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Mac Thread, Sophos Anti-Virus For MAC Home Edition [Free] in Technical; @ZeroHour "Sigh . . . exploits are used by viruses . . ." If a virus does not exist for ...
  1. #16
    AntonioRocco's Avatar
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    @ZeroHour

    "Sigh . . . exploits are used by viruses . . ."

    If a virus does not exist for the platform how can it use an exploit? Granted it only takes the desire and will to create a virus to use an exploit - if it exists. One day someone - with the required talent - will be cheesed off with Apple for long enough to bother to write one. Until that day comes you won't be protected until after the event. The point is there's been plenty of time for someone to do just that. Yet no-one has. Why? Is it too difficult? They can't be arsed? The platform is not popular enough to warrant an attack? Can't see it somehow. Apple have been high profile for at least the last 5-6 years. Everyone knows what an iPod, iPhone and iPad are. Interestingly in that same period of time you've seen arguably some of the most effective and far reaching Virus attacks for the Windows platform - Conflicker (still doing the rounds at some Corporate and Educational sites I support), BlasterWorm, LoveSan, WelcherWorm etc. For OSX? Nothing.

    "Just because there have been no major uses yet the belief that osx is immune is silly considering exploits that can be used exist"

    Agreed. However I've not said the platform is immune. Eventually someone will have a go and when that day comes it will be news. If anything I doubt if Apple would try to deny it. In many ways it could be looked at as positive publicity. Apple being Apple will probably use it to their advantage.

    "Are these not reasonable sensible things to realise as IT professionals?"

    Agreed. But it's also sensible to look at the pros and cons of the platform and come to an informed decision. My informed decision based on what I know is - save some money because I don't need it. It's true that no modern OS is completely secure although I happen to think a lot depends on who's using it. If you're going to browse silly sites and consistently use P2P Software then you're going to get all the trouble you're asking for.

    My 2p.

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)

  2. #17
    salan's Avatar
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    Whilst I generally agree about Macs (and unix etc), not being at a risk level that needs looking at, I always recomend our Mac users to have AV as they passUSB sticks from them to windows machines at work.
    In fact we had the Conficker Virus last summer and that came in from a mac users pen.The person's partner concerned used the pen at uni.
    So I ask all staff to be responsible and use up to date AV at home regardless of the machine.
    Alan

  3. #18

    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AntonioRocco View Post
    If a virus does not exist for the platform how can it use an exploit? Granted it only takes the desire and will to create a virus to use an exploit - if it exists. One day someone - with the required talent - will be cheesed off with Apple for long enough to bother to write one. Until that day comes you won't be protected until after the event. The point is there's been plenty of time for someone to do just that. Yet no-one has. Why? Is it too difficult? They can't be arsed? The platform is not popular enough to warrant an attack? Can't see it somehow. Apple have been high profile for at least the last 5-6 years. Everyone knows what an iPod, iPhone and iPad are. Interestingly in that same period of time you've seen arguably some of the most effective and far reaching Virus attacks for the Windows platform - Conflicker (still doing the rounds at some Corporate and Educational sites I support), BlasterWorm, LoveSan, WelcherWorm etc. For OSX? Nothing.
    Those are worms not viruses if we are getting strict about the definitions. In strict terms I am still trying to find a proper *virus* that was released as the VAST majority I find recently are trojans/worms/malware/spyware and not true viruses. In fact I am not sure what true virus is out that affects windows 7.
    Also although idevices are popular Macs share is still only about 5-7% worldwide and it has not increased vast amounts in recent years, the idevices have. Apple do say they are shipping more but so are others.

    Agreed. However I've not said the platform is immune. Eventually someone will have a go and when that day comes it will be news. If anything I doubt if Apple would try to deny it. In many ways it could be looked at as positive publicity. Apple being Apple will probably use it to their advantage.
    Apple have traditionally been very very very slow to post exploits etc so I would be very surprised they would admit it half as fast as IT pro's would like. Apple would only try and spin it when it was in the mass media.

