1 2 Previous Next 23 Replies Latest reply: Dec 1, 2011 5:28 AM by Csound1
that was my alias Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I was told by many people and heard fraom various sources across several years, that Apple computers either are immnune to viruses, or, at least get them much less often.

 

Well, having been an owner of an Apple laptop (a.k.a. "Macbook") for 3 years, I see that as true; the worst I got was an annoying community toolbar that got stuck to my Safari browser (which I replaced with Forefox).

 

So, 3 years with no viruses. Why is that? What is the reason? I would like someone to explain that to me (actual facts are welcome).


A1278 aluminum 2008 MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8), it's still alive
  • 2. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)

    Market share is a factor and OS X design is another factor. You have a better chance at being hit with malware or a trojan horse (either which you have to let into the house) than a virus. However, like the stock market, past performance isn't a guarantee for the future ....

     

    In addition to the article posted above, you can probably spend alot of time with google reading various discussions on this topic.

  • 3. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    Barry Hemphill Level 7 Level 7 (34,500 points)

    Hello:

     

    OS X sits on a platform (UNIX-based) that was originally written for mainframes.  There are no mainframe "viruses."  Ergo, Apple has chosen an architecture that is not full of holes like Windows.

     

    The article posted above, incidentally, is (IMHO) well written technobabble.  There are NO viruses that affect a Mac running OS X - NONE.  There are not a few, there are NONE.  If one downloads something from an unknown site, a malware "event" might occur.

     

    The notion that Macs are not attacked because of smaller market share is pure nonsense.  Have you ever heard of a mountain that someone has not tried to scale?  A hacker enjoys a challenge.  Imagine the media frenzy that would surround the first person to successfully write a virus that infected Macs!

     

    Barry 

  • 4. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    that was my alias wrote:

     

    So, 3 years with no viruses. Why is that? What is the reason? I would like someone to explain that to me (actual facts are welcome).

     

    Been about 20 years here, got the WDEF virus pre-Internet, came on a game disk.

     

     

    For classic OS - 9, it was simply that Mac's had so little market share that nobody cared, viruses need enough people to share it and files so