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th3champish3r3
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Dec 13, 2007, 10:19 PM
 
Hello,

I have been a life-long windows user, shortly switching to mac. I have always loved windows but am very impressed with the newer macs. I understand that one of the selling points of macs is their virus resistance. I was always under the impression that the reason they had very few problems with viruses is because no body used them and hackers figured they could tackle a larger amount of computers just making viruses for windows. Is there something I do not know? Since the popularity of these machines is greatly increasing, will this mean that when enough hackers make the switch than mac will be infested with viruses in a few years also? Thanks in advance, Mike
     
Cold Warrior
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Dec 13, 2007, 10:33 PM
 
it's a mix of security by obscurity and an inherently more secure operating system architecture.

No one knows what the future holds; maybe more viruses, maybe not. But you made the right choice switching.
     
imitchellg5
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Dec 13, 2007, 11:41 PM
 
Virus? What's that?

Even if hackers would pay more attention to Macs, there is really nothing that they could do to create a killer virus like those that plague the Windows world. If such a thing did happen, Apple would make a security update within the month nullifying the virus. OS X is a very stable platform, meaning it is incredibly difficult for one to insert a virus into the system. About the only way you could make a virus is by putting it into an application. That application would ask for your password during install, so you'd have to authorize the installation of the virus itself basically. It won't happen anytime soon. We would be more likely to see a virus for iPods and iPhones first.
     
peeb
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Dec 14, 2007, 01:00 AM
 
Don't worry - while viruses remain a theoretical possibility, they will never be the threat they are on Windows.
     
OreoCookie
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Dec 14, 2007, 04:57 AM
 
Viruses have been a theoretical threat for OS X, there has never been one OS X virus. There were a few proofs of concept and a handful (literally) of trojans, but none of them were a wide-spread threat. Like any software, OS X has bugs and even the best security measures are circumvented when the user authorizes a bug by downloading shady software or what hackers call social engineering. So yes, theoretically, OS X is also vulnerable to attacks, but practically, this has remained a theoretical possibility up until now.

On the other hand, OS X' architecture is a lot more secure than that of Windows. This starts with the default installation and includes some very stupid design and marketing decisions on MS' part (e. g. to disable user rights in XP Home, allowing all apps full access to all files!).
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
peeb
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Dec 14, 2007, 01:54 PM
 
Older (pre OSX) Apples OS's had viruses when marketshare was much lower, so I don't think that is the issue. OSX is VERY secure.
     
ghporter
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Dec 14, 2007, 03:37 PM
 
As has been noted, the structure of the OS makes it more secure. It is simply harder to get at processes to disrupt them, and harder to weasel into anything without user action.

I also need to point out that in the Windows world, the vast majority of viruses are not "written" so much as "slapped together" through the use of (I wish I were kidding) development kits. Some of these appear to be simple enough for my dog to "write" and distribute a virus. They take the vector portion of one or more viruses, allow the builder to produce a new wrapper, and let the builder alter the payload, from a "ha ha" message to something very destructive. This is where "script kiddies" got their moniker-they just put together scripts, rather than actually coding anything. But the REAL crackers never bothered to write SDKs for Mac OSs, so those pains in the rear kiddies don't have any way of impacting us. A level of security? Yes, to some extent. Insurance? No. Surf smart, don't EVER let unknown code run or have access that requires a password, and know who you are dealing with when you download anything. Even on a Mac.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
analogika
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Dec 14, 2007, 04:33 PM
 
Can we PLEASE make this subject (preferably the last thread we had on this, not this one) a STICKY?

Because as long as people aren't able to use the search function when not logged in (i.e. not registered yet), we're GOING TO BE HAVING THE SAME ****ING THREAD EVERY FOUR DAYS.
     
peeb
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Dec 14, 2007, 04:34 PM
 
Why is there no FAQ?
     
Chuckit
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Dec 14, 2007, 04:41 PM
 
Because nobody has written one.
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peeb
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Dec 14, 2007, 04:43 PM
 
Want to start one? I'd help compile it.
     
ghporter
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Dec 14, 2007, 07:19 PM
 
I've contacted the mods for this forum about it. It's not as simple as sticking a thread that says "Don't worry." We need some solid information, good links to facts and statistics (not just "go to CERT and see...") and so on. Of course while the previous thread was helpful, it wasn't as definitive as would be good for such a sticky/FAQ, so anyone so inclined could post what should go in such a FAQ here... Cutting the development time by spreading out the workload is a Good Thing™ all around.

Glenn -----OTR/L, MOT, Tx
     
th3champish3r3  (op)
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Dec 15, 2007, 12:16 PM
 
wow thanks alot for all the great info and quick responses guys
     
medicman55
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Dec 15, 2007, 09:57 PM
 
I think what it also has to do with is that OSX doesn't have a registry, the seemingly infinite caches , where a lot of viruses live. It has to do with OSX being a better developed operating system.
     
kelso
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Dec 15, 2007, 10:10 PM
 
Is there software for mac that scans for windows viruses so I don't pass them on?
     
Cold Warrior
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Dec 15, 2007, 10:30 PM
 
     
OreoCookie
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Dec 16, 2007, 07:18 AM
 
At this point, I hesitate to add another sticky. I'd much rather combine existing stickies to one. There is discussion among us on how to add FAQ material in a controlled way by fellow users.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Cold Warrior
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Dec 16, 2007, 01:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie View Post
At this point, I hesitate to add another sticky. I'd much rather combine existing stickies to one. There is discussion among us on how to add FAQ material in a controlled way by fellow users.
Just my 2 cents...maybe a single sticky, indexed with all the current OS X stickies, with links to a wiki.
     
   
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