Viruses for OS X?

in macOS edited January 2014
As far as I know, there isnt a single virus for OS X. Thats gotta be some kind of record for an OS... and its been more than a year!

How easy is it to make a virus for OS X? Knowing that all core parts of the OS are safely behind a rutheless user permission system, it must be pretty hard.


  • Reply 1 of 25
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    should I take the silence towards this subject as a confirmation that there are no viruses for OS X?
  • Reply 2 of 25
    odinn5odinn5 Posts: 107member
    Don't look at me I am virus free.

    Personally I hate it when I post a topic and no one responds back. Not to say that reading requires a reply but it is nice to see someone take in intrest and making you a part of the community.

  • Reply 3 of 25
    defiantdefiant Posts: 4,876member
    [quote]Originally posted by Odinn5:

    <strong>Don't look at me I am virus free. </strong><hr></blockquote>

    I like that one !

    As far as I know too, there isn't a single one, except for those security holes in IE.
  • Reply 4 of 25
    emaneman Posts: 7,204member
    How many viruses have OS 9 and below had?
  • Reply 5 of 25
    [quote]Originally posted by EmAn:

    <strong>How many viruses have OS 9 and below had?</strong><hr></blockquote>Something in the 30s... I can't recall exactly. Still, that's a far cry from the probably hundreds (thousands?) of viruses and trojans for Windows.

    [ 04-28-2002: Message edited by: starfleetX ]</p>
  • Reply 6 of 25
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    McAffee has a databse of over 50,000 viruses <a href=""; target="_blank"></a>; and I bet 99.9% of them are for Winblows.

    I think 4-5 viruses for MacOS 9 is a pretty good ratio for us, wouldnt ya say? (4-5 were the really serious ones...)
  • Reply 7 of 25
    alfredhalfredh Posts: 29member
    Viruses will be rare.

    Its the vulnerabilities that will matter more.

    Most of these are irrelevant won't affect the home user as all services are disabled by default.
  • Reply 8 of 25
    mithrasmithras Posts: 165member
    Are you offering to help out the platform by writing one, Zo?

    I imagine that the Office Macro viruses can still infect you in Office v.X, but since Microsoft wisened up to the concept of security, those have come under control. I remember, when was that, around 96-97 or so, the height of the macro viruses, when it was virtually impossible to open a Word document that *wasn't* infected?

    It's remarkable that there hasn't been one yet, considering how trivial it would be to make some silly applescript virus... not that I'm suggesting the idea!

    I guess the thing is that there are so few OS X users in absolute terms, that even mailing yourself out to everyone in an OS X user's Address Book might not yield enough other OS X users to allow the infection to gain critical mass.
  • Reply 9 of 25
    zozo Posts: 3,115member
    Mithras, I wouldnt even have a clue as to where to start to create a virus for OS X. The last time I did some programming was in LOGO with my Commodore64.

    But then again, I guess there could be some ego based incentive to be the FIRST person to create an OS X virus. If its not going to be a hacker or user, it'll be some anti-virus maker so as to boost sales (or create a market seeing that OS X doesnt have any).

    BTW, Virex is laughable... What in the HELL did they do to the OS X version? Why even bother install it if it doesnt automatically scan anything?? My local store is gonna be getting a box to the head tomorrow. Does Norton actually SCAN Aanything either? If it does, Im trading Virex in for it.
  • Reply 10 of 25
    [quote]Originally posted by Mithras:

    <strong>Are you offering to help out the platform by writing one, Zo?

    I imagine that the Office Macro viruses can still infect you in Office v.X, </strong><hr></blockquote>I had some PC-based Office macro viruses on my pwerbook for years, and they didn't spread at all...
  • Reply 11 of 25
    r. h.r. h. Posts: 56member
    If anyone is interested in the history of viruses on the Macintosh, you might consider downloading an old utility called <a href=""; target="_blank">Disinfectant</a>, which was last updated in July of 1997. It's not very practical as a virus catcher anymore, since the developer stopped maintaining it shortly after the introduction of the infamous Word and Excel macro viruses, (I don't blame him a bit, either; it ain't easy work, cleaning up after Microsoft!) but the application contains very detailed documentation of most of those thirty-odd viruses written on the Macintosh platform.

    A side note: You'll have to actually boot into MacOS 9 to run Disinfectant; it won't run in Classic.
  • Reply 12 of 25
    rick1138rick1138 Posts: 938member
    There are approxiamately 50,000 viruses for Windows and around 400 for the old Mac OS.I did hear of an OS X virus a few months ago but I don't remember where.And by the way,of those 400 viruses for Mac more than half were associated with either IE or Outlook Express.
  • Reply 13 of 25
    x704x704 Posts: 276member
    [quote]Originally posted by Rick1138:

    <strong>And by the way,of those 400 viruses for Mac more than half were associated with either IE or Outlook Express.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    And the other half were Office related <img src="graemlins/lol.gif" border="0" alt="[Laughing]" />
  • Reply 14 of 25
    [quote]Originally posted by ZO:

    <strong>Does Norton actually SCAN Aanything either? If it does, Im trading Virex in for it.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    um, i just got the new norton antivirus and i have no idea what it does. haha! with no known X viruses, there's probably nothing to scan. it was probably a waste of money for now, but i didnt wanna get screwed later.
  • Reply 15 of 25
    The field is wide open for some bad-ass haXXo4r to take down the almighty OS X with a virus.

    I personally don't even bother with anti-virus software for OS X...maybe when more Mac users have adopted it, but for now it's not very likely, at least, not until that bad-ass haXXo4r shows up.
  • Reply 16 of 25
    serranoserrano Posts: 1,806member
    eh, wasn't someone working on a rootkit for X ?
  • Reply 17 of 25
    pevepeve Posts: 518member
    at home?

    i didn't install anti-virus apps for years.

    at work?

    i don't have anti-virus installed.

    i give a shit about them win-boxes in my network.

    and never had big problems with mac-virus'.

    i only had 3 or 4.

    but i would say there are more then 40000 virus' that are critical for win-users.

    i keep a good backup.
  • Reply 18 of 25
    jdradenjdraden Posts: 89member
    people write viruses so they will spread to as many computers as possible. Linux probably has few viruses also, the focus of a virus-writer is only going to be Windows since that is the overwhelmingly more popular OS.
  • Reply 19 of 25
    chucksterchuckster Posts: 56member
    Haven't heard of any OS X viruses, but I had to vent just a bit about the "fun" experience I had a couple of weeks back with a Windows NT based PC at work. A short summary:

    \t-PC running NT on a university network

    \t-Computer starts acting weird (slow, jumpy)

    \t-Hard drive (40 GB) suddenly full (?!)

    \t-Can't find new (35+ GB worth) files

    \t-Realize network port has been turned off by Network security because of huge traffic to machine (enough to slow the whole university down for 14+ hours I found out later)

    \t-Find out that someone hacked into machine, installed something like Backorifice (sp?) or something, turned it into an FTP server, and was serving pirated first run movies to the world

    \t-Thankfully, they were nice enough to leave our data alone

    \t-I get to reformat and reinstall everything...
  • Reply 20 of 25
    I got the 666 virus a few years back, it installed an init that ran at system startup, and then infected all apps that was started by the system. The virus showed itself by delaying the startup time of each application by an incrementing number of seconds for each app launched, and thereby freezing the system during that time. By the time I understood what had happened, Norton Antivirus took about 30 seconds to start..

    It was a weird virus that I don't really remember how I received. Probably from running an infected app.

    And that was in OS 8.x then...
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