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Boot Camp Virus And Mac OSX

7997 Views 9 Replies Latest reply: Aug 31, 2011 11:27 AM by joryjoryjory RSS
Maronan Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 7, 2011 3:41 PM
Are there any viruses, trojans, or other malware which, upon infecting a Mac running Windows XP Home (unpatched, outdated antivirus) in Boot Camp, are able to damage the Mac OSX partition or anything else outside of the Windows section?

Basically, I've discovered that my Windows setup is b0rken and I need to wipe and reinstall it. Since the Boot Camp volume is formatted as FAT32 rather than NTFS, I can wipe it in Disk Utility and restore it from a disk image I made as a backup some time ago, while booted into Mac OSX.

Since I haven't told him I'll be wiping the Boot Camp partition anyway, my mate bet me a beer that I wouldn't install a particular piece of dodgy software. (It's semi-commercial; adware is likely, a heavily-virulent virus less so, but I'm being careful and assuming the worst.)

If I install dodgy software in Windows (and possibly get infected by a virus or rootkit; can't rule them out even if the possibilities are remote), will said infection cause any damage to my computer that will survive the zeroing of my Windows partition and complete reinstallation from a clean source?

Keep in mind that my Boot Camp setup is old enough that it does NOT have HFS+ drivers installed. Unless the virus brings its own, Windows XP is NOT capable of reading the Mac OSX partition or any of the files thereon.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
  • MStum Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 8, 2011 2:41 AM (in response to Maronan)
    Since the hard drive itself is accessible, a Virus could alter/destroy the partition table, therefore wrecking the OS X partition with it.

    There is also the possibility of a Virus containing a HFS+ driver, but I'm pretty sure none of these exist.
    Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,545 points)
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    Jan 8, 2011 4:10 AM (in response to Maronan)
    Best Windows program protection and free as well.

    EFI and GPT are probably not on the radar so I doubt a bios or rootkit exists other than MBR.
    Mac Pro 8800GTX Corsair F90 SSD, Mac OS X (10.6.5), 3.2GHz 10K VelociRaptors Win7 GTX 460
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,545 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2011 7:42 AM (in response to Maronan)
    "Virus" - there are way too many threads over in Using OS X forum - but if you look, one of the security patches in 10.6.6 was to address a man-in-the-middle exploit.

    So if you widen "virus" to be sql-injection, trojan, drive by downloads, or just crashing an application or whole OS, yes it can happen. Some exploits use web browser plug-ins too.

    And some rootkits can bury in the BIOS and make the motherboard infected to the point gov't departments had to destroy the machines.

    GPT and EFI though are probably outside those attacks.
    Mac Pro 8800GTX Corsair F90 SSD, Mac OS X (10.6.5), 3.2GHz 10K VelociRaptors Win7 GTX 460
  • Oblivion2500 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 11, 2011 6:36 PM (in response to Maronan)
    You should not be too afraid as long you do the following:

    1. download a free anti-virus program, I really recommend Avast and not AVG because it faster and have less false alarms.

    2. Don't download stuff from the internet in your windows partition. I mostly just go to my Mac OS and download everything I want and then go to boot camp and in windows, I go to the macintosh hdd and find the download folder and drag to desktop.

    and also I would download:
    CCleaner to keep your windows partition clean and fast, and a trial of TuneUp utilities just to fix all the problems including security problems windows already have in windows and then uninstall it.
    iMac 27" inch late 2009
  • joryjoryjory Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Aug 31, 2011 11:27 AM (in response to Maronan)

    sorry to bump this post, but can a "genius" from apple please verify this last post for us so that we know it is true and not someone trying to promote carefree security when using bootcamp. thanks


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