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Apple now "encourages" antivirus use for Mac OS X

post #1 of 115
Thread Starter 
After years of jabbing Microsoft for the seeming need to run antivirus software on Windows, Apple has quietly posted its own recommendation for similar security with its own operating system.

The knowledge base article, posted roughly a week and a half ago, doesn't go so far as to say the software is necessary but still advocates "widespread use" of more than one antivirus package to minimize security risks.

By using more than one piece of security software, virus writers can't assume that there will be a particular security suite to bypass, Apple says. In Windows, more advanced viruses already know to look for certain defense suites and will mask themselves or even disable the protection to make their tasks easier.

Apple currently recommends Intego's VirusBarrier X5, McAfee's VirusScan for Mac, and Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus 11.

The posting isn't necessarily a reversal of opinions for Apple, though it does reflect an overall softening of its opinions. While one of the first "Get a Mac" TV spots in 2006 made fun of Windows' susceptibility to viruses and portrayed the Mac as near-immune, the current campaign doesn't mention this point. The company's current FAQ for curious switchers also simply says that Mac OS X "resists most viruses" and doesn't make any blanket statements.

At present, there isn't any immediate cause for a change in Apple strategy. Outside of proofs of concept, few instances exist of widely propagated viruses or other malicious code for the Mac.
post #2 of 115
Oh no...the legions of younger Mac zealots will now start bludgeoning their skulls with this news! And from Apple no less.
post #3 of 115
The other way of looking at it is that if you are going to use antivirus, you'd better use more than one, because none of them are proven to work at this point.
post #4 of 115
Microsoft provides a malicious software removal application that is manually ran and doesn't actively scan the system. At the same they sell OneCare (piece of junk) that does actively scan for viruses and other malware.

Apple should mimic Microsoft's efforts and come out with their own malware detection and removal software. There are some viruses and malware out there for the Mac but maybe not spreading out in the wild like in the Windows world. At least Apple could proactively work with research team and develop their own research team to plug holes in the system quicker.
post #5 of 115
The age of virus free Mac is coming to an end. And I cant believe that the workers at Apple store still tell potential customer that the Mac is virus free.

Well one thing that I wish if there is an antivirus for Mac is that it has a VERY SMALL FOOTPRINT, I won't want it to be a big CPU hog. I think Apple need to address into Mac security in the future, maybe after SL. I like the idea of sandboxing though. Since most spyware/adware/virus came from the internet, I think they need to make like a special folder where all stuffs that came from the internet will be placed there (even video streaming), it will be locked (so that the files cannot go anyway unless it resides in that fixed folder). This will make it easier to detect and delete the virus.
Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
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Apple is a hardware company, dont believe me? Read this Article!. For those who understand my message, help me spread this info to those who dont get it.
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post #6 of 115
I've been using Antivirus on my Mac for more than a year now for two reasons:

1. After years of Windows it is hard not to install one even on a Mac

2. Infected Windows machine on our university apartments network messing up my internet connection. Using AV helped me and our University IT department detect network attacks such as ARP poisoning.

You have no idea how many Windows machine are infected and trying to spread viruses to other computers on the network. Most people don't even bother with AV even though the University is giving them for free.
post #7 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple currently recommends Intego's VirusBarrier X5, McAfee's VirusScan for Mac, and Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus 11.

That's because that's about all there is for home use. Sophos is the only other I'm aware of and it's an Enterprise tool....
post #8 of 115
It's interesting how Apple are advocating the use of more than one AntiVirus application. I am a native Windows and PC user, although I am writing this from my new MacBook White(!), and Windows users are advised to only use one virus scanner at a time as multiple ones installed can disable one another!

Also, as a native Windows user, my PC, Windows Tablet, Mac mini, and MacBook all have virus scanning software - it gives me piece of mind that I am safe!
post #9 of 115
So could this mean that Apple has started receiving $$$ from Mcafee/Norton to start F*cking with the Mac users now. The only people that benefit from these viruses are these scumbags selling virus scams
post #10 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by bwhazel View Post

It's interesting how Apple are advocating the use of more than one AntiVirus application. I am a native Windows and PC user, although I am writing this from my new MacBook White(!), and Windows users are advised to only use one virus scanner at a time as multiple ones installed can disable one another!

