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virus

447 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2013 9:54 PM by John Galt RSS
spar409 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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Feb 1, 2013 1:01 PM

I suspect I have a virus on my computer although Norton is telling me it has found nothing during the scan.

My macbook air (new in 2012) is now significantly slower in start up and safari unexpectedly crashed last night and my mac restarted.

 

How can I resolve this?

Thank you for your help!

MacBook Air
  • William Lloyd Level 6 Level 6 (19,235 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 1, 2013 1:09 PM (in response to spar409)

    It's extremely unlikely it's a virus.

     

    I suspect that Norton is what's slowing the system down, honestly.

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,220 points)
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    Feb 1, 2013 1:10 PM (in response to spar409)

    Uninsall Norton according to Symantec's instructions. If you did not retain its uninstaller start by reading the following:

     

    Removing Symantec programs for Macintosh

     

    Do not install such junk on a Mac.

    MacBooks  iMacs  iPads  AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion,  28 years Apple!
  • AnaMusic Level 9 Level 9 (55,295 points)
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    Feb 2, 2013 1:51 PM (in response to spar409)

    spar409 wrote:

     

    Can you please explain how Macs dont get viruses?

    ...

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/4545776?tstart=0

  • VikingOSX Level 5 Level 5 (4,805 points)
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    Feb 2, 2013 2:05 PM (in response to spar409)

    The only Virus on your Mac is the Norton Utilities. Get rid of it.

  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,535 points)
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    Feb 2, 2013 2:07 PM (in response to spar409)

    I think all computers can potentially get a virus.

    Potentially, yes. But in the entire time OS X has been around, there has never been one virus. A few Trojans, a few Java exploits (recent) and one semi worm (Oompa Loompa), but no viruses.

     

    Much of that due to UNIX, which OS X sits on top of. From the ground up, UNIX was designed with privileges. In order for a program to run, it first has to be allowed to run by the OS or the owner of an account. A virus cannot install and launch itself without your knowledge, or without a warning from the OS that xxx wants to install.

  • stevejobsfan0123 Level 7 Level 7 (30,505 points)
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    Feb 2, 2013 2:10 PM (in response to spar409)

    Norton has a reputation of deleting files that are part of the operating system, so you should uninstall it.

     

     

    hence Norton antivirus (which btw was designed for Mac specifically)

    Of course it is-- they have to make money somehow.

     

    Macs do not get viruses because they have built in protection. They also cannot run ".exe" files which can only be executed on Windows computers, and many viruses are this type. If you managed to contract malware, run Software Update, download the latest OS update/security patches and the OS takes care of it. Anti-virus will not protect you from anything, should you get infected by malware (viruses are different).

  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,220 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 2, 2013 9:54 PM (in response to spar409)

    spar409 wrote:

     

    Can you please explain how Macs dont get viruses?

    I don't understand it.. I think all computers can potentially get a virus.

     

    And shouldn't everyone have some sort of internet protectiong software? That's what I've thought for many years - hence Norton antivirus (which btw was designed for Mac specifically)

     

    OS X was originally conceived as a multi-user operating system specifically designed to segregate users from one another, and to protect the core operating system from everyone. It already includes all the protection it needs against viruses and malware. Your implied assumption is that there is some aftermarket product available that can perform this basic function better than the engineers who design and maintain the Mac. There is no logical reason for such an assumption.

     

    Many people who install third party Mac AV software are seeking a magic shield that can protect their Mac from all harm, and are all too eager to install one of the many products that makes such claim. It helps if the product is marketed with a cleverly drawn cartoon character. This has proven to be a very effective strategy, but the fact remains that nothing can protect you or your Mac from all the evils of the world. There is no such product. If you choose to download and install something that modifies your system, anything is possible including password theft, data loss, or system corruption. No AV software in the world can prevent you from doing this.

     

    As others have explained, most AV software itself modifies OS X, often to ill effect. A conservative estimate of all the Mac problems that appear on this site ultimately determined to be the result of poorly written system modifications is reasonably 50%. Most of those are anti-virus programs like Norton.

     

    It's your Mac. Install whatever you want, but understanding the software's limitations and potential effects, both intended and unintended, is a prerequisite for using any computer responsibly.

    MacBooks  iMacs  iPads  AirPorts, OS X Mountain Lion,  28 years Apple!

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