and if an abacus user just liked the pattern shown on anothers abacus
    and made the same pattern on their own? It is not so different from this
    great program you can download (or this great microsoft patch you find in
    your mail).

    Hey, ignorant users are of all times.

    I know there aren't probably any records of that, but that doesn't mean it
    didn't happen :)

    Regards, Ron AF Greve.
    Moonlit, Sep 24, 2003
  4. Martin C.E.

    Grazyna Guest

    FromTheRafters wrote in message
    That _is_ a farfetched conclusion. It could still have been a virus, even if
    it didn't spread to more abacii - provided it spread to more abaci. Abacuses
    shouldn't be left out, either - this one is the only correct form anyway, as
    you know. Do try to be more precise next time, please.
    Grazyna, Sep 24, 2003
  5. That would be more like a meme encoded eye-mail.
    FromTheRafters, Sep 24, 2003
  6. I'm working on it. ;o)
    FromTheRafters, Sep 24, 2003
  7. Abaci

    Chris Mattern
    Chris Mattern, Sep 24, 2003
  8. Octopuses

    It's all Greek to me.

    Abaci indeed. My dictionary had both abaci and abacuses,
    so it's only half wrong. Leaving my only choice for the above
    post ~ abacii. ;o)
    FromTheRafters, Sep 24, 2003
  9. Or Latin :). The funny part is that octopi is a pseudo-Latin
    mistake along the lines of virii that has managed to
    worm its way into the dictionary. The word is in fact
    Greek and the plural would be, I believe, octopodes
    if one was going to go that route. Abaci is good
    Latin, though.
    Chris Mattern
    Chris Mattern, Sep 24, 2003
  10. Fact is that Windows-machines are much more attacked by viruses than
    Mac. Whether security is the topic or popularity, or both, I´ll leave
    it open.

    I feel pretty save at the moment, being in a niche market that doesn´t
    interest 99% of the virus developers. I´m not sure whether I should
    recommend to switch to Mac; as the niche becomes larger, it might become
    more interesting for malicious people, which decreases my safety...


    Toon De Backer, Sep 24, 2003
  11. Martin C.E.

    neopolaris Guest

    It's not an abacan virii, it's arthritis.
    neopolaris, Sep 26, 2003
  12. Martin C.E.

    Robert Hull Guest

    LOL. However, you seem to have forgotten that it would not be "an abacan
    virii" but "an abacan virius". Only if you have more than one virius
    (whatever that is) would you have virii (being the plural of whatever
    virius was but definitely never the plural of virus)
    Robert Hull, Sep 26, 2003
  13. Martin C.E.

    Tom Guest

    shawn modersohn wrote:


    I'd put that on, if I were you. Why risk getting 'owned' by the next big M$


    Why risk it? A lax attitude to security is what causes things like Swen to
    be so successful.

    Let's also not forget that that some M$ software (Win, OE, IE, for example)
    is quite unsecure out-of-the-box and in general the user needs to take the
    extra effort to secure it manually.

    If M$ apps had a secure setup out-of-the-box, worm/viruses would barely
    stand a chance, and then Anti-Virus companies would go out of business, but
    that's a whole different topic...


    I wouldn't put it past OE with its notorious past record.

    Tom, Oct 4, 2003
  14. Martin C.E.


    Feb 28, 2008
    Likes Received:
    He's right.

    Why does everyone think of dark hackers such simple people? These guys don't always have a gain with their virus except that they found another way to get their viruses in to other computers. Honestly it's not that much of a challenge to write a Windows virus. Yes the Unix foundation does work and is proven. Mac has a Unix foundation. It has nothing to do with popularity. These guys love a challenge. There's people all over the internet who challenge these people. In fact the one who actually gets a really good virus on a Mac will have the pleasure of knowing they've accomplished something big. Though it may not be good, it's not likely to happen.

    Open source also makes it easier for people to make sure that Unix is protected. Every one in this world has access to the inner workings of Unix and is able to learn what makes it tick. And there have been more people who have worked with and further secured Unix in this world than the people of Microsoft. Unix has the power of many great hackers around the world working to ensure the security of this OS. It's bigger than many people think. It's starts with Unix and then Mac gets the advangage of the security and stability of Unix.

    Another great thing about a Mac is that it's even hard to attack specific programs since every program on a Mac is self contained. When most programs are installed, it's no more than the file you click on. The most outside of this self contained program is user specific files and settings. No DLLs nothing has to go the system folder and make system modifications to work. In fact at any time a system modification is about to happen, it will request a password.

    On the Windows side of things, they have so many security hole, they could plug many of them and it would still look like swiss cheese if it were a physical object. There are so many was and forms for viruses to get in. Many Windows applications depend on many misc. files, DLLs, and the use of the system folders. There's a big advantage for someone who wants to plant viruses.

    Now I never said Macs can't get a virus but I do know it's a heck of a challenge. I wouldn't worry about getting anti-virus software.
    dchagwood, Feb 28, 2008
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