Exactly.

Anyway, what the hell? I've not seen any news of new Mac viruses. Which means, there are still none.
post #11 of 115
Right at the end, Apple uses this stock caveat:

Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apples recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.

I would guess that this is all lawyer-instigated since even an implicit claim of invincibility might be used in the courts. This is mostly a legal CYA action IMHO.
post #12 of 115
That's it, I'm done with Apple, I'm going to switch to Mapple.
Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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Just say no to MacMall.  They don't honor their promotions and won't respond to customer inquiries.  There are better retailers out there.
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post #13 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by flowney View Post

Right at the end, Apple uses this stock caveat:

I would guess that this is all lawyer-instigated since even an implicit claim of invincibility might be used in the courts. This is mostly a legal CYA action IMHO.

I agree.

There are no shortages of bottom feeding trial lawyers looking for a meal at Apple's treasury.

Think of the liability, if Apple wasn't cautioning users about security and the steps they should consider, when someone finally cracks OSX, and OSX malware finally breaks into the wild.

This is just smart business.
post #14 of 115
Before people start talking about viruses on a Mac I think it's important for somebody to explain what a virus actually is. Wikipedia says, "a computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user."

There are different types of malware out there for OS X, but to the best of my knowledge it all uses some type of social engineering to get a user to actually type in their password and install it. That's not a virus, because viruses install and spread themselves without any sort of authentication. As far as I know there still is not one real Mac OS X virus.

I realize that when push comes to shove I'm just mincing words; any type of malicious software poses a threat to the average user. I also won't use the argument that Windows apologists use when they say it's the end user's fault for not being more tech savvy. Software should protect the user, not the other way around. However, it's not being honest to say there are Mac viruses out there. Yet.
post #15 of 115
All that matters to me is that they're hundreds of thousands of Viruses/malware/spyware all made for PCs which makes them not compatible with OS X, right now if your on a mac you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning that catching a virus, even if they where to come up with 10 thousand viruses for macs it will be nothing compare to all the crap that is out there
post #16 of 115
Quote:
By using more than one piece of security software, virus writers can't assume that there will be a particular security suite to bypass, Apple says.

So apple thinks it is a good idea for more than one security package to install kexts and screw with the kernel whenever i do something on the system?

Yea, i've cleaned up too many windows systems where people installed 2 or 3 AV packages, and they became non-functional.

One suite that isn't incompetent is enough. So that leaves.....zero options.
post #17 of 115
Why can't we deal with this as a network problem first and a PC problem second. If the network can track down rogue PCs then you troubleshoot the PC.

Bought an Acer Aspire One since Apple doesn't care about that "nascent" market; first thing I had to do to make it usuable is remove the virus protection. Insane, I know... but proper network habits are the best protection. Second is being able to scan the system from a thumbdrive if you suspect a problem...
post #18 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by maverick18x View Post

Before people start talking about viruses on a Mac I think it's important for somebody to explain what a virus actually is. Wikipedia says, "a computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user.".

Not that I disagree with that definition, but can we all stop using wikipedia as a source? I mean, there's absolutely no way to verify that the content was written by someone with any knowledge!
post #19 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

That's it, I'm done with Apple, I'm going to switch to Mapple.

haha, just watched it on DVR. Too funny

Funny, there's the Green-Apple commercial during the show as well.
post #20 of 115
Until viruses start being confirmed as going around, I'm not going to drop a dime on antivirus software which I think is a conspiracy.
post #21 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

That's it, I'm done with Apple, I'm going to switch to Mapple.

LOL, totally agree! Don't forget to pick up your myPhonies while you're there as well!
post #22 of 115
1st. It is an old article as indicated at the top of the page "Old Article: 4454" that has been recently modified (likely to mention the latest versions of the AV software). I recall reading that article ages ago (when I say ages I mean years).