    Agreed. But it's also sensible to look at the pros and cons of the platform and come to an informed decision. My informed decision based on what I know is - save some money because I don't need it. It's true that no modern OS is completely secure although I happen to think a lot depends on who's using it. If you're going to browse silly sites and consistently use P2P Software then you're going to get all the trouble you're asking for.
    Like home users have a tendency to do? tbh n enterprise terms there is a huge amount that can be done to protect windows from various malicious software using SEP etc and working with whitelisted apps only. That prevents the issue occurring for the vast majority of malware as it simply wont be run other which negates AV then too but we still have AV in case. For example some of the xp share exploit worms were automatically prevented by having an AV definition that came out miles before the patch did. I know sophos cant protect you 100% as they never know whats round the corner but that fact is true on windows as well but at least you have a chance it will get updated with protection quickly.

  4. #19
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    We can argue about the mechanics of this all day but it still doesn't change the fact that there's not one single "virus" been written for Mac OS X and therefore anti-virus software is not needed on a Mac at this time. It doesn't matter which way Symantec or Sophos or whoever try to wash it, it's just FUD from their marketing teams trying desperately to sell you a product you don't need.

    The excuse that I should purchase anti-virus software for the Mac's because I might infect a Windows PC from a pen drive or try and make out that I'm not a conscientious user if don't - oh please, that's just plain ludicrous and a tactic that will most certainly cost me serious and unnecessary money, and lets face it if the Windows machines on my network are properly patched with their latest anti-virus patches installed this is a mute subject. Oh no wait that's right you can't stop 100% of Windows viruses FUD FUD FUD lol.
    Last edited by mrweekender; 15th December 2010 at 01:10 PM.

  5. #20

    DaveP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrweekender View Post
    ...oh please, that's just plain ludicrous and a tactic that will most certainly cost me serious and unnecessary money,...
    This thread started as notification that Sophos for MAC would be free for the home user. So I guess you could say that it will NOT "most certainly cost you serious and unnecessary money" unless you are talking from the point of view of a user who would not qualify for the Sophos home discount?

  6. #21

    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    I was always told that Mac's didn't catch viruii

    Si

  7. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrweekender View Post
    The excuse that I should purchase anti-virus software for the Mac's because I might infect a Windows PC from a pen drive or try and make out that I'm not a conscientious user if don't - oh please, that's just plain ludicrous
    Well thats how ours came in. From an irrisponsible Mac user.
    Alan

  8. #23

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    I use anti virus ( Clam XAV ) but I like doing it this way as I don't want something constantly running in the background - if it gets infected, it gets infected and everything is backed up on another partition so will just re install, update and back to where I was so not really a big issue for me to be honest.

    Run a scan once a week ( I know people are going to say yeah thats not enough, it has to run constantly etc etc )

    I don't want it making my hard drive etc working / running all the time.

    It's the whole security vs usability arguement - as long as it is used sensibly within reason then it should be fine but that doesn't stop the vulnrabilities being there - hence software updater for security patches ??

    As above - let me re iterate ref software updater and security updates
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 15th December 2010 at 08:05 PM.

  9. #24
    AntonioRocco's Avatar
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    @salan

    "Well thats how ours came in. From an irrisponsible Mac user"

    Are you saying it's the mac that's made the user irresponsible? Or is it more likely it's the user who is irresponsible? If the Virus, Worm - whatever you want to call it - was introduced to your network on a pen drive then whatever you've installed to defend against this did not work or was not good enough. If it was a brand new virus it would not have mattered where it came from - mac or PC. You'd have been infected either way.

    The real point here is whatever the Virus was it did not affect the mac. Why bother spending time, money or effort on protecting something that needs no defence just yet.

    The comment about IT Companies not readily admitting to exploits is a valid one. Apple are no different from anyone else in that respect. Microsoft have to be more transparent because almost all the exploits out there target their platform. Why? Is it because they're popular? Perhaps it's because they're not popular? Maybe they're just easier to exploit? An easy target even? I would argue those reasons apply to Apple equally as well. Perhaps more so? So where are the OSX Specific Viruses, Trojan Horses and Worms? If you know of any - name them. Let's look them up and see what they do exactly.

    @DaveP

    It's inevitable this thread will generate debate of this sort regardless of whether the software is free or not.

    Antonio Rocco (ACSA)
    Last edited by AntonioRocco; 15th December 2010 at 06:52 PM.

