May 5, 2006 4:54 PM PDT

McAfee bites into Apple security

McAfee has launched a Mac security product, saying that Apple Computer's OS X is "just as vulnerable" as other operating systems are to targeted attacks.

The antivirus vendor introduced McAfee VirusScan for Mactel on Friday. To back up its statement, McAfee cited the release in March of a patch that fixed 20 vulnerabilities in OS X. A proof-of-concept worm that targeted the OS X platform was also discovered earlier this year.

Many flaws have been discovered in Microsoft products over the same period.

McAfee admitted that Mac users were at "no significant risk" at the moment. But the security vendor also said that if the OS X user base expands, thanks to the popularity of iPod media player and its new range of Intel-powered Macs, then Apple's software will become a more tempting target for organized criminals.

"Historically, Microsoft has been targeted because it has had dominant market share. As there are more Apple users (in the future), more threats will appear," Sal Viveros, a security expert at McAfee, told ZDNet UK.

"At this point, there is very little research (into OS X vulnerabilities) and very few people trying to exploit the OS. You have a lot more people trying to find vulnerabilities in Windows at the moment, but we believe that as more people put the time into finding vulnerabilities in Apple OSes, they will become just as vulnerable as any other OS," Viveros added.

Some Apple users have reacted angrily in the past to suggestions that the Mac platform is becoming less secure, pointing out that Microsoft regularly releases critical patches.

But Secunia said that it also believes that hackers are likely to focus more resources on finding vulnerabilities in Mac OS X.

"Windows still has a much larger user base than Mac, and is therefore much more interesting to find vulnerabilities in," a representative for the security monitoring company said. "However, the interest in finding vulnerabilities will increase if the popularity of Mac systems grows. We have seen the same increase in discovered vulnerabilities in the Mozilla and Firefox browsers as they increased in popularity."

Secunia added that Mac operating systems are far less at risk than Windows systems are when it comes to blanket attacks, but said they were just as vulnerable to targeted attacks.

"For large-scale attacks, the risk seems smaller than other operating systems, considering the user-base size. However, it is just as prone to small and direct attacks as other OSes," the company's representative said.

Mac OS X has so far proven to carry far fewer security problems for users than its more popular rival. Apple has argued that this is partly due to its code base being inherently more secure than that of Microsoft's Windows. BSD, the Unix variant at the heart of OS X, was designed from the outset to be a networked, multiuser system with levels of security, while Windows comes from a tradition of single-user, non-networked systems.

In addition, some experts have argued that because OpenBSD is open source, it has been scrutinized by more people than Windows.

Tom Espiner of ZDNet UK reported from London.

See more CNET content tagged:
McAfee Inc., vulnerability, Apple Mac OS X, Apple Computer, popularity

118 comments

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Add your comment
Finger in the eye of your customers
Is not a good business strategy.

They should clarify. Macs ARE more secure, by design.
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
more secure definitely,
an open secret well common knowledge and sense.
" I am genetically better hence i do not have to see a doctor and i will never get sick, i will never die."
Posted by pjianwei (206 comments )
Link Flag
Finger in the eye of your customers
Is not a good business strategy.

They should clarify. Macs ARE more secure, by design.
Posted by technewsjunkie (1265 comments )
Reply Link Flag
more secure definitely,
an open secret well common knowledge and sense.
" I am genetically better hence i do not have to see a doctor and i will never get sick, i will never die."
Posted by pjianwei (206 comments )
Link Flag
this is a popular position these days
I've been hearing this almost non-stop in recent months. First Symantec, developer of some of the worst software I have had the displeasure of using. Now McAfee, and there are tons of so-called journalists who simply regurgitate whatever these companies say. There is no journalism any more, all the media does anymore is regurgitation.

Saying Mac OS X is just as vulnerable as windows is blatantly lying. Mac OS X isn't perfect and has room for improvement, but Apple has made some good decisions with how they implemented things that greatly improve security. One is no CD auto-run. Windows has this and most people have no idea about disabling it. (I disbale it because I find it annoying as hell.) That decision has kept things like the Sony rootkit from installing on the Mac (yes, there was a rootkit for Macs too on Sony CD's, but it required the user double-clicking an installer and entering his admin password). The fact that the admin password must be typed in for software to install system extensions is a big plus for Apple's security. Apple has also used the eXecute Disable on x86 machines (powerpc is much hard to stack smash from what I understand of the architecture).

