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View Full Version : Apple iMacs - truth or fiction?


Mike-4
12-06-2009, 8:25 PM
Thinking about getting an Apple iMac desktop. Is it true Apple's don't get virus'? Anyone have an opinion on the iMacs? Any good Apple forums out there?

regards

blackberg
12-06-2009, 8:33 PM
its is much harder for a mac to get a virus, and right now I dont think there are any widely distributed mac viruses. so your chances of catching one are virtually zero.
macrumors.com has very active forums

-bb

Gijoe
12-06-2009, 8:35 PM
I have a Mac and I love it.. 2 years old and no viruses

Mister BLASTEE
12-06-2009, 8:36 PM
Once you go Mac....

JDay
12-06-2009, 8:45 PM
No its not true, they only reason there aren't too many mac viruses in the wild is because they aren't widely used. More Macintosh viruses have been coming out since their market share has risen though.

Casual_Shooter
12-07-2009, 10:18 AM
Some day, there will be just as many virus infections for macs as there are for PC's. But for now, you are MUCH safer using a Mac.

nick
12-07-2009, 10:42 AM
That's not true at all. The main reasons we hear less about infections in Macs are that there're fewer Macs than PCs (and so they make less juicy a target overall), Apple's policy on being very closed-lipped on any "imperfections" in Macs (similar to Microsoft's policy from up to about 10 years ago or so, but Microsoft grew up), and this rumor about 'Macs not getting infected', which leads to a lot of Mac users not even having an antivirus on their computer. As such, they often don't even know they're infected. They just see their computer getting slower and slower, and eventually buy a new one. The first thing a Windows user thinks of when his computer gets slower is an infection (Windows users have been scared enough by now to be cautious :)), which is probably why we also hear more about Windows infections.

Don't forget that it doesn't have to be malware specifically targeted at Macs, either. A virus or rootkit targeted at UNIX/Linux would likely work just fine on a Mac (OS X is UNIX-based). And rootkits do come from the UNIX world.

Malware targeted at some applications, such as iTunes/Quicktime would work fine, too.

There're also very few good antimalware packages for Macs, as most antimalware vendors don't see enough demand for it due to the myths like the one we're discussing here.

Having said that, OS X and Apple hardware can be great when they fit your requirements. Just make sure to get a good anti-malware package, and don't fall for the stupid rumors spread by the ignorant and not too honest marketing people.

nick
12-07-2009, 10:52 AM
Reminds me of a funny (to me, at least) story from a couple of years ago. One of the people emailing to one of my clients complained that he couldn't send an attachment in. It turned out that the antivirus on the company's mail server was stripping the attachment due to being infected.

When I emailed the guy explaining it, he promptly replied that it was impossible, for he was using a Mac, and Macs don't get viruses. I sent him the screenshot of the relevant entries in the antivirus log on the mail server, and he was reasonable enough to admit that there might be a problem on his end. He then asked for a recommendation on an antivirus for him Mac. That's right, he didn't have one installed.

He ended up getting McAfee. Sure enough, his Mac was infected. He then went ahead and scanned his old Macs, that he kept "just in case", but didn't use because they got slower (which he attributed to age and more data on them. Yes, he wasn't very computer-literate). Sure enough, they were infected, as well. He ended up having some tech wipe those old Macs and reinstall everything from the scratch, and lo and behold, they were actually fast enough for him.

He was really pissed at the sales guy at the Apple store whose solution to this guy's Mac slowness problem was buying a newer Mac...

Coincidentally, since that guy also runs a business, I got another client :D

Lyte-
12-07-2009, 10:56 AM
As others have mentioned the correct answer is [x] False

JAvendan
12-07-2009, 11:08 AM
... and don't forget the applecare ;)

save my ***** a few times!

joel

imtheomegaman
12-07-2009, 11:10 AM
No its not true, they only reason there aren't too many mac viruses in the wild is because they aren't widely used. More Macintosh viruses have been coming out since their market share has risen though.