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrweekender View Post
    Mac OS X does not need anti-virus software - period. Unless you're downloading pirated software, in which case tough luck.
    It doesn't always have to be pirated; you could just be unfortunate enough to download, what looks to be, legitimate software:


    Also Sophos lists several pages of Mac malware (stuff you probably don't want on your Apple computer):
    Sophos website search

    I think Anti-Virus (OK, Anti-Trojan - for the present, who really knows what's round the corner?) software for Mac should just be seen as an increased level of protection that a lot of people do want (for the peace of mind) so they feel safe, especially in a mixed operating system environment.

    Personally, if I was in charge of a network, I would like the choice (sort of take it or leave it) of a security product for every operating system on that network. I would welcome a vendor who recognises the potential for a security weakness (however slight, even if it is just a Mac user copying files to a Windows server's share) and takes the responsibility to provide a comprehensive, multi-tiered security solution that I can pick and choose from.

    The way I see it: Windows didn't have viruses at one point. Firefox didn't have the same number of issues that Internet Explorer was having at the same time. As their respective popularity grew the profiteers moved in. The Mac's popularity is growing and will most likely attract the attention of the wrong sort of people when they know they'll get a return on any "investment" they decide to make.

    TTFN.


    P.S. Written on a Mac )
    Last edited by ZeroHour; 18th December 2010 at 12:00 AM. Reason: Fixing video embed

  11. Thanks to PcDude from:

    ZeroHour (17th December 2010)

  12. #26


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    Quote Originally Posted by PcDude View Post
    Windows didn't have viruses at one point.
    At one point the Greek's didn't have wooden horses sneaking past the gates at Troy.

    User education is the key here. It doesn't matter what operating system you have - don't download random apps from random websites!

  13. #27

    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PcDude View Post
    It doesn't always have to be pirated; you could just be unfortunate enough to download, what looks to be, legitimate software:
    YouTube - Apple Mac malware: caught on camera

    Also Sophos lists several pages of Mac malware (stuff you probably don't want on your Apple computer):
    Sophos website search

    I think Anti-Virus (OK, Anti-Trojan - for the present, who really knows what's round the corner?) software for Mac should just be seen as an increased level of protection that a lot of people do want (for the peace of mind) so they feel safe, especially in a mixed operating system environment.

    Personally, if I was in charge of a network, I would like the choice (sort of take it or leave it) of a security product for every operating system on that network. I would welcome a vendor who recognises the potential for a security weakness (however slight, even if it is just a Mac user copying files to a Windows server's share) and takes the responsibility to provide a comprehensive, multi-tiered security solution that I can pick and choose from.

    The way I see it: Windows didn't have viruses at one point. Firefox didn't have the same number of issues that Internet Explorer was having at the same time. As their respective popularity grew the profiteers moved in. The Mac's popularity is growing and will most likely attract the attention of the wrong sort of people when they know they'll get a return on any "investment" they decide to make.

    TTFN.


    P.S. Written on a Mac )
    Thank you, rep++

  14. #28

    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    I think the point of the video was to show that a site to the noob would look legit and professional. We are all mostly IT professionals, we know the risks etc, where AV for mac comes in to its own is for the less knowledgable user that may download innocently where we wouldnt. The bad malicious software exists for all OS's and having protection for those less aware is not a bad thing even if you feel it wouldnt be a problem for yourself, they simply find it harder to recognise the signs.
    So basically yes I think some level of automated protection is good for those who dont have a keen interest in following the latest evil tricks of the net, these problems exist for both windows and mac osx and thats what the video tries to highlight. Lets face it its free for home users too so its not like it has a real cost either.

  15. #29

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    I don't understand the market share argument. Most IT people tend to think the of the mac as a premium brand of laptops. This usually goes hand in hand with people with lots of money. If this is the case and Apple take an age to release updates for exploits (and I know they do, far too long if you ask me) then why would Virus creators not want to exploit those?

    Think about it for a sec before dismissing what I just wrote.

    You have a potentially vulnerable machine (with no AV detection and the idea of non required) for what could be a lengthy period unless the user is savvy enough to detect something fishy. This could allow your virus or other malicious software to do it's dirty work for quite a while.

    And if it's a virus or something that steals ID or whatever then if you are thinking of the type of user using the machine, you could potentially have a disabled cash cow just stranded waiting to be milked for all its worth.

    As a virus writer why wouldn't you want to at least try?

    Discuss.

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