[2 days left] What’s wrong with your cloud strategy? Learn why multicloud solutions matter with Nimble Storage.Register Now


Macs and viruses

Posted on 2004-10-28
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
About to add our first Mac...a G5 to the network.  
What is the current virus situation?  Are Macs suceptible?  Are there AV products for the Mac?
What's the best way to go?

Am looking for multiple opinions here, so don't be reluctant to post just because somebody else has.
Question by:JConchie
Welcome to Experts Exchange

Add your voice to the tech community where 5M+ people just like you are talking about what matters.

  • Help others & share knowledge
  • Earn cash & points
  • Learn & ask questions
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

brettmjohnson earned 400 total points
ID: 12439136
The state of malware for Macs is nothing like tidal wave of crap that assaults Windows PCs on a daily basis.
Not that there aren't isolated incidents of nefarious scripts.  Most, like this:
do not have the ability to self-propagate.

Apple .Mac members get a free version of MacAfee Virex, but most of the viruses it
scans for are Windows-only.  The viruses won't infect or run on the Mac - Virex just
prevents the Mac from acting as a conduit for the virus (via forwarded email, for instance).


Assisted Solution

idarmadi earned 400 total points
ID: 12441369
If you use OS9 and there's a lot of file exchanging via MO, floppies, zipdrive, jaz, and other media, then you might be able to get infected by some mac virus.  But most of them just harmless virus, but nevertheless annoying.

You can get away with no antivirus in OSX (at least for the moment).  I ran OSXs with no antivirus.

I'm managing a network of 60 Mac (various os8.5 till OSX Server), most of them doesn't have antivirus, and we never have any virus problem.  (Don't ask for the PCs in my network.... :()  (we started using mac 10 years ago when 6100/66 came out......)

Rather than worrying about virus, you should :
1. perform any update available on the OS.  If you reluctant to update the OS ("if it aint broke, don't fix it"), then at least you should do 'security update' when it available (especially when you computer is on a network and/or connected to internet).
2. subscribe/read mac news such as on www.macnn.com or www.maccentral.com on regular basis.  we'll never know when the first malicious virus going to appear.
3. backup regularly.

LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 12445262
From Slashdot today:

"The National Security Agency has just released a Security Configuration Guide for Apple MacOS X (pdf). The guide mostly contains common sense configuration information that applies to many UNIX systems. It also includes specific discussion for Apple's unique features such as KeyChain and FileVault. It should be useful to most MacOS X users and will be particularly useful for US Government organisations that use MacOS X and for commercial IT Departments that are supporting MacOS X. "


What’s Wrong with Your Cloud Strategy ?

Even as many CIOs are embracing a cloud-first strategy, the reality is that moving to the cloud is a lengthy process and the end-state is likely to be a blend of multiple clouds—public and private. Learn why multicloud solutions matter in this webinar by Nimble Storage.


Assisted Solution

by:Andrew Duffy
Andrew Duffy earned 400 total points
ID: 12461782
The biggest virus-related problem on the Mac is Word Macro viruses which, although pretty harmless, will cause infected documents to be prevented by client's etc. firewall when they're emailed. But provided you've got a good AV solution on your fileservers, this shouldn't be a problem.

Assisted Solution

Rochelle_Brittany earned 400 total points
ID: 12478304
In my 18 years of using Apple computers, I have had only 2 viruses.  Both were planted by another user (one by an a**hole at my home, one by an a**hole at my office) from a disk.  One typed some words on a scanner dialogue box, the other played a little animation when I started up QuarkXPress.  Neither did any harm.

Everything I have read agrees that the odds of receiving a virus over the Internet are minimal on a Mac.  The reason?  The Mac grabs only about 3% of the market share, and if you're going to write a virus, the intent is to infect as many computers as possible.  There is no logical motivation for a hacker to write a virus that he KNOWS right off the bat will only affect 3 out of every 100 computers it happens to run across.

Plus, Mac users are generally happier, less vindictive people than Win users, and therefore less likely to write malicious viruses.

Assisted Solution

hakalugi earned 400 total points
ID: 12546352
but macs can still be a conduit to the rest of your network.

on the os 9.2.2's I manage, we run Symantec Enterprise 7.x (managed by a 9.1 MMC snap in on a Windows 2003 server)


Expert Comment

ID: 12682857

Since you just got a G5 you might want to look into the .MAC membership.  I did for the same reason as you… because it includes all those other features (www.apple.com -.Mac) plus Virex –which auto updates signatures for you directly from Apple.  Virex is from McAfee.  With a Mac purchase I think .Mac is $69.00/ year.  Check out the 60 day free trail first though – that way you discover for yourself how much you actually use all those features.  Good luck!

Featured Post

Hire Technology Freelancers with Gigs

Work with freelancers specializing in everything from database administration to programming, who have proven themselves as experts in their field. Hire the best, collaborate easily, pay securely, and get projects done right.

Question has a verified solution.

If you are experiencing a similar issue, please ask a related question

Smartwatches: just a fashion accessory or a useful device for all? The Apple Watch (http://www.apple.com/watch/) was launched in April of 2015 and has become a new way for iPhone users to stay connected. Ranging from $349 to $17,000, the Apple Watch…
In this article we discuss how to recover the missing Outlook 2011 for Mac data like Emails and Contacts manually.
In this video you will find out how to export Office 365 mailboxes using the built in eDiscovery tool. Bear in mind that although this method might be useful in some cases, using PST files as Office 365 backup is troublesome in a long run (more on t…
Have you created a query with information for a calendar? ... and then, abra-cadabra, the calendar is done?! I am going to show you how to make that happen. Visualize your data!  ... really see it To use the code to create a calendar from a q…

656 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question