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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Comparison: Viruses on Windows vs. Mac OS

Comparison: Viruses on Windows vs. Mac OS
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Jan 30, 2002, 09:52 PM
 
Can anyone provide some solid numbers as to how many known viruses are out there for Windows and the Mac OS?

How many are known "active"?

I would appreciate any links to sources such as Symantec for statistics.

Thanks!!
     
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Jan 30, 2002, 10:02 PM
 
Active viruses for Windows: thousands
Mac OS: about 2
Mac OS X: 0

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VRL
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Jan 31, 2002, 04:14 AM
 
What's a virus?

The only virus I've seen, since coming to the Mac in '97, was on a floppy I got from a Windows user. I caught it using Norton. Promptly returned the floppy.

Anyway, doesn't Symantic provide a list with their software/updates?? I recall seeing the list, but they don't give many specifics.
"People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use." (Kierkegaard)
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Jan 31, 2002, 05:05 AM
 
Look here

I was actually surprised there's so many viruses mentioned. Granted, a lot of them are variations of the same virus and most are old, some very old (from 1987), and I didn't find a single one that'd mention X as the target platform. Possibly, some of them are able to infect OS 9.* but to be honest I've never seen a Mac virus in my life and reading the descriptions I'd say that none of them can damage anything beyond repair (some can damage the system file but I'd guess all it takes is a reinstall at most).

I don't know how many Windows viruses are in existance but I'd say tens of thousands is a pretty safe estimation. However, stop using MS emailers and there's not so many left that can affect your system. Not that I'd want to use a Windoze PC without an automatically updated antivirus...
     
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Jan 31, 2002, 08:17 PM
 
The only virus I've ever had took antibiotics from my doctor to get rid of!
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Feb 1, 2002, 12:58 AM
 
We'll take Office macro viruses out of consideration, since they're cross-platform. Outlook macro viruses are fair game though; there are several of these for Windows, but only one on the Mac.

Given that, there are several hundred Windows viruses out there, many of them strains of each other. On the Mac side, there are about twenty (since the latest Mac-only virus, AutoStart, only had three strains).

As for OSX, no viruses have yet been discovered. This doesn't mean they can't be made; it just means no one's cared enough to write one yet.
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Feb 1, 2002, 08:11 AM
 
Just saw this

792 new viruses were discovered and protected against by Sophos
Anti-Virus during January 2002, which now detects and protects
against 71,984 sundry pieces of malicious code.
This probably includes all the platforms that they support: DOS/Windows, Novell, OS/2, Unix, MacOS etc. Am I correct in presuming that 70,000 of those are for Wintels?

[ 02-01-2002: Message edited by: Worboren ]
     
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Feb 4, 2002, 04:20 AM
 
forgot where I read it but they said there was something like 48,000 for Windows and only like 300 for the Mac.
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Feb 4, 2002, 10:54 AM
 
There's only one virus thats an actual threat to the Mac OS... Sevendust, or 666. I had it once, but every virus protection app catches it; I didn't have any virus protection. It wasn't hard to remove manually regardless...
     
GK
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Feb 4, 2002, 12:16 PM
 
The only virus I've ever had took antibiotics from my doctor to get rid of!
Uhm,

antibiotics are used against bacterical infections, and have no effect at all against viruses.

     
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Feb 8, 2002, 05:50 AM
 
The only one I've ever come across, ever, is the autostart worm. Got it from a service bureau on my zip disk.

haven't seen any since, and none at home, where I am microsoft free!
     
BTP
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Feb 8, 2002, 06:58 AM
 
One of the reasons that I appreciate the Mac, though I don't think about it much, since I don't get them!

I still practice common sense and I know we'll have one someday. As for holes and other types of insecurity, we have those, but again, nothing like WINDERS.
A lie can go halfway around the world before the truth even gets its boots on. - Mark Twain
     
   
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