There are currently -ZERO- viruses for OS X. Some of the things recently called viruses by ignorant reporters were in fact trojan horses. The difference? A trojan horse requires social engineering, while a virus is able to spread by on its own, usually by using security holes in the OS. As long as you don't go downloading "unreleased OS update!!!" off bittorrent, you are not going to get these.

McAfee and Symantec are worried about losing sales from users switching to the Mac platform, so they go on a disinformation campaign to protect their bottom line. How pathetic.
Posted by chris_d (195 comments )
Reply Link Flag
this is a popular position these days
I've been hearing this almost non-stop in recent months. First Symantec, developer of some of the worst software I have had the displeasure of using. Now McAfee, and there are tons of so-called journalists who simply regurgitate whatever these companies say. There is no journalism any more, all the media does anymore is regurgitation.

Saying Mac OS X is just as vulnerable as windows is blatantly lying. Mac OS X isn't perfect and has room for improvement, but Apple has made some good decisions with how they implemented things that greatly improve security. One is no CD auto-run. Windows has this and most people have no idea about disabling it. (I disbale it because I find it annoying as hell.) That decision has kept things like the Sony rootkit from installing on the Mac (yes, there was a rootkit for Macs too on Sony CD's, but it required the user double-clicking an installer and entering his admin password). The fact that the admin password must be typed in for software to install system extensions is a big plus for Apple's security. Apple has also used the eXecute Disable on x86 machines (powerpc is much hard to stack smash from what I understand of the architecture).

There are currently -ZERO- viruses for OS X. Some of the things recently called viruses by ignorant reporters were in fact trojan horses. The difference? A trojan horse requires social engineering, while a virus is able to spread by on its own, usually by using security holes in the OS. As long as you don't go downloading "unreleased OS update!!!" off bittorrent, you are not going to get these.

McAfee and Symantec are worried about losing sales from users switching to the Mac platform, so they go on a disinformation campaign to protect their bottom line. How pathetic.
Posted by chris_d (195 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well Said
The Mac platform is infinitely more secure and stable then Widows and time will prove that Mac users are safe from most online threats while this will not be the case for Window users, even those using Vista will be targeted with virsues. When will Window users learn?
Posted by internetworld7 (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A and Q for mac users
In response to internetworld7,

Most windows users already know everything you just said. They have already "learned" so stop repeating yourself. This is one of may posts I've read where you have asked "When will Window users learn?" If you chose OSX for greater security, then fine. Windows user choose their operating system based on different criteria which was more important to them. People do not buy a computer based on security alone, they will factor price, software availability, functionality, ability to make the computer do what they want...

Do you purchase your automobile based on security alone, or do you factor in other concerns such as fuel economy, cost, options... And, everyone has their own idea on what they consider important (or else we'd all be driving the same cars).

I know windows is more vulnerable to attack, but I also know that my PC cost less and I don't have to deal with proprietary hardware. So, in answer to your question, we HAVE learned, we know, but it will still be our choice for other reasons. When will you learn THAT, internetworld7.

For the other decent mac users,

I have been pleased that MAC has moved to the intel based processor. It appears to be making an impact on software availability. I sparked an interest when I heard it could run both Mac OSX and Windows, but I have yet to hear anything about running linux as well. I'm still asking about this, so if you have news on the subject, please post.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Well Said
The Mac platform is infinitely more secure and stable then Widows and time will prove that Mac users are safe from most online threats while this will not be the case for Window users, even those using Vista will be targeted with virsues. When will Window users learn?
Posted by internetworld7 (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
A and Q for mac users
In response to internetworld7,

Most windows users already know everything you just said. They have already "learned" so stop repeating yourself. This is one of may posts I've read where you have asked "When will Window users learn?" If you chose OSX for greater security, then fine. Windows user choose their operating system based on different criteria which was more important to them. People do not buy a computer based on security alone, they will factor price, software availability, functionality, ability to make the computer do what they want...

Do you purchase your automobile based on security alone, or do you factor in other concerns such as fuel economy, cost, options... And, everyone has their own idea on what they consider important (or else we'd all be driving the same cars).

I know windows is more vulnerable to attack, but I also know that my PC cost less and I don't have to deal with proprietary hardware. So, in answer to your question, we HAVE learned, we know, but it will still be our choice for other reasons. When will you learn THAT, internetworld7.

