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Virus Scan

9138 Views 59 Replies Latest reply: Nov 15, 2010 3:02 PM by Whitecity RSS
  • Mr Peebly Level 1 Level 1 (80 points)
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    Nov 14, 2010 4:21 AM (in response to Allan Eckert)
    So all things said... it appears to me as though I've wasted my money.

    How would an innocent user know without being privy to your expert knowledge? I use Leapord given I'm still using a trusty Powermac G5. How much detriment is norton Antivirus installed on my machine exactly and would you suggest I uninstall it? Thanks in advance for your constructive responses.

    PS Where can I buy anti elephant powder lol
    PowerMac G5, Mac OS X (10.5.8), 1.8 GHZ Dual Proc. 4GB Memory, 128MB VRAM 20" Cinema Display, Macbook 1.8GHZ
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)
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    Nov 14, 2010 4:34 AM (in response to Mr Peebly)
    How would an innocent user know without being privy to your expert knowledge?


    Unfortunately, it's difficult. It has taken me many years of reading posts here about troubles with Norton to form the opinion that it is seriously flawed. Of course, even so, I have no experience with it and am, more or less, passing on hearsay when I recommend dumping it. However, a certain volume of complaints cannot be denied.

    I use Leapord given I'm still using a trusty Powermac G5.


    In that case, you should be posting on the Leopard forums in the future, not the Snow Leopard forums. Some answers you get here may not be relevant to Leopard. That shouldn't be a problem in this particular case, though.

    How much detriment is norton Antivirus installed on my machine exactly and would you suggest I uninstall it?


    Some people say to erase your hard drive and reinstall your system, but I seriously doubt that is necessary. That's just the extremist anti-Norton camp talking. I would just use the uninstaller and be done with it, unless that doesn't work.
    17" MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Whitecity Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
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    Nov 14, 2010 11:22 PM (in response to Mr Peebly)
    +How would an innocent user know without being privy to your expert knowledge?+
    There are a lot of scams out there - Nigerian fund transfers, v*a, anti-virus - it's hard to know, but in general, when shady companies are trying to get money out of you in return for protecting you from vague threats that's a red flag.

    +How much detriment is norton Antivirus installed on my machine exactly and would you suggest I uninstall it?+

    If it's not causing you any obvious problems then you're lucky - it's just slowing you down a little. Yes, you should uninstall it.
    15" PB, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Whitecity Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 14, 2010 11:23 PM (in response to thomas_r.)
    'extremist'? lol
    15" PB, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)
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    Nov 15, 2010 4:35 AM (in response to Whitecity)
    when shady companies are trying to get money out of you in return for protecting you from vague threats that's a red flag.


    To equate AV software vendors with scammers is irresponsible and just makes you look like you don't know what you're talking about. AV software is not protecting you from "vague threats". There are very real threats that they protect against.

    I don't always agree with the AV software vendors' actions, and I think that it's generally not necessary on a Mac, and that certain AV software ought to be avoided. However, it's a big stretch - and a bit slanderous, as well - to go from there to calling them scammers.
    17" MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Whitecity Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
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    Nov 15, 2010 8:48 AM (in response to thomas_r.)
    It's not irresponsible, have you seen some of the marketing of Mac anti-virus? Norton, for example, promises to "Automatically detect and removes viruses—Offers automatic protection against the latest threats" - what are these 'threats'? We are not told. They are certainly not viruses, which Norton claims to 'remove', an out and out lie. How can you possible not think of this as a scam?
    15" PB, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Tom in London Level 4 Level 4 (1,570 points)
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    Nov 15, 2010 8:51 AM (in response to Barney-15E)
    (off topic slightly) this thread reminds me of someone looking for WMD, not finding any, and assuming they must be hidden
    MacBookPro 13" (Nov. 2009) with a 20" *matte* Apple display (I hate shiny), Mac OS X (10.6.4), + graveyard of old Macs
  • Whitecity Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
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    Nov 15, 2010 9:03 AM (in response to thomas_r.)
    In addition, of course, there are these anti virus scams http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/11/15/1551224/Web-Users-Fall-For-Fake-Anti-Viru s-Scams
    It's frankly very hard to tell the difference.
    15" PB, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)
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    Nov 15, 2010 9:50 AM (in response to Whitecity)
    Norton, for example, promises to "Automatically detect and removes viruses—Offers automatic protection against the latest threats" - what are these 'threats'? We are not told.


