Spyware, Viruses, & Security forum

General discussion

Anything (anti-spy or anti-virus) for mac?

by wilkinsg / September 23, 2007 12:57 PM PDT

Recently, on my relatively new MacBook Pro, my Firefox browser has slowed down considerably. I have used my computer for very little more than internet browsing, and have not downloaded a lot of stuff or anything, but my internet continues to be slow. I am next to positive that it is not my internet connection, and I was wondering if it was possible that I had any sort of spyware on my computer. I know that Macs don't get viruses, but what about spyware or anything else that may potentially slow a computer down? Isn't that different that a virus?

Sorry if that's a dumb question, but I was just concerned about my computer. Also, if there is something I should be concerned about, where do you suggest that I download it from? Free? Pay. Thanks to anyone that has any info.

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First we need a MacOSX virus.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 23, 2007 1:23 PM PDT

Then we can develop an antivirus...

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Not THAT Much to Worry About BUT.....
by tobeach / September 23, 2007 4:06 PM PDT

there was this alert about 1/2 year ago (if memory serves)& I don't know if an viable version was ever seen in the wild:

Mac OS X Spyware Sample Spotted

By Ryan Naraine

Anti-virus researchers have spotted the first signs of an adware/spyware program capable of launching browser windows on Apple Computer's Mac OS X.

According to a warning from F-Secure, a security vendor in Helsinki, Finland, the proof-of-concept program could be silently installed on a Mac's User account and hooked to each application used by that account.

The company said the sample, named iAdware, successfully launched the Mac's built-in Safari Web browser whenever applications were being used.


McAfee reports only about 76 threats they ever recorded (I believe many if not most were exploit based & Mac is quite good about patching those holes quickly (30 days? during the Month of Apple Exploits).

McAfee is one of the few offering any protection programs for Mac OS.
Further info available from this page (See McAfee Virex):

Hope this helps a little. Happy

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Let me comment about "exploit based".
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 23, 2007 8:51 PM PDT

"exploit based" means that the user had to help out the attack. That is something may come up on the screen telling the user it needs to do this or that. The exploit issue is a good one since SOCIAL ENGINEERED exploits work quite well.

The old TEDDY BEAR hoax got what I think was thousands to delete a file in Windows. Read http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;en-us;322993

Such exploits are common today and not much can stop them.


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Quite Right, Bob!! I Find A Healthy Degree of....
by tobeach / September 24, 2007 2:55 PM PDT

Paranoia quite helpful on the web! Grin

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I'm sorry, but it still seems like you are being too vague..
by wilkinsg / September 24, 2007 3:46 PM PDT

Mainly what I need to know is if there is a difference between spy and virus. And if mac is immune to both, any way of knowing what else is slowing me down? Thanks.

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It's not immune.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 25, 2007 1:09 AM PDT

It's just the idea that we need a virus first before we need an antivirus.

Sorry if I've tried to make this too simple.


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my queston basically is:
by wilkinsg / September 25, 2007 3:59 AM PDT
In reply to: It's not immune.

What about a spyware that can infiltrate the system. I've been trying to ask over and over again if there is any sort of spyware (I don't know the exact terminology, but I'm basically referring to the kind of thing that Yahoo Anti-Spy would find) that can infiltrate my mac. Also, is there a difference between spy and virus? Anyone who can answer either of these questions would be much appreciated.

Also, any clue as to what else might be affecting my computer (it is slowing down unexplainably.) Thanks.

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If you scroll down on this
by roddy32 / September 25, 2007 4:32 AM PDT
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"it is slowing down unexplainably."
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 25, 2007 5:17 AM PDT

That issue is one we should discuss in a Mac forum. The most common cause I find is the owner is clicking that little red orb when they want to close a program.

They often complain it's slowing down...


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