For the other decent mac users,

I have been pleased that MAC has moved to the intel based processor. It appears to be making an impact on software availability. I sparked an interest when I heard it could run both Mac OSX and Windows, but I have yet to hear anything about running linux as well. I'm still asking about this, so if you have news on the subject, please post.
Posted by Seaspray0 (9714 comments )
Link Flag
Well Said
The Mac platform is infinitely more secure and stable then Widows and time will prove that Mac users are safe from most online threats while this will not be the case for Window users, even those using Vista will be targeted with virsues. When will Window users learn?
Posted by internetworld7 (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Well Said
The Mac platform is infinitely more secure and stable then Widows and time will prove that Mac users are safe from most online threats while this will not be the case for Window users, even those using Vista will be targeted with virsues. When will Window users learn?
Posted by internetworld7 (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Useful in a corporate environment - good for Mac sales?
Anyone with half a brain knows that the virus threat on a Mac is
currently very small and is likely to remain small while the Mac is
a small niche and unprofitable for virus writers, but Mac anti-
virus software does has its uses.

I believe both Norton's and this virus software also scan for
Windows viruses. So if an email or Office document has arrived
on a Mac, it could act as a carrier vector, even though the
machine itself won't get infected.

Viruses will appear for Mac OS X, but until they do, anti-viral
software could mainly be used to help control the spread of
Windows viruses.
Posted by dotmike (154 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Conspiratorial?
The ONLY people that could possibly profit from a real OSX
virus, are the virus security companies. Unless the virus writers,
and companies are one and the same, or the virus writers are
paid by the virus security companies, it would NEVER be
profitable for virus writers.

Now, what if you can't get any effective viruses out the door?
Well, the next best thing to do, is SCARE UP a few potential
customers.

I'm sorry, but boning up to these companies, and trying to lay
the foundation for the need of their products, by saying buy it
anyway because if you run XP you can scan for them (but you
forgot they don't even share the same partition so that's totally
improbable anyway), is a but ridiculous.

Most, if not all, OSX users will spend most of their time in OSX, if
and only if they installed XP. Otherwise ALL of their time is just
OSX. So catering to these companies makes no sense, at this
time.

If, and when, a virus shows up, I'll be looking to the open-source
community for aid.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Norton
That's always been my position on Mac AV - at the very least you
have a duty to scan emails and Office documents passing
THROUGH your machine.

On the other hand, Norton has had two known security problems
on the Mac, and a deserved reputation for causing stability
problems.

The flipside of the smaller user base issue, is a smaller
programming base, and A/V software typically integrates with
the operating system at a very low level (for instance, hijacking
the program launch mechanism to check the executable you're
about to run hasn't changed). So you'd better get that right.

Personally I'm happier with ClamXAV - it's free, and in terms of
system protection it only works on scanning files coming in -
the run-time jiggery pokery is minimised.
Posted by JulesLt (110 comments )
Link Flag
Useful in a corporate environment - good for Mac sales?
Anyone with half a brain knows that the virus threat on a Mac is
currently very small and is likely to remain small while the Mac is
a small niche and unprofitable for virus writers, but Mac anti-
virus software does has its uses.

I believe both Norton's and this virus software also scan for
Windows viruses. So if an email or Office document has arrived
on a Mac, it could act as a carrier vector, even though the
machine itself won't get infected.

Viruses will appear for Mac OS X, but until they do, anti-viral
software could mainly be used to help control the spread of
Windows viruses.
Posted by dotmike (154 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Conspiratorial?
The ONLY people that could possibly profit from a real OSX
virus, are the virus security companies. Unless the virus writers,
and companies are one and the same, or the virus writers are
paid by the virus security companies, it would NEVER be
profitable for virus writers.

Now, what if you can't get any effective viruses out the door?
Well, the next best thing to do, is SCARE UP a few potential
customers.

I'm sorry, but boning up to these companies, and trying to lay
the foundation for the need of their products, by saying buy it
anyway because if you run XP you can scan for them (but you
forgot they don't even share the same partition so that's totally
improbable anyway), is a but ridiculous.

Most, if not all, OSX users will spend most of their time in OSX, if
and only if they installed XP. Otherwise ALL of their time is just
OSX. So catering to these companies makes no sense, at this
time.

If, and when, a virus shows up, I'll be looking to the open-source
community for aid.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
Norton
That's always been my position on Mac AV - at the very least you
have a duty to scan emails and Office documents passing
THROUGH your machine.