While technically true, I can tell you that in my business (basically a Mac IT consultant type of guy) I have yet to run into a mac virus under OS X, all the machines are "unprotected"

hooookup
12-07-2009, 12:29 PM
I recently switched to a Macbook Pro from a PC about a year ago and I couldn't be more happy with the switch. My Mac is extremely fast and very reliable. Boots up in 30 seconds. Takes a little getting used to but once you get it down you'll wonder why you didn't make the change sooner. I take mine with me everywhere I go. Best computer I have ever owned.

Bug Splat
12-07-2009, 12:35 PM
While technically true, I can tell you that in my business (basically a Mac IT consultant type of guy) I have yet to run into a mac virus under OS X, all the machines are "unprotected"

I've run into several and I don't even work on Apple products. Nick is right about many people not even knowing they have one. Apples solution for anything is just reinstall. Well crap, my job with PC's would be a hell of a lot faster if I just did that. Apples are the worst to try and fix. Apple has done such a great job of keeping idiots from hurting themselves that once a virus gets in one its almost impossible to truly get out.

I think Apple makes a fine machine. They are great for the non-tech type. I recommend them a lot actually to home owners. Business owners, that's a different story. Apple is at least 10 years behind in the Networking world that Linux and Microsoft have. I find it funny when a Mac owners tries to brag about what his new mac can do and all I can think about is me doing the same thing with Windows 98 or Redhat. Smile and nod, smile and nod :D

imtheomegaman
12-07-2009, 1:12 PM
Apples are the worst to try and fix.

Now that is funny.

JDay
12-07-2009, 1:51 PM
While technically true, I can tell you that in my business (basically a Mac IT consultant type of guy) I have yet to run into a mac virus under OS X, all the machines are "unprotected"

How do you know you've never run into an infected machine if you never check them?

JustGone
12-07-2009, 2:56 PM
A buddy of mine uses macs and he got a virus...it wiped his hard drives lol

imtheomegaman
12-07-2009, 2:57 PM
How do you know you've never run into an infected machine if you never check them?

Where did I say I never check them, that is a strange conclusion. I gotta keep them running so, yeah, I 'check' them. Are they perfect, no. Are they fairly to very reliable? Absolutely. Immune to viruses, of course not. Plagued with viruses, well like I said, I have yet to run into one (your mileage may vary of course, just my less than 2 cents).

Casual_Shooter
12-07-2009, 3:03 PM
A buddy of mine uses macs and he got a virus...it wiped his hard drives lol

I'd be interested in knowing which virus he got (if that's possible at this point) and what it was doing to his machine. i.e. It wiped his hard drives (s?) but did it just stop, was there any indication of an issue? Any information would be appreciated.

Also, now that newer Macs can run Windows I wonder how that will affect the virus susceptibility.

JDay
12-07-2009, 4:02 PM
Also, now that newer Macs can run Windows I wonder how that will affect the virus susceptibility.

Doesn't affect the Mac OS since its not Windows.

JDay
12-07-2009, 4:03 PM
Where did I say I never check them, that is a strange conclusion. I gotta keep them running so, yeah, I 'check' them. Are they perfect, no. Are they fairly to very reliable? Absolutely. Immune to viruses, of course not. Plagued with viruses, well like I said, I have yet to run into one (your mileage may vary of course, just my less than 2 cents).

So let me get this straight, you have no anti-virus software on those machines yet you spend the time to check them for viruses... sure you do buddy. Also, things such as root kits need to be detected when the system is first compromised. Otherwise you may never find them.

Seesm
12-07-2009, 4:09 PM
There are plenty of viruses for the mac out there... I sold macs for yrs....it is just there are TONS of virusus for the Pc's cuz there are alot more of those out there.

sigfan91
12-07-2009, 4:50 PM
Macs are just as vulnerable to viruses as Wintels.