    So, because we are not told, it's a scam? As you very well know, since I know you have read my [Mac Virus guide|http://www.reedcorner.net/thomas/guides/macvirus>, threats do exist. Very shaky logic, there, sir.

    They are certainly not viruses, which Norton claims to 'remove', an out and out lie.


    Most people do not understand the distinction between the various types of malware. If a security company chooses to simplify, using a term that everyone will recognize, does that make it a scam? It's not a scam, not a lie, simply an oversimplification. Since when does advertising not oversimplify? That's the way advertising works.

    How can you possible not think of this as a scam?


    It is only possible to think of AV companies as scammers if you do not admit to the existence of Mac malware. Do you or do you not admit to the existence of Mac trojans, such as RSPlug, iServices and HellRTS? Simple question. Apple sure as heck admits to them. Take a look at the following file on your Mac:

    /System/Library/CoreServices/CoreTypes.bundle/Contents/Resources/XProtect.plist

    If you deny their existence, in the face of incontrovertible evidence to the contrary, then you make yourself look like a fool. On the other hand, if you admit their existence, you have absolutely no grounds for calling AV companies scammers.

    I admit, I don't like the way security companies blow these things out of proportion and use scare tactics to sell their products. However, I'm curious what means you would suggest for finding malware to someone who has the symptoms of having one of the known trojans?
    17" MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Tom in London Level 4 Level 4 (1,570 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2010 9:55 AM (in response to thomas_r.)
    An operating system that is impervious to viruses is an operating system that would put giant corporations like Norton out of business.
    MacBookPro 13" (Nov. 2009) with a 20" *matte* Apple display (I hate shiny), Mac OS X (10.6.4), + graveyard of old Macs
  • powerbook1701 Level 3 Level 3 (545 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2010 10:00 AM (in response to SuperDorky)
    I have found this to be sound advice, here in the user tips area:
    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1764179&tstart=0


    There are trojan threats for macs (the recent Java trojan, for example). But, keeping your OS up to date, flash player, etc..up to date can help avoid issues...and of course don't install anything that you don't know what it is or where it came from. I like ClamXav because it is, by default set up, a passive scanner (but can be set up to watch) and does not use CPU. It is a low risk app, meaning it doesn't do something until you tell it and it doesn't intrude into your system. NAV is great for PC's, but stay away from NAV (Norton) for macs.

    Message was edited by: powerbook1701
    MBP 15-inch 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 / 4GB SDRAM / AG Screen (Mid 2010), Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPhone 3GS (32GB), AEBS DB II (Late 2009), Apple Wired Keyboard/Mouse, ClamXav
  • Whitecity Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
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    Nov 15, 2010 10:01 AM (in response to thomas_r.)
    Well, you don't address these obvious anti-virus scammers, http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/11/15/1551224/Web-Users-Fall-For-Fake-Anti-Viru s-Scams , I'm presuming that you agree that some companies are running scams, but are making the claim that at least some anti-virus companies are not scamming?
    It seems like we're arguing about semantics here - is calling a trojan a 'virus' a misrepresentation and a scam, or a legitimate advertising simplification?
    Of course I acknowledge that a handful of trojans exist for OSX, but if these companies were interested in helping users protect themselves against these they would not continue spreading misinformation and selling products that are, at best, not needed.
    15" PB, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (26,960 points)
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    Nov 15, 2010 10:15 AM (in response to Whitecity)
    Well, you don't address these obvious anti-virus scammers


    Those scammers are related to AV companies in much the same way that a cat burglar is related to a cat... not at all. Mentioning them as justification for calling AV companies scammers is simply illogical and foolish.

    It seems like we're arguing about semantics here - is calling a trojan a 'virus' a misrepresentation and a scam, or a legitimate advertising simplification?


    Misrepresentation, sure. Advertising simplification, sure. Scam... you've got to be kidding me, right?

    Of course I acknowledge that a handful of trojans exist for OSX


    Then stop interfering with those who wish to educate people on this topic.

    if these companies were interested in helping users protect themselves against these they would not continue spreading misinformation and selling products that are, at best, not needed.


