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Re: viruses (was [wpmac] Re: Thinking of getting a Mac...double entendre)

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  • Judyth
    ... Viruses for profit are a fact of life these days in the Windows world. They re usually written to deliver trojan horse programs like keystroke loggers or
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 28, 2007
      "Face Uranus" uranas402@... wrote:
      >Viruses for profit, I'm not so sure, but spyware and
      >adware is most definitely created with a profit in
      >mind.

      Viruses for profit are a fact of life these days in the Windows world. They're usually written to deliver "trojan horse" programs like keystroke loggers or applications tailor-made to turn infected computers into "botnets" that are used for spamming, inflating Google rankings, etc. The people behind several known botnets are criminal gangs who essentially rent them out for profit to fraud artists, software pirates, etc. It's been a long time since I've seen a virus written by an amateur who just gets a kick out of annoying people.

      >There are people who profit from "removing" it
      >from your system, there are people who profit from
      >selling the stats gleaned from your surfing habits,
      >there are people who profit from the specific data
      >gleaned from your machine, and so on and so on.

      All true, of course, and why it's so frustrating that the computer-using public can be told a hundred times how to protect themselves better but most still don't read the warnings or follow the instructions.

      >You
      >can't say that since Mac has 5% market share it should
      >have 5% of the viruses. It just doesn't work that way.
      >The mac is a little more difficult to crack than a pc
      >but there's no incentive to even take a shot when the
      >target is so small and pcs are everywhere.

      In fact, now that Macs have a whole 5% market share, they're a much more attractive target than they were at 2%. And there are that many more people who know how to program nasty things for Intel chips, especially on Macs that do have Windows and Windows programs installed.

      Also, one other thing that helped protect Mac users was the fact that you couldn't count on most Macs to be running the same system version and applications. There was a lot of diversity and what would infect users of a particular program would leave everyone else untouched. The resurgence of the Mac market comes with a less-vulnerable System but with much more predictability when it comes to installation of MS Office, file-sharing apps, iTunes, Flash, etc.

      >One thing that worries me is the fact that so many
      >macs are sitting around without any protection under
      >the assumption that they are safe simply because they
      >are macs. When that first virus does hit it will hit
      >all of us hard.

      Not "all of us" but certainly those of us who don't keep an eye on the tech & security news or don't act on the information we get.

      >And are you absolutely certain that
      >your mac doesn't already have malware installed?
      >Really certain?

      Yep! But that's because my OS X partition has yet to be used for anything Internet- or file-sharing related. If I were using a MacIntel, especially with Windows on it, I'd be running the whole gamut of antivirus, antispyware and antiadware apps... and keeping all ports firmly shut except when I want to use them.

      Nobody's writing new malware for "obsolete" OS 9 and I'm protected from what was written for it in the past. And I still keep essential system files locked, sensitive documents hidden from prying eyes, automatic decompression and launch disabled, and a close eye on any unusual behaviour of my computer or its Internet connection. If a Mac virus did arrive here (and there's always a chance one might), any code in the message would not be run and any malware attachment would be scanned by two different programs and trashed rather than opened since I don't open stuff from strangers, and don't open things from friends and relations without checking them out first with a safe application (e.g., a text editor or non-script-running browser).

      Call me paranoid if you will ...

      Judyth



      ##########################################################
      Judyth Mermelstein "cogito ergo lego ergo cogito..."
      Montreal, QC <judyth.mermelstein@...>
      Canada H4G 1J4 <lapomme@...>
      ##########################################################
      "A word to the wise is sufficient. For others, use more."
      "Un mot suffit aux sages; pour les autres, il en faut plus."
    • John Rethorst
      ... I would call you realistic. Although discussion here of a couple of weeks ago included links to articles explaining why the Mac OS was harder to hack than
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 28, 2007
        --- In wordperfectmac@yahoogroups.com, Judyth <judyth.mermelstein@...> wrote:
        >
        > Call me paranoid if you will ...

        I would call you realistic. Although discussion here of a couple of weeks
        ago included links to articles explaining why the Mac OS was harder to
        hack than Windows, our migration to Intel may, as you point out, open
        the door a little for malware. Thanks for the discussion.

        John R.
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