But why write a virus that only has the potential to infect 5% of the world's computers when you can potentially infect 90%? :D

Gryff
12-07-2009, 5:25 PM
That's not true at all. The main reasons we hear less about infections in Macs are that there're fewer Macs than PCs (and so they make less juicy a target overall)

Incorrect. The main reason we hear less about infections in Macs is because there are so few viruses that targeted at Macs. To date, I believe that there has been exactly one Intel Mac-specific virus that has shown up in the wild, and one proof-of-concept created by an anti-virus software company.

I think Apple makes a fine machine. They are great for the non-tech type. I recommend them a lot actually to home owners. Business owners, that's a different story. Apple is at least 10 years behind in the Networking world that Linux and Microsoft have. I find it funny when a Mac owners tries to brag about what his new mac can do and all I can think about is me doing the same thing with Windows 98 or Redhat. Smile and nod, smile and nod :D

Yeah, Macs are so non-techie...despite the fact that the platform had a huge hand in bringing new technology like WiFi, Firewire/1394, and built-in Ethernet as a standard option to the mainstream. And ignore the fact that current Macs can be run natively as MacOS, Linux, or Windows machines.

The ONLY thing that a Windows computer offers is the ability to run more corporate-oriented software. Anyone operating in a business with fewer than 500 people can just as easily operate on the MacOS platform. That's why when I do my tradeshow networking work, all the guys on the crews that I work with use Macs to setup and run the show networks.

Macs are just as vulnerable to viruses as Wintels.

But why write a virus that only has the potential to infect 5% of the world's computers when you can potentially infect 90%? :D

We have a winner with this post.

taloft
12-07-2009, 5:42 PM
Doesn't affect the Mac OS since its not Windows.But it can affect the virtual machine that you're running windows on ie bootcamp, virtualbox etc. This can lead to problems on intel based Macs. Check this article (http://webserver.computoredge.com/online.mvc?zone=SD&issue=2748&article=in2&session=bf270aa5fe4d7bd46f541cd6290a0e71). I found it an interesting read.

jarhead995
12-07-2009, 8:24 PM
The truth about macs

Macs are more vulnerable to getting hacked than a Windows pc. The reason for that is the fact that the Mac OS has wayyyy more coding in it than Windows and has a lot more room for flaws, but really what would you rather make a virus for a couple million Macs or a virus which could attack billions of Windows pcs? So theirs your answer, if Macs every catch on, every is screwed. There are also quite a few viruses for macs out right now and all of them are the worst kind possible.

nick
12-07-2009, 8:55 PM
Incorrect. The main reason we hear less about infections in Macs is because there are so few viruses that targeted at Macs. To date, I believe that there has been exactly one Intel Mac-specific virus that has shown up in the wild, and one proof-of-concept created by an anti-virus software company.

http://www.securemac.com

http://searchg.symantec.com/search?q=os+x&x=0&y=0&charset=utf-8&nh=10&hitsceil=100&st=1&proxystylesheet=symc_en_US&client=symc_en_US&site=symc_en_US_vir&output=xml_no_dtd&context=ent

You're also forgetting that OS X is based on UNIX, and many UNIX/Linux viruses/rootkits/malware will work on it.

And yes, there're fewer viruses/malware created for Macs due to their smaller market share. There're still plenty, and one of the reports on this year's DefCon was that the percentage of Macs infected with something is higher than that of PCs, as was the percentage of Macs without any anti-malware package.

high_lander
12-07-2009, 10:06 PM
While technically true, I can tell you that in my business (basically a Mac IT consultant type of guy) I have yet to run into a mac virus under OS X, all the machines are "unprotected"

I make my living this way as well. We protect all our Macs. While a PC virus may not damage a Mac, it can pass on said virus to PCs via email and such. A Typhoid Mary if you will. It's always a good idea to protect your self, and be responsible to the community at large. Lots of good malware/virus apps for free out there.