On the other hand, Norton has had two known security problems
on the Mac, and a deserved reputation for causing stability
problems.

The flipside of the smaller user base issue, is a smaller
programming base, and A/V software typically integrates with
the operating system at a very low level (for instance, hijacking
the program launch mechanism to check the executable you're
about to run hasn't changed). So you'd better get that right.

Personally I'm happier with ClamXAV - it's free, and in terms of
system protection it only works on scanning files coming in -
the run-time jiggery pokery is minimised.
Posted by JulesLt (110 comments )
Link Flag
Point of clarification
I would be concerned about buying a security product from a company that allows a representative with so little understanding of the underlying issues to be their front man on the subject. MacOS X does not have fewer discovered vulnerabilities because of the lack of market-share. The underlying technology (Unix) if anything has a greater number of people looking at it world-wide. Therefore, many of the core problems have been worked out for years. Additionally, the security model does not leave the systems as open as the Windows platform. But "fewer vulnerabilities" and "more secure" do not mean none.

That said, an antivirus product, or more appropriately named malicious code detection product, is part of a complete security baseline that provides for comprehensive coverage in a corporate environment. The threat exists, therefore the products should exist to mitigate the risk. Mac OSX desktops should be secured to the corporate standard just like Windows PCs, Linux Desktops, and Unix workstations.

The article discusses OpenBSD as being more secure. In my understanding, Mac OSX is not based on OpenBSD. OpenBSD is a complete and seperate rewrite of BSD with security as part of the core concept in the project. According to Wikipedia (we know it must be true then) Apple's Mac OSX uses FreeBSD as its reference implementation. While fixes to the OpenBSD code base are often submitted to the other BSD implementors there is no requirement for incorporation of the code, and often it is not incorporated at all.

McAfee wading into the Apple Security market is a great thing, but if they truly believe the Mac security problem to be equal to a less used PC technology, then they will likely not succeed in the space. You have to understand a problem to provide a viable solution for it.
Posted by dstempfley (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You have confirmed this?
"MacOS X does not have fewer discovered vulnerabilities because of the lack of market-share."

You can't really confirm this until they get the marketshare that windows has. I'm not saying its the only reason but its reasonable to say its one of them.
Posted by Akiba (220 comments )
Link Flag
Point of clarification
I would be concerned about buying a security product from a company that allows a representative with so little understanding of the underlying issues to be their front man on the subject. MacOS X does not have fewer discovered vulnerabilities because of the lack of market-share. The underlying technology (Unix) if anything has a greater number of people looking at it world-wide. Therefore, many of the core problems have been worked out for years. Additionally, the security model does not leave the systems as open as the Windows platform. But "fewer vulnerabilities" and "more secure" do not mean none.

That said, an antivirus product, or more appropriately named malicious code detection product, is part of a complete security baseline that provides for comprehensive coverage in a corporate environment. The threat exists, therefore the products should exist to mitigate the risk. Mac OSX desktops should be secured to the corporate standard just like Windows PCs, Linux Desktops, and Unix workstations.

The article discusses OpenBSD as being more secure. In my understanding, Mac OSX is not based on OpenBSD. OpenBSD is a complete and seperate rewrite of BSD with security as part of the core concept in the project. According to Wikipedia (we know it must be true then) Apple's Mac OSX uses FreeBSD as its reference implementation. While fixes to the OpenBSD code base are often submitted to the other BSD implementors there is no requirement for incorporation of the code, and often it is not incorporated at all.

McAfee wading into the Apple Security market is a great thing, but if they truly believe the Mac security problem to be equal to a less used PC technology, then they will likely not succeed in the space. You have to understand a problem to provide a viable solution for it.
Posted by dstempfley (14 comments )
Reply Link Flag
You have confirmed this?
"MacOS X does not have fewer discovered vulnerabilities because of the lack of market-share."

You can't really confirm this until they get the marketshare that windows has. I'm not saying its the only reason but its reasonable to say its one of them.
Posted by Akiba (220 comments )
Link Flag
Blatent theft - these monkeys should be shut down.
What a joke.

These monkeys must be desperate for cash.

"McAfee admitted that Mac users were at "no significant risk" at
the moment"

Understatement of the decade. Mac users are more at risk from
McAfees dire bugridden software than anything else.
Posted by TyTyson (154 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If I Were a Monkey, I'd Sue You ...
for defamation of character for calling these ignoramuses at McAfee monkeys! Even monkeys know better than to say such stupid things about Mac security, vs. the inherent lack of it in Windoze boxen.

