"adware/spyware" Is this a problem on Macs?

Posted:
in Mac Software edited January 2014
I was reading the announcement of AOL's software to include anti-adware/spyware software to combat sneaky marketing companies as they try to track peoples' internet habits. I haven't heard anything about these being a problem on the Mac. Has anyone else? Is this just a Windows problem? Thanks



Mark
«13

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    nebrienebrie Posts: 483member
    Its a windows problem, wide open windows problem.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    Just a Windows problem. A serious problem, at that. A problem so big I was close to switching a frind to Mac just because of that.



    I don't ever think there are *any* evil titles like that for Mac.
  • Reply 3 of 50
    mrmistermrmister Posts: 1,095member
    LimeWire now installs LimeShop on the Mac, and it lurks around as a background process--so watch out for them.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    It's so easy to spot that stuff though, and apps can't install themselves without notifying the user in some form I believe. The only spyware that does really proliferate on Macs, just like everywhere else, are browser cookies. You can control that too fairly well, depending a bit on which browser you choose. Some have more control than others over that stuff.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    Thanks for the info. That's a relief off my mind. Can't understand why anyone would want to bother with Windows anymore.
  • Reply 6 of 50
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    there IS spyware for the mac

    www.securitymac.com
  • Reply 7 of 50
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Paul

    there IS spyware for the mac

    www.securitymac.com




    Paul, that link isn't working.



    BuonRotto, cookies aren't spyware. They're just misunderstood.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    paulpaul Posts: 5,278member
    hah my bad, brain fart...



    the correct link is



    www.securemac.com



    relevant bits are in the right hand column...
  • Reply 9 of 50
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Yes, as long as open-source software with huge numbers of anonymous contributors can be built for the Mac, spyware is a certainty. Nowhere on the scale of Windows, but still... Of course some people may continue to deny it.



    The OpenSSL example at the end of that thread is a good example. As you may know, Theo de Raadt is one of the most paranoid OS developers out there. For a trojan-horse to infiltrate the OpenSSL source tarball AND get uploaded to the official OpenBSD FTP server speaks volumes about how pervasive the problem can be.
  • Reply 10 of 50
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eugene

    Yes, as long as open-source software with huge numbers of anonymous contributors can be built for the Mac, spyware is a certainty. Nowhere on the scale of Windows, but still... Of course some people may continue to deny it.



    The OpenSSL example at the end of that thread is a good example. As you may know, Theo de Raadt is one of the most paranoid OS developers out there. For a trojan-horse to infiltrate the OpenSSL source tarball AND get uploaded to the official OpenBSD FTP server speaks volumes about how pervasive the problem can be.




    The question the original poster asked, Eugene, was "Is this a problem on Macs?" NOT "Could it be a problem on Macs?" Of course the potential is there. This isn't the NBA draft, so potential means not a whole lot.



    Of course, you're going to continue to pretend like you know what you're talking about and avoid answering the questions that are asked. I think we know one another too well...
  • Reply 11 of 50
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by torifile

    The question the original poster asked, Eugene, was "Is this a problem on Macs?" NOT "Could it be a problem on Macs?" Of course the potential is there. This isn't the NBA draft, so potential means not a whole lot.



    Of course, you're going to continue to pretend like you know what you're talking about and avoid answering the questions that are asked. I think we know one another too well...




    Is OpenSSL installed on your computer?



    "Potential" is the problem, because spyware doesn't just announce itself.



    "Hi, I'm spyware! Just letting you know!"
  • Reply 12 of 50
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    From the old thead, you said:
    Quote:

    In case you haven't noticed, Mac's don't have spyware.



    Do they or do they not have spyware? I already showed you an instance of a highly-trusted software distribution carrying a Trojan Horse which created network connections to a remote client.
  • Reply 13 of 50
    jginsbujginsbu Posts: 135member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Paul

    hah my bad, brain fart...





    Please! Cast off those vulgar words! Call it a "blain gritch" instead!
  • Reply 14 of 50
    ebbyebby Posts: 3,110member
    America's Army has Spyware called Punkbuster and It is out for the mac. I have not installed it but I read comments about it and the EULA.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    buonrottobuonrotto Posts: 6,368member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by torifile

    BuonRotto, cookies aren't spyware. They're just misunderstood.



    I didn't mean to say they were necessarily spyware, just that they're the closest thing to it when they're abused on the vast majority of Macs.



    On the main subject, theory and practice are two different things, BTW. Spyware isn't a problem on the platform which isn't to say it can't be done. The weakest point of attack for any adware, spyware, virii ,worms, etc is the user. It's easier to fool the user than it is to attack a system's security holes directly, no matter the platform. That said, I've had my fair share of unauthorized adware installed on my work PC without me doing anything to allow it (except browsing the web, and no, I didn't click any ads or unknown links ).
  • Reply 16 of 50
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Or the Microsoft Office apps which slip a hidden unique ID in your documents along with the name of the author of the document?



    Example:



    I created a new document in Word.

    I wrote "Original contents in document."

    I saved the file as spyware.doc.

    I opened it again.

    I deleted the line "Original contents in document."

    I replaced it with "I deleted some stuff."

    I saved it again.



    I ran the document through the unix tool strings.



    Code:


    [18] [email protected]:~> strings spyware.doc

    jbjbq

    I deleted some stuff.

    Original contents in document

    Eugene Chan

    Normal

    Eugene Chan

    Microsoft Word 10.1

    Original contents in document

    Title

    _PID_LINKBASE

    Microsoft Word Document

    NB6W

    Word.Document.8



  • Reply 17 of 50
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eugene

    Is OpenSSL installed on your computer?



    "Potential" is the problem, because spyware doesn't just announce itself.



    "Hi, I'm spyware! Just letting you know!"




    OpenSSL is spyware?!? Gimme a break, Eugene. You're obfuscating the issue. There's a difference between spyware and security vulnerabilities.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    torifiletorifile Posts: 4,024member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Eugene

    Or the Microsoft Office apps which slip a hidden unique ID in your documents along with the name of the author of the document?



    Example:



    I created a new document in Word.

    I wrote "Original contents in document."

    I saved the file as spyware.doc.

    I opened it again.

    I deleted the line "Original contents in document."

    I replaced it with "I deleted some stuff."

    I saved it again.



    I ran the document through the unix tool strings.



    Code:


    [18] [email protected]:~> strings spyware.doc

    jbjbq

    I deleted some stuff.

    Original contents in document

    Eugene Chan

    Normal

    Eugene Chan

    Microsoft Word 10.1

    Original contents in document

    Title

    _PID_LINKBASE

    Microsoft Word Document

    NB6W

    Word.Document.8







    How is that spyware? Where does this info get sent to and who's profiting from it? That's the point of spyware.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by torifile

    OpenSSL is spyware?!? Gimme a break, Eugene. You're obfuscating the issue. There's a difference between spyware and security vulnerabilities.



    You're saying a malicious Trojan Horse implanted into the source code that sends a remote mothership network packets isn't spyware? !!!



    Yes, OpenSSL was compromised by spyware, along with many other apps you may be unaware of.
  • Reply 20 of 50
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by torifile

    How is that spyware? Where does this info get sent to and who's profiting from it? That's the point of spyware.



    The unique ID's are trackable. If you distributed a document under the assumption of what you see is what you get, you're in bad shape, especially if you don't know it's also sending your personal info and stuff you *thought* you deleted.
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