2nd. As I understand it, Apple is recommending the use of different AV programs so not everybody ends up using the same AV and not that users should use several AVs on the same machine.
post #23 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by fraklinc View Post

So could this mean that Apple has started receiving $$$ from Mcafee/Norton to start F*cking with the Mac users now. The only people that benefit from these viruses are these scumbags selling virus scams

Last summer Macworld, which of course is supported by advertising from software manufacturers, including Norton, McAfee, etc., gave 4 1/2 stars to Norton 11:

Norton AntiVirus 11 is the obvious choice for protecting your Mac in a mixed Windows-Mac environment, and a great option for anyone who is looking for a set it and forget it antivirus program. Upgrading from previous versions is worth the price for the scanning improvements alone.
post #24 of 115
They have yet to tell their staff. I was in the Apple Store 2 days ago and a lady asked for an AV program for her Mac and the shop assistant told her not to bother.
post #25 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by bdkennedy1 View Post

Until viruses start being confirmed as going around, I'm not going to drop a dime on antivirus software which I think is a conspiracy.

The only virus on the Mac is software from Symantec. It takes up 20-30% of your CPU and is vulnerable to hacks.
post #26 of 115
There hasn't been a real virus alert yet, I wouldn't worry. Apple just doesn't wanna get sued if someone tried to make the case. Its all for Legal Stuff, nothing official.
Apple had me at scrolling
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Apple had me at scrolling
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post #27 of 115
There is also Clam AV as an alternative. It is open source and there is a MacOS X GUI available, though it is still using the old brushed metal appearance.

http://www.clamxav.com/

For those of you happy with the command line, you can get through MacPorts and Fink.

Until a real Mac virus is found, this helps the ecosystem and also helps make sure you don't have PC viruses. While these viruses may not affect the Mac, your Mac can turn into a carrier if you are plugging into various networks. Essentially you don't get harmed but the networks you connect with might.
post #28 of 115
Quote:
Until viruses start being confirmed as going around, I'm not going to drop a dime on antivirus software which I think is a conspiracy.

I've been using a Mac since it's beginning and I agree viruses have never even been a thought, but as a product gets more popular it becomes a target. I'm not saying I'm going to load down my machine with multiple programs like some Windows' user friends of mine, still waiting for a virus to appear and then deal with it? It's better to a have some reassurance with one of the quoted products in the article (or some other) and not concern yourself.
post #29 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

That's it, I'm done with Apple, I'm going to switch to Mapple.

They ran the gamut of Apple jokes in that Simpsons episode. Here is the clip...
http://gizmodo.com/5100217/the-simps...he-way-at-once
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #30 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacWheels View Post

I've been using a Mac since it's beginning and I agree viruses have never even been a thought, but as a product gets more popular it becomes a target.

While I agree that having a higher marketshare makes you more of a target, I disagree with the logic that OS X has been targeted like Windows because of a lower marketshare. For starters, pre-OS X Macs had less marketshare but more viruses. Also, since Macs are renowned for being so overpriced, wouldn't it behooved nefarious SW developers to target machines that are typically bought by people with more money and who apparently are so arrogant that they brag about not needing virus protection software?
Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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Dick Applebaum on whether the iPad is a personal computer: "BTW, I am posting this from my iPad pc while sitting on the throne... personal enough for you?"
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post #31 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by razorpit View Post

That's it, I'm done with Apple, I'm going to switch to Mapple.

I think that they have MyPhones and MyPods on sale at the Mapple store. If you see Steve Mobs at the Brainiac bar, say "Hi" for me.

And here's the full version:
http://www.dailymotion.com/legalmal/video/12741542
post #32 of 115
Does this have anything to do with the fact that Macs can run Windows now?

I will never have Windows on my Mac - I assume that makes me safer from viruses?
post #33 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacWheels View Post

I've been using a Mac since it's beginning and I agree viruses have never even been a thought, but as a product gets more popular it becomes a target. ...

If you have used Macs since the beginning, then viruses were most certainly an issue. There were something like 26 Mac-specific viruses. They were not the diabolic creations that Windows viruses became, but they were most certainly a pain to deal with if you did not have protection.

As for your acceptance of the marketshare excuse for virus infections, there is absolutely no evidence that marketshare has anything to do with the vulnerability of an operating system to viruses. In fact, there are contrary examples.
post #34 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by ktappe View Post

That's because that's about all there is for home use. Sophos is the only other I'm aware of and it's an Enterprise tool....

