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Keith Dawson

Mac Malware Has Arrived

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kdawson
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The preceding is not accurate...
kdawson   5/14/2012 2:39:05 PM
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Just saw a tweet from a security person I follow who says the substance of the story about Apple seeking security help from Kaspersky is inaccurate.

kdawson
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Calling on Kaspersky
kdawson   5/14/2012 12:31:13 PM
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This article claims that Apple has reached out to Kaspersky Labs to help the company beef up the security of OS X.

kdawson
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Re: Mac AV
kdawson   4/23/2012 12:23:21 PM
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Two weeks after Apple's Flashback disabler and Java update, the Russian security company that first reported on the outbreak, Dr. Web, says that infections are continuing and that the size of the botnet is not shrinking much, if at all: it's still around 650,000 strong.

kdawson
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Re: Mac AV
kdawson   4/19/2012 9:55:47 AM
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To work well, AV bores deep into your BIOS and even when you remove it, some effects of the AV software linger; then they end up fighting with other AV programs. The result is a very slow computer and virtually no way to get the deep hooks out.

I am hoping that this does not prove so troublesome on the Mac. Though probably over time, as the bad guys develop boot-sector virii etc., Mac AV will have to burrow deeper. But so far it has been true that Mac apps, even ones dealing in deep system juju, are far more self-contained (thus un-installable) than correponding PC software. There isn't an equivalent of the PC's Registry, for example; every app keeps its own settings & preferences in a well-known location.

Agile
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Re: Mac AV
Agile   4/18/2012 6:51:04 PM
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It's funny I recently purchased a new laptop with Windows 7 on it and I think the second thing I did after burning back up dvd's was to install antivirus !  When I got my mac - I didn't even think about it, but I should be safe since I do have all the updates installed as Keith recommends.

 

I am still trying to come to terms with the fact I might have to one day install an antivirus solution there as well.


Tom Murphy
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Re: Mac AV
Tom Murphy   4/18/2012 12:22:45 PM
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AV software on Macs. Yikes.  Welcome to my world.  My PCs have tried a variety of antivirus solutions over the years and, strangely enough, I've come to the conclusions that AV software, while extending the life of your computer, can also be one of the biggest long-term threats, particularly if you use more than one brand of AV software on your system. To work well, AV bores deep into your BIOS and even when you remove it, some effects of the AV software linger; then they end up fighting with other AV programs. The result is a very slow computer and virtually no way to get the deep hooks out.

kdawson
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Re: Mac AV
kdawson   4/14/2012 2:18:07 PM
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If you have installed all software updates to your Mac, you're in a better position than before. Apple did release the "remover" for Flashblock that was noted earler in these comments. Interestingly, it also changes the default for Java to "off." If you turn it on for some particular Web site that requires it, the Mac will start a timer and if Java doesn't get used again within a time window, off it goes again. So that's one vector for malware closed off. Now if only Flash would be off by default...

Agile
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Re: Mac AV
Agile   4/14/2012 2:10:42 PM
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Interesting I just heard some on CNET recommend using antivirus on your Mac !  I had never seen this, and being a new Mac owner, I wonder if I should install ?    I quess it can't hurt - I am going to take a look at the AVast solution - main thing it has to be FREE.



kdawson
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Mac AV
kdawson   4/14/2012 11:42:09 AM
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Yes, suddenly there is a lively market in AV software for Macs. Most have been available for 2 years or more, awaiting the time when the Mac user community would wake up and realize the need for some protection. I'm only aware of the free versions of a couple of packages — Clam and Sophos. I presume at least Sophos sells their software too, but don't know what distinguishes the pay version(s). (Clam is an open-source project.) Norton doesn't have a free version: $49.99 per year, just like on the PC. McAfee doesn't have anything for Mac that I can find.

I actually installed the free Sophos as soon as it was available, about a yer and a half ago, but backed off after an early bug killed 19 months of backups on my Time Capsule. They fixed this in a very responsive manner after I reached out to their CTO on Twitter, but I have been reflexively gun-shy about reinstalling Sophos. I now run with (free) ClamXav, which is considerably more lightweight. Doesn't scan incoming emails, e.g.

munira
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Re: Phones & malware
munira   4/14/2012 11:06:59 AM
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Keith, so the secure apple world is not secure anymore...... the anti malware/ anti virus developers are atlast able to break into apple products to offer there anti virus softwares.

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