As for the poster here who gave unwarranted credence to the tried, but tired, "smaller market share means it's not worth writing virii to exploit it" argument, go read the numerous counter-examples in posts on related C|net stories to learn why this is simply not true. The most common counter-example is how there have been many more vulnerabilities and exploits of Microsloth IIS web servers, which are in the minority, behind Apache web servers, which run on Unix/Linux/MacOS and Windoze systems.

At least this joker didn't try to make the case that it's just a matter of time before Mactel systems become infected by virii via iPods ... and ATMs, of all things (I'm not kidding, another uninformed security "expert" actually mentioned virii being spread via ATMs in another C|net shill piece apparently written by one of their paying clients).

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Link Flag
The joke's on you
Sounds like a clever plan for a company to get their foot in the door for the eventual time when Mac users are subject to viruses as well. Who would a new Mac user trust then? A no-name company that comes along or an established AV company with a proven product?

It's a good business idea to start now and do things in a proactive manner rather than to stick your fingers in your ears and shout "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!"

In my opinion, it is just this sort of mentality that will make hackers look more and more to an OS where the end users try to deny reality and won't bother with security patches or efforts to protect their computer. Ripe territory, in fact.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
Blatent theft - these monkeys should be shut down.
What a joke.

These monkeys must be desperate for cash.

"McAfee admitted that Mac users were at "no significant risk" at
the moment"

Understatement of the decade. Mac users are more at risk from
McAfees dire bugridden software than anything else.
Posted by TyTyson (154 comments )
Reply Link Flag
If I Were a Monkey, I'd Sue You ...
for defamation of character for calling these ignoramuses at McAfee monkeys! Even monkeys know better than to say such stupid things about Mac security, vs. the inherent lack of it in Windoze boxen.

As for the poster here who gave unwarranted credence to the tried, but tired, "smaller market share means it's not worth writing virii to exploit it" argument, go read the numerous counter-examples in posts on related C|net stories to learn why this is simply not true. The most common counter-example is how there have been many more vulnerabilities and exploits of Microsloth IIS web servers, which are in the minority, behind Apache web servers, which run on Unix/Linux/MacOS and Windoze systems.

At least this joker didn't try to make the case that it's just a matter of time before Mactel systems become infected by virii via iPods ... and ATMs, of all things (I'm not kidding, another uninformed security "expert" actually mentioned virii being spread via ATMs in another C|net shill piece apparently written by one of their paying clients).

All the Best,
Joe Blow
Posted by Joe Blow (175 comments )
Link Flag
The joke's on you
Sounds like a clever plan for a company to get their foot in the door for the eventual time when Mac users are subject to viruses as well. Who would a new Mac user trust then? A no-name company that comes along or an established AV company with a proven product?

It's a good business idea to start now and do things in a proactive manner rather than to stick your fingers in your ears and shout "LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!"

In my opinion, it is just this sort of mentality that will make hackers look more and more to an OS where the end users try to deny reality and won't bother with security patches or efforts to protect their computer. Ripe territory, in fact.
Posted by Vegaman_Dan (6683 comments )
Link Flag
"if the OS X user base expands..."
>"if the OS X user base expands..."

if pigs could fly - lol

Apple has already sold zillions of iPods, and that hasn't translated into additional Mac sales.

As for the Intel-powered Macs, the only people excited about those Apple fans. They are a big yawn to current users of Windows computers.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Completely False
In your head, not the world (reality) only has the mac base been
unaffected by iPod sales.

The truth is, there are two numbers growing. The number of
computer users, and the number of mac users. As the number
of computer users grow, a company with a flat sales record
would see a shrinkage in their share even if they don't lose any
customers. If the companys share is the same, their sales are
increasing. If a companys share grows, their sales are simply
out performing the market.

Well, since Apples base has actually grown, it is safe to say they
are selling a hell of a lot more than you give them credit.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
And your source is?
Who's your source? Oh, didn't read on this website last week how
Apple's PC sales are above HP and slightly below Dell?
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Link Flag
Ah, right, that's why
They have surpassed Dell's worth. And that's why they continue to grow. You don't have to work in an Apple store to know that more and more consumers are looking very hard at the computers Apple sells.