    Not needed? How, then, does one detect and remove the malware that you admit exists? I asked this already and you did not choose to answer. Keep in mind that I have had private conversations with several people in the last few months who had actually been infected with RSPlug or iServices.

    If you are careful, it's not needed. However, thanks in part to posts like yours, many unsophisticated users are not properly educated and do not know the dangers, and thus get infected.
    17" MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Whitecity Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2010 10:47 AM (in response to thomas_r.)
    Thomas A Reed wrote:
    Well, you don't address these obvious anti-virus scammers


    Those scammers are related to AV companies in much the same way that a cat burglar is related to a cat... not at all. Mentioning them as justification for calling AV companies scammers is simply illogical and foolish.

    Really? I'm trying to follow your logic. You acknowledge, I think, that there are companies who scam people using anti-virus scare tactics by selling them products that don't do what the company claims they will do, are not needed, or cause problems, and yet you don't want to call them anti-virus company scammers? I'm not sure why.
    I think that you want to to draw a bright line between some companies who we both agree are obvious
    scammers, and others who we disagree about whether they are misrepresenting their product or outright scamming. Well, fine, but the practical outcome is the same for the user - a popup or ad appears from a company telling them they need anti-virus protection, which they don't, and trying to separate them from their cash in return for 'fixing' a problem that doesn't exist. That looks and quacks like a scam to me, but whatever, you can define it how you like.

    It seems like we're arguing about semantics here - is calling a trojan a 'virus' a misrepresentation and a scam, or a legitimate advertising simplification?


    Misrepresentation, sure. Advertising simplification, sure. Scam... you've got to be kidding me, right?

    Not at all. What is your definition of a scam unless it is misrepresenting your product?

    Of course I acknowledge that a handful of trojans exist for OSX

    Then stop interfering with those who wish to educate people on this topic.

    I'm not interfering. I think educating people about not installing trojans is very important. I applaud your work on this, and have done many times. There is a big difference between educating people about trojans, telling them how to remove them, and selling them snake oil that does not address the issue.

    if these companies were interested in helping users protect themselves against these they would not continue spreading misinformation and selling products that are, at best, not needed.

    It is the anti-virus component that is not needed.
    Not needed? How, then, does one detect and remove the malware that you admit exists?

    Trojan removers are quite different from anti-virus scanners. Of course, you know that.
    If you are careful, it's not needed. However, thanks in part to posts like yours, many unsophisticated users are not properly educated and do not know the dangers, and thus get infected.

    I can't imagine how you think my posts disguise the dangers of trojans.
    15" PB, Mac OS X (10.4.6)
  • Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,500 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 15, 2010 10:56 AM (in response to Whitecity)
    Well, you don't address these obvious anti-virus scammers,...


    As Thomas noted, these attacks (and that's what they are) have nothing whatsoever to do with any kind of AV software.

    Here's a look at one of many like this:

    http://www.2-spyware.com/remove-antivirus-2010.html

    It even has its own category; ransomware.

    This (cough!), AV software, has a "new version" every year. Fortunately, it only attacks Windows. Bad news for Windows users is if you visit a site where one of these are, they automatically download and install on your PC. Once there, they do a superb job stopping you from removing them. If you don't get every piece (which are scattered all over the place), it once again downloads the missing parts and takes over your PC again.

    1) They are not anti-virus software of any kind. They'll pretend to scan your system and show you a list of all kinds of files it says are viruses. Except those supposed viruses are either legitimate system files, or made up names that don't exists on your PC at all.

    2) They block you from accessing the Internet so you can't download the tools you need to remove the crap. They block real AV software already on your PC from running. Some of these things even delete Norton, McAfee and others from your drive.

    3) All the while, they block you from using your PC in any usable way. The software stays up in front begging you to pay $29.99 (or whatever) to get the "full version" to remove all the fake listed threats.

    4) Now you get stung twice if you fall for that. You've paid, with a credit card, to get the fake full version, which will claim it has "fixed" your computer. When all it really does it release your computer back to you. Second, now they've got your credit card number, which is what they really want. Expect to see all kinds of charges show up on your card you didn't make.
    Mac Pro 8 core Xeon, 14GB RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.4), Creo Eversmart Supreme II, Epson Stylus Pro 4000

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