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Safari says virus

by Wilsonx / September 13, 2009 12:28 AM PDT

I received a battery of messages indicating I had several viruses attacking me. It was a large pop-up page with the Safari icon. It looked (looks) legitimate. I opted for the cure and it downloaded about 4 "things" to handle the problem. When trying to open them, they said they were designed for Windows. I use a Mac OS 10.5.8 (Leopard).

I tried to load my old Norton Systemworks but it won't work with my Intel chip.

My Mac seems to be working OK now but the message appeared twice.

Think I should get a new copy of Norton and install?

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No Virus, Just a scam to get you to panic
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 13, 2009 12:35 AM PDT
In reply to: Safari says virus

and part with your money.

Currently there are NO viruses out there that attack OS X, none.

What you came up against was an attempt to convince you that your machine was infected. The perpetrators do a good job of making it appear as though there is a problem, and always offer to fix those problems, usually for a fee.
This type of scam is directed mainly at Windows users and enough people fall for the scam to make the whole thing a worthwhile scheme for the perps.
It is apparently quite easy to convince a Windows user that they have caught something.

Hopefully you did not part with any money for the "cure"

Symantec (Norton) has ceased production of an AV suite for the Mac, hmm, I wonder why, but if you feel that you must have something, take a look at ClamXAV. Google for the Mac version. Its free. There is another free Mac one but the name escapes me.

Bottom line: Your machine is NOT infected with any of the problems that the advertisement claimed.

Rest easy


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Virus scare
by Wilsonx / September 16, 2009 3:34 AM PDT

Thanks a lot.

As a result of the scare I loaded my old Norton SystemWorks 3.0 which apparently works for Mac OS 10 but not for an Intel-chip one like my Leopard. The program would run then say it wouldn't work with my Intel chip. I then trashed everything that said Norton from Applications, yet Norton FileSaver 8.0.2 and Norton QuickMenu 2.0 remain in the System Preferences icon at the bottom row under "Other". They also appear in the System Profiler under Preferences. It says they are located at "/Library/PreferencePanes/FileSaver.prefPane" and "/Library/PreferencePanes/SymantechQuickMenu.prefPane".

When I go to Finder then Library/Preference Panes, there is nothing in the folder.

I then bought and loaded Norton AntiVirus 11.0.2 For Mac OS 10.4.10 or higher (and internet-downloaded the last [2007] version) in the hopes that it would uninstall the previously mentioned above Norton products (preferences). Alas, no.

It's not a big deal since everything seems to be working OK just curious why I can't get rid of it.

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Sorry to hear that you
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 16, 2009 4:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Virus scare

ignored the advice and purchased Norton.

A visit to the Symantec Web site will lead you to the page that deals with completely removing Norton, any version, from your Mac so that you can start over.


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Check here too,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 16, 2009 5:15 AM PDT
In reply to: Virus scare

"When I go to Finder then Library/Preference Panes, there is nothing in the folder.

There are two Library folders, at least. One at the root of the drive and another in your home folder.

Check both of them for the missing Pref panes


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Besides ClamXav, which is highly aclaimed,
by zthustra / September 16, 2009 12:48 PM PDT

there's also the free iAntivirus:
Truly, there are no active viruses in the wild for Mac, but probably one day a malicious cootie or two will come our way.
So it might not be a bad idea to keep ClamX av or iAntivirus on hand for that eventuality....ya never know.
But it's not worth losing sleep over that possibility.

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You didn't pay for anything, did you ?
by grimgraphix / September 13, 2009 12:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Safari says virus

A random web site is not going to tell you if your computer has a virus. Lots of web sites are designed to create panic by having pop ups telling you your computer is infected... and they can be browser specific BECAUSE your computer tells any site what browser is being used.

Bottom line is no mac right now can be infected unless you manually download and install a virus. This includes actually entering your admin password to install the program. Unless you actually did do this, it is highly doubtful that you are infected with anything but a serious need to learn more about how a mac works.

BTW... .exe or "executable" files do not work on a mac.

For a FREE apple av program ... try ClamX AV

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How about a screenshot?
by Y2K Blackout / September 14, 2009 5:40 AM PDT
In reply to: Safari says virus

Whoever said that Macs don't get viruses are just deluded. Safari is among the least secure of the browsers... just get out the past few Pwn2Own contests...

That being said, how about a screenshot to show what you're actually seeing to determine whether or not it really is a virus?

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Thanks for the compliment,
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / September 14, 2009 9:29 AM PDT

I did not say that Macs do not get viruses, I said that there are NO viruses for OS X out there.

If you have never seen this advertisement for "scareware" you have been lucky.

Check the rules on the Pwn2Own contests.


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You are misinformed my friend
by tleMega / September 14, 2009 10:06 AM PDT

Pwn2Own is a hacking contest in which software developers and hackers are allowed to write malicious code in preparation to the actual hacking (for certain events that is). In the past, a few coders were allowed to direct an unassuming user to a website and from there, downloaded a suspicious file to their Mac. Then, with proper authentication, the malware could bring down the computer. Some of these contests have even shown off more automated hacking attempts. I remember reading a guy was allowed to crack a different network and get to the other terminal through one of his own. Many different things can occur.

The common theme from these situations is that currently, Macs can only be harmed if the user is tricked into downloading and running a trojan or piece of malware. Viruses are able to operate independently. I'm sure you are aware of this information, but for the sake of the argument, let me write in full depth. Viruses can hop through an internet connection onto a computer and wreak havoc without the user's knowledge. The Mac OS requires an administrator to authorize any sort of executable action that adds some sort of addition/modification to the system, thus making it hard for a virus to spread effectively on the platform. This could all change in the future, but for now, this is the case.

I don't know where you're getting your information, but I can tell you from experience. I use Safari and Firefox on my Macs, and I prefer Chrome on my Windows machines. No problems yet. What makes Safari so vulnerable? The latest version has been pretty good here. IE has the reputation for being the worst, but reviews even here on CNET indicate the new version has been improved immensely. Still, I can't get that for OS X, nor would I switch any how.

How about some proof and support to back your claims?


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