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Apple to users: Please use antivirus utilities

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by 2muchcoffeeman, Dec 2, 2008.

  1. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Here's the announcement on the Apple support forums: http://support.apple.com/kb/HT2550

    Here's BBC coverage: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7760344.stm

    You Mac people never saw that coming, did you? :D

    There are several "proof-of-concept" Trojans out there that don't do harm, but were coded by Unixheads trying to see what they'd have to do to get one working. In terms of actual malware, not much (although AppleScript.THT and DNSchanger (follow link for more information and to download a free detection/removal utility) are notable exceptions). In addition to the usual reasoning about market share, there are strong technical reasons for that having to do with Mac OS X's Unix background. There are also some exploits out there that target cross-platform browsers, and Safari is a cross-platform browser these days. If you're using Firefox, the NoScript extension fends those exploits off quite nicely.

    I think that rather than trying to combat Mac-based malware, Apple is hoping to cut down on e-mail-based Windows malware that its customers unknowingly forward to other people.

    Apple recommends three commercial products -- Norton Anti-Virus, VirusBarrier X5 and McAfee VirusScan for Mac (used to be Virex). I would look at a combination of ClamXav (an open-source product, no cost) and MacScan ($30 anti-spyware utility) before using Apple's recommendations.
  2. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    More proof of the mainstreaming of Apple!

    Hackers have flipped! Suck it PC!
  3. Cadet

    Cadet Guest

    Thanks for the news and your insight, 2MCM. Very helpful.
  4. The Big Ragu

    The Big Ragu Moderator Staff Member

    I use ClamXav and it is good and free. I have it set up so I have to run a scan manually every so often. I can get a bit lax, but we have never detected anything harmful to any of the Macs.
  5. 2muchcoffeeman

    2muchcoffeeman Active Member

    Apple: On orders from our marketing department, we'd like to tell you that we really didn't mean that and we find the post offensive and we took it down.


    Mr. Gralla's closing statement is solid: "Any operating system is potentially vulnerable to threats and the sooner Apple admits it, the safer Mac users will be." There are a couple of serious OS X-specific exploits out there, like this new one that targets Firefox and pretends to be the very useful Greasemonkey extension.

    On the other hand, Mac users are still better off than Windows users.
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