Also a Mac is a good choice for someone who doesn't want the headache of Windows. I almost prodded my Dad to a Mac, and converted my sister and her kids. It's pretty much hook up and go. Shoot me a PM with any questions.

high_lander
12-07-2009, 10:09 PM
Incorrect. The main reason we hear less about infections in Macs is because there are so few viruses that targeted at Macs. To date, I believe that there has been exactly one Intel Mac-specific virus that has shown up in the wild, and one proof-of-concept created by an anti-virus software company.



Yeah, Macs are so non-techie...despite the fact that the platform had a huge hand in bringing new technology like WiFi, Firewire/1394, and built-in Ethernet as a standard option to the mainstream. And ignore the fact that current Macs can be run natively as MacOS, Linux, or Windows machines.

The ONLY thing that a Windows computer offers is the ability to run more corporate-oriented software. Anyone operating in a business with fewer than 500 people can just as easily operate on the MacOS platform. That's why when I do my tradeshow networking work, all the guys on the crews that I work with use Macs to setup and run the show networks.



We have a winner with this post.

Macs are great in the Enterprise too. We manage about 2500.

Wild Squid
12-08-2009, 3:28 AM
I just bought a Macbook Pro for my own personal use and installed a virtual Linux machine on it to practice on. This thing is fast. I have worked in the IT Security field and I can tell you that there is no malware or anti-virus program you can install that will protect whatever machine you have. The best way to protect your computer is just "Don't Click On That!". If you are not 100% sure of what link you are clicking on don't. That is how PC's get viruses, it doesn't matter what software they have installed, by clicking on a link with a virus lurking behind it like opening your door to let a burglar in. You open port 80 to let intruders in, and you can forget about it. Don't even try fixing it, just reformat and reload the entire OS. Also the reason why Macs don't have so many viruses out right now is because hackers don't have too much of a wish to write viruses for Macs. Microsoft has pissed off a lot of hackers based on their monopolizing behavior and overcharging for their products and thats why they get attacked the most. It's probably not too far into the distant future that Mac's will one day get attacked just as much when they take over a lot of market share from Windows.

ocabj
12-08-2009, 7:28 AM
The truth about macs

Macs are more vulnerable to getting hacked than a Windows pc. The reason for that is the fact that the Mac OS has wayyyy more coding in it than Windows and has a lot more room for flaws, but really what would you rather make a virus for a couple million Macs or a virus which could attack billions of Windows pcs? So theirs your answer, if Macs every catch on, every is screwed. There are also quite a few viruses for macs out right now and all of them are the worst kind possible.

First off, why are you correlating 'hacking' to viruses? A computer getting a virus isn't the same thing as getting hacked.

Second off, a Mac isn't more vulnerable to getting hacked because it has more 'coding'. What does more coding mean, anyway?

Out of the box, a Mac is less vulnerable to getting hacked because it doesn't run open services by default like Windows does. OS X ships with services like sshd, proftpd, httpd (apache), afs, etc, but none of it is enabled by default. Compare to Windows which will have the smb and rpc ports open out of the box (139 and 445, respectively).

As far as the OS itself, how do you know if OS X or Windows has "more coding"? Have you seen the source code for either Windows 7 or OS X? I haven't. And I'm sure you're not going to find anyone else who has seen both, either. So I'm not sure how you can even make a comparison of the kernels between the two.

As far a viruses, yes there are viruses for Macs. And your ability to get infected is about the same as Windows. But getting infected by a virus is the fault of the user, not because of the computer. I never run anti-virus software on any Windows workstation because I use common sense: keep the OS up to date with all security patches, run local firewall rules to block ports, don't open attachments from unknown sources.

Oh, and the day we see more successful worms/hacks/remote exploits of Mac OS X, I wouldn't be worried about OS X. I'd be worried about all the Linux, FreeBSD, Solaris, and other Unix servers out there because those boxes will be running the same types of services as OS X (i.e. apache httpd, openssh sshd).