You're just a FUD spreading troll.
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
"if the OS X user base expands..."
>"if the OS X user base expands..."

if pigs could fly - lol

Apple has already sold zillions of iPods, and that hasn't translated into additional Mac sales.

As for the Intel-powered Macs, the only people excited about those Apple fans. They are a big yawn to current users of Windows computers.
Posted by john55440 (1020 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Completely False
In your head, not the world (reality) only has the mac base been
unaffected by iPod sales.

The truth is, there are two numbers growing. The number of
computer users, and the number of mac users. As the number
of computer users grow, a company with a flat sales record
would see a shrinkage in their share even if they don't lose any
customers. If the companys share is the same, their sales are
increasing. If a companys share grows, their sales are simply
out performing the market.

Well, since Apples base has actually grown, it is safe to say they
are selling a hell of a lot more than you give them credit.
Posted by Thomas, David (1947 comments )
Link Flag
And your source is?
Who's your source? Oh, didn't read on this website last week how
Apple's PC sales are above HP and slightly below Dell?
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Link Flag
Ah, right, that's why
They have surpassed Dell's worth. And that's why they continue to grow. You don't have to work in an Apple store to know that more and more consumers are looking very hard at the computers Apple sells.

You're just a FUD spreading troll.
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
New to OSX Users
With the advent of Boot Camp and Intel powered Macs, security
companies that are 'protecting' Windows users see a new market
of Windows users wanting to purchase and use new Mac
systems. These new users are bringing with them all their
experiences with malware, adware and viruses and have no
experience with Mac OSX security. These users will probably be
the first ones to fall for the BS thats being put out by companies
like McAfee. BTW, I used their software years ago on a Mac and
dumped it because it was so bad.

My 2cents
Posted by jforjan (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
New to OSX Users
With the advent of Boot Camp and Intel powered Macs, security
companies that are 'protecting' Windows users see a new market
of Windows users wanting to purchase and use new Mac
systems. These new users are bringing with them all their
experiences with malware, adware and viruses and have no
experience with Mac OSX security. These users will probably be
the first ones to fall for the BS thats being put out by companies
like McAfee. BTW, I used their software years ago on a Mac and
dumped it because it was so bad.

My 2cents
Posted by jforjan (8 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MacAfee?
McAfee and Norton, and few other AV software were overtaken
by a worm about a year ago. Only AVG survived without anything
overtaking them.

McAfee is full of it. In the two years I've used a Mac for mostly
web and business, I've no hacks, no viruses, no worms, no
malware. Nothing.

I just bought a new Win XP laptop yesterday, had McAfee as OEM
deal, and within the hour of playing with it, virus. And their little
program did nothing about it.

However, I did also, for fun, install a version of the old
Michaelanglo virus from 1991. It saw that.
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Reply Link Flag
MacAfee?
McAfee and Norton, and few other AV software were overtaken
by a worm about a year ago. Only AVG survived without anything
overtaking them.

McAfee is full of it. In the two years I've used a Mac for mostly
web and business, I've no hacks, no viruses, no worms, no
malware. Nothing.

I just bought a new Win XP laptop yesterday, had McAfee as OEM
deal, and within the hour of playing with it, virus. And their little
program did nothing about it.

However, I did also, for fun, install a version of the old
Michaelanglo virus from 1991. It saw that.
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Windows' inherent security flaws are the reason for virus targetting...
...not user base. God, just how many times is this bollocks going
to be spread about it being the size of the user base being the
reason for targeting by virus writers? It is a reason, but the main
and most important one is the fundamentally flawed design of
the Windows OS of yesteryear *and* today. Virus and malware
writers have targeted Windows because it was and still IS so easy
to do.

Yes, if the Mac OS user base increases in size, there will likely be
more attempts to attack it and more vulnerabilities found. The
difference is that it *will* be harder and they will be less
successful than they have been with Windows.
Posted by No invasion of privacy (52 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, it's entirely userbase
I have no anti-virus programs running, ever, and I cannot get a virus. 99% of new viruses are either made in a lab or require you to personally accept them. Because Windows has the highest userbase, you have a much larger chance of hitting a user that has zero clue what they are doing when they download and initiate that virus. Users infect users, not computers. It works exactly the same way on MacOS, Linux, and Unix. Unix is the most secure, but the only reason Linux and MacOS seems secure is because the users are less likely to infect themselves, and it's a much smaller target so it's even more difficult to spread any virus.

All the major viruses in the last 10 years have spread for one single reason: Users are stupid. The I Love You virus, the FBI virus, they spread because people are vulnerable, they are ignorant, and they are trusting. Not because the OS is.
Posted by PurePacket (28 comments )
Link Flag
Windows' inherent security flaws are the reason for virus targetting...
...not user base. God, just how many times is this bollocks going
to be spread about it being the size of the user base being the
reason for targeting by virus writers? It is a reason, but the main
and most important one is the fundamentally flawed design of
the Windows OS of yesteryear *and* today. Virus and malware
writers have targeted Windows because it was and still IS so easy
to do.

Yes, if the Mac OS user base increases in size, there will likely be
more attempts to attack it and more vulnerabilities found. The
difference is that it *will* be harder and they will be less
successful than they have been with Windows.
Posted by No invasion of privacy (52 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No, it's entirely userbase
I have no anti-virus programs running, ever, and I cannot get a virus. 99% of new viruses are either made in a lab or require you to personally accept them. Because Windows has the highest userbase, you have a much larger chance of hitting a user that has zero clue what they are doing when they download and initiate that virus. Users infect users, not computers. It works exactly the same way on MacOS, Linux, and Unix. Unix is the most secure, but the only reason Linux and MacOS seems secure is because the users are less likely to infect themselves, and it's a much smaller target so it's even more difficult to spread any virus.

All the major viruses in the last 10 years have spread for one single reason: Users are stupid. The I Love You virus, the FBI virus, they spread because people are vulnerable, they are ignorant, and they are trusting. Not because the OS is.
Posted by PurePacket (28 comments )
Link Flag
McAffe is bad for Windows, so don't buy it Mac users
I have used McAfee, Norton, Nod32, Kaspersky, AVG, and a few others on Windows. McAfee was the worst of all of them in my opinion. I don't own a Mac, but my recommendation to Mac users is to NOT buy any security programs from McAfee. Smart MAC OS X users probally dont need any security programs on thier system except for updating Mac OS X. Don't waste your money McAfee is just scaring you Mac users, dont worry about it. Even a smart Windows XP user could get away without using a full-time running anti-virus program.
Posted by waterdrop (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
McAffe is bad for Windows, so don't buy it Mac users
I have used McAfee, Norton, Nod32, Kaspersky, AVG, and a few others on Windows. McAfee was the worst of all of them in my opinion. I don't own a Mac, but my recommendation to Mac users is to NOT buy any security programs from McAfee. Smart MAC OS X users probally dont need any security programs on thier system except for updating Mac OS X. Don't waste your money McAfee is just scaring you Mac users, dont worry about it. Even a smart Windows XP user could get away without using a full-time running anti-virus program.
Posted by waterdrop (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
McAffe is bad for Windows, so don't buy it Mac users
I have used McAfee, Norton, Nod32, Kaspersky, AVG, and a few others on Windows. McAfee was the worst of all of them in my opinion. I don't own a Mac, but my recommendation to Mac users is to NOT buy any security programs from McAfee. Smart MAC OS X users probally dont need any security programs on thier system except for updating Mac OS X. Don't waste your money McAfee is just scaring you Mac users, dont worry about it. Even a smart Windows XP user could get away without using a full-time running anti-virus program.
Posted by waterdrop (39 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Thanks for teliing us 5000 TIMES!!!!
I have tried a variety of Anti whatevers. And do they work, sure. Can things get around them, oh yeah. Does this go for MCAFEE, yes. But really getting a virus or anything else on a PC these days is rare. And it just happens to those without common sense. You are more likely to get Spyware, than anything else these days.
Posted by bobj123 (94 comments )
Link Flag
McAfee's Virex had been good
Virex was around prior to McAfee's involvement but Virex for Mac OS X is part Dr. Solomon's (UNIX), Virusscan (DOS/Windows), and Virex (Mac OS) so it's neither as good as the predecessor or as bad as its Windows cousin.

It's just sad that the company, like Intego and Symantec, has tried to create sales opportunities by scaring people.

It would be better to buy from Sophos or another company that hasn't used scare tactics to generate sales. We Mac users will probably need anti-virus software at some point but only in rare circumstances.

At this point, you have to authorise anything that does real damage--it won't happen automatically.
Posted by bousozoku (584 comments )
Link Flag
 

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