This one is free and works just fine: http://www.iantivirus.com
Switching From Windows on Nov. 30th 2007
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MacBook Pro 13" 2011
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Switching From Windows on Nov. 30th 2007
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MacBook Pro 13" 2011
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post #35 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by cameronj View Post

Not that I disagree with that definition, but can we all stop using wikipedia as a source? I mean, there's absolutely no way to verify that the content was written by someone with any knowledge!

1) Wikipedia articles have citations that you can follow up on.

2) It's impossible to verify that any content was created by a knowledgeable person. It is the user's responsibility to check multiple sources and decide for himself which ones, if any, are reputable.

Anyway, the sky is not falling and it likely will never be. All Apple has to do is keep the number of services with root privileges down to a minimum, and keep those services exploit free.
post #36 of 115
I back up my home folder every day and my entire computer every week ... I think this is more important than anti-virus software because it protects not only against viruses but against theft, drops, spills, hardware failure, and user error.

I manage the equipment for a web development company and I install Norton Anti-Virus on their Macs mainly as a CYA measure. After ten years I've never seen a virus there, but I've received plenty of trouble tickets about the AV software slowing the computers down, displaying strange errors, or otherwise disrupting peoples' work.

On my own Macs, I don't run any AV software and I don't expect to unless things change significantly.
post #37 of 115
Seems obvious to me that Apple is doing this for 2 reasons, both of them legal in nature.

First, it encourages Mac users not to be instrumental in inadvertently passing along Windows viruses in attachments, which does happen. And secondly, to reduce any legal liability Apple's ads will have opened them up to once an actual OS X virus does surface and damages the data of some unsuspecting users.

You don't have to think very hard to come up with scenarios where either of those situations could lead to large numbers of users trying to sue Apple.
post #38 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by elroth View Post

Does this have anything to do with the fact that Macs can run Windows now?

I will never have Windows on my Mac - I assume that makes me safer from viruses?

If you run Windows on a Mac, either by booting directly into Windows or running it on top of the Mac OS via Parallels or Fusion, the worst that can happen is that your Windows environment could be infected. My understanding is that the Windows environment is naturally quarantined.

For my purposes, Parallels works great because my entire Windows installation is contained in a single Mac file that I can back up along with the rest of my files. If I should happen to get a virus in Windows, I can just restore yesterday's backup and it's gone. In fact, I think that avoiding the whole Windows reinstallation ordeal might be the best thing about running it on a Mac.
post #39 of 115
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr. Me View Post

As for your acceptance of the marketshare excuse for virus infections, there is absolutely no evidence that marketshare has anything to do with the vulnerability of an operating system to viruses. In fact, there are contrary examples.

Absolutely correct! In fact, I got so tired of repeating the evidence against the market share virus argument that I gathered it all in one long article to point people to when this annoying assumption comes up. (Link here, assuming nobody minds me pimping my blog like that. )
post #40 of 115
OK kiddies. Let's review:

HotWheels sez: "The age of virus free Mac is coming to an end. And I cant believe that the workers at Apple store still tell potential customer that the Mac is virus free."

The Mac remains 100% virus free. So bite me.

However, the Mac is not 100% malware free. If you don't know the distinction between 'malware' and 'virus' then go do some homework and look it up. Wikipedia is your pal.

And what big nasty evil, 'the end is nigh!' malware does the Mac have? I keep track of this stuff over at my Mac-Security blog:

1) Trojan OSX.RSPlug.A (which has a couple variants and is inert on Mac OS X Server)

2) Trojan OSX.Lamzev.A

There are two FREEWARE options for killing off these TWO (and only two) malware:

A) ClamXav
B) PC Tools iAnti-Virus

The makers of MacScan also provide a FREEWARE detection and removal tool for OSX.RSPlug.A.

Both of these Trojans rely on wetware error for their installation, aka 'social engineering'. The safe thing to do is work in a 'Standard' account in Mac OS X (NOT an Administrator account) and never install anything you have not verified to be legitimate software.

That's TWO (2) malware for Mac, the end. Run and hide. Take cover. We're under attack. We're all gonna die. zzzzzzz
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