1 2 Previous Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Feb 14, 2011 6:47 AM by Kurt Lang
Frank Abramonte1 Level 2 Level 2 (325 points)
I just switched from Verizon to optimum and suddenly I have a notification that there are 12 viruses on my computer.
I've had macs since 1984 and never had a virus.
The cable people tell me that I have to get rid of them, but didn't tell me how.
Do I get something like Norton Utilities and run it, or do I first have to get rid of the viruses, if I do have to get rid of them how do I do it?
Is Norton a good software?

iMac 20", 2GHz Core 2 Duo, Mac OS X (10.5.6), 3Gb, Titanium 250Gb Ext FireWire Drive. Quark 8.1, PS CS2, Office 2004
  • 1. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)
    No Norton. It's a Mac killer. Stay away from it. Those "viruses," a catch all word for any kind of malware, are most likely only Windows and won't affect a Mac. But you don't want to pass them on to your PC friends. There are NO viruses for Mac.*

    Run ClamXav. It has a good reputation and won't destroy your Mac. See what it may turn up. Also, ask Optimum how they are able to scan your drive for these "viruses." That's a neat trick.

    http://www.clamxav.com/download.php
  • 2. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (226,775 points)
    There are no viruses affecting Macs. The cable people have their heads up their arses.
  • 3. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    Frank Abramonte1 Level 2 Level 2 (325 points)
    WZZZ and Kappy, thanks for your replies.
    I spoke to another tech guy at Optimum who owns a mac and he advised me that what I saw was probably malware, and not to be too concerned.
    I've had malware in the past stating that my computer may be infected, but none were so believable as this latest one.
    This one actually showed a window with a list of viruses including 2 Trojan Horses.
    It went on to advise clicking on the "Start Protection" button to get rid of the viruses, however, that button was inoperable. Wherever you click on the window it would download an exc. file. I kept trying and after downloading 27 of the exc. files I quit and trashed them from by download folder.
    This last tech guy was convincing enough for me to believe this was a new malware.
    I thought the message came from Optimum since I had just switched over last week.
    The Optimum guy said it doesn't come from them but was part of the ongoing malware reporting viruses.
    He also said that no provider has blocks for malware or viruses, I always thought that they did and that's why I never got a virus...I guess I learned something new.
    He told me that Apple had a free virus software that I could use, but I couldn't find it.
    I'll try the link WZZZ posted.
    Again, thanks for your always prompt and knowledgeable help.
  • 4. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    Frank Abramonte1 Level 2 Level 2 (325 points)
    I downloaded the ClamXav.
    Didn't read any instructions, but I noticed that it previewed only 14 folders and documents in the window. I selected them and clicked "Start Scan" it came up with "No infected files were found".
    Are the few selected folders & documents displayed the software suspects are infected, why does it not scan the entire HD?
    Please advise.
  • 5. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)
    As you now know, that message itself from Optimum was phishing/malware. If you ever get a pop-up or email claiming you have a virus or malware, _under no circumstances_ , should you follow through with anything on it, even trying to close it. Just quit the browser instead. If it's set a cookie, remove that. If it's an email, just trash it. Set your browser to not allow pop-ups.

    Never open email attachments from untrusted sources. Stay away from P2P (file sharing) sites and Torrents and don't download any pirated software. Be careful on Facebook if you go there. It's not a place to especially avoid malware.

    For ClamX, set the "source list" all the way on the left to Macintosh HD, or whatever you may have named that Folder. It will then scan the whole drive, but it may take quite a while. If you use ClamX, you only need to do this once in a blue moon, if at all. exe. (not .exc) files can not run on a Mac, Windows only.

    ClamX, if it identifies anything, will probably only find Windows malware. There are a few, but only very few, Trojans for Mac.

    Read this primer on Mac malware.

    http://www.reedcorner.net/guides/macvirus/
  • 6. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    Matt Clifton Level 7 Level 7 (27,790 points)
    Frank:

    That window was a browser pop-up, just like any other pop-up advertisement you might see. They're designed to fool people into thinking they have a virus, clicking on the "Scan" button, and downloading malware to their PCs. But it is purely an advert (and a nasty scam, at that). Even on a PC, a company pushing ads cannot "scan" your computer for viruses. As you've found, the download on a Mac does nothing. You can tell it's a scam for PCs because it usually mentions the "C" drive and Windows folders such as "My Documents".

    I advise you to turn off popups in your browser (for Safari - go to the Safari menu and click Block Popup Windows - unfortunately, it won't eliminate the problem entirely) and perhaps also use ad-blocking software. If you see such a window again, click the "close" button to the top left (use the normal red Mac window close button, since anything that says "Close" or "Cancel" in the window itself will likely not work).

    Matt
  • 7. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    Frank Abramonte1 Level 2 Level 2 (325 points)
    Matt, thanks for your input. Will check out your suggestions.
  • 8. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)
    he advised me that what I saw was probably malware, and not to be too concerned.


    "He" is an idiot. He says malware like it's some sort of specific threat. Malware is short for malicious software, which is a catch-all for any threat; virus, worm, Trojan, etc.

    This one actually showed a window with a list of viruses including 2 Trojan Horses.


    Did that screen look anything like the one show here?

    http://www.im-infected.com/rogue/user-protection.html

    If so, the so called AV software itself is the malware. It's been around for years. Every year they come out with a new one with the current year in the name to try and make it sound legitimate. The list of viruses it "finds" are usually a mix of .dll files, some real, some made up. All Windows stuff since .dll files don't exist in OS X.

    On a Windows system, it is very pervasive. Blocking access to the Internet and even deleting your real AV software from the hard drive to keep you from removing it. All the while trying to extort $29.99 from you to activate the "full version" to remove the "viruses" from your computer. If you fall for it, all it does is return control of your computer to you while actually doing nothing (though it claims to have now cleaned your computer). Better than that, the crooks now also have your credit card number.

    Anyway, I mention this Windows threat because it's been reported that the same jerks are trying to figure out a way to get it to work against Mac users. Since it can't install without your help as it does in Windows, infected web sites instead pop it up in a window. There is no software anywhere which can scan your hard drive remotely for viruses through a web browser, so it is of course completely bogus.

    Wherever you click on the window it would download an exc. file.


    I imagine you meant .exe file. Yes, that's one way the infection on a Windows computer starts. Once you download the .exe file, it automatically runs and then downloads the rest of the components it needs from the Internet to take control of your computer. Since an .exe file cannot run in OS X, you just end up with a few files taking up a bit of space on your hard drive.

    He told me that Apple had a free virus software that I could use, but I couldn't find it.


    Apple provides no AV software. Just links on some of their pages to third party vendors that do.
  • 9. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    ~Bee Level 7 Level 7 (30,770 points)
    Frank --
    You've gotten outstanding advice here.
    It was a scam.

    In addition to "Blocking Pop-ups" in the Safari menu,
    you can add GlimmerBlocker. It's free, and in combination with the
    Safari pop-up blocker, hardly anything gets through -- pop-up, pop-unders, etc.
  • 10. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    Frank Abramonte1 Level 2 Level 2 (325 points)
    Hi, Kurt how have you been?
    BTW, do you know if they ever corrected the font conflicts with OS 10.6, QuarkXPress and CS4?
    These were primarily with Helvetica Neue and ITC Garamond.

    The window was not as what you show.
    The closest I can remember was a nice official looking page with a heading some text and a smaller window similar to when you're asked to "open as", or installing software and you have to select either an application or folder.
    The window listed 2 Trojan Horses and some other items which I don't remember.
    I couldn't use the scroll up or down even though there were 12 items listed and only about 5 showing.
    The window, scroll and start button were dead and not working, I guess they were dummies.
    At the bottom of the little window it stated "Recommend that you press the Start Protection button to start removing the viruses".
    That button was not active, but no matter where I would click it would download these exe. files which I never attempted to open. I just dumped them. I guess to initiate the downloads they made it so clicking anywhere would download the files, that's why the scroll and button weren't working.
    I must say that this particular document looked real authentic and not like the normal "Your computer has a virus" pop up. I guess that's why I thought it had come from Optimum.
    I've always been very alert viruses and always ran Norton up to OS9, I then quit when I switched to OSX.

    I feel more comfortable now having heard from the discussion group, and wish to thank everyone once more for the prompt, knowledgeable answers.
  • 11. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    WZZZ Level 6 Level 6 (12,225 points)
    Frank, you had written the following which at first led me to believe the notification was from Optimum.

    I just switched from Verizon to optimum and suddenly I have a notification that there are 12 viruses on my >computer.
    I've had macs since 1984 and never had a virus.
    The cable people tell me that I have to get rid of them, but didn't tell me how.


    Was the pop-up, in fact, designed to masquerade as one from Optimum, perhaps with an Optimum logo? If so, I would find it troubling that you received this just upon switching to them.
  • 12. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    Frank Abramonte1 Level 2 Level 2 (325 points)
    WZZZ, If it did have a Optimum logo I probably would have noticed it, but it sure looked official which is why I thought it came from them.
    As I mentioned to Kurt, it was nothing like the normal "Your computer has been inflicted with a virus" pop up one normally gets.
    I happen to delete my history this AM so I can't get back to it.
    If I recall correctly it was mostly a reddish beige colored background with some green and black text.
    Thanks for your interest, next time I'll take a screen shot.
  • 13. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    Kurt Lang Level 7 Level 7 (31,995 points)
    Hi, Kurt how have you been?


    Still breathing.

    BTW, do you know if they ever corrected the font conflicts with OS 10.6, QuarkXPress and CS4?
    These were primarily with Helvetica Neue and ITC Garamond.


    By "they", I'm guessing you mean Apple. No, it's still the same, and unlikely to change as Apple has now incorporated their conflicting versions of Helvetica and Helvetica Neue extensively into the design of their supplied apps. And as of 10.6.5 and later, you can add Helvetica Light to the list. The only solution is to move the conflicting Apple fonts somewhere else where you can control them with your font manager. Turn them off when you require a different version of these fonts active; turn them back on when you don't.

    Everything you describe next is a complete scam and nothing more than an attempt to get you to download the payload. Which you did, but it couldn't do anything on your Mac.
  • 14. Re: how to get  rid of virus
    Frank Abramonte1 Level 2 Level 2 (325 points)
    The font work around is too complicated and time consuming so I'll stick with OS 10.5.
    I now see how slick these people are with their scams, wonder how many users get caught up and pay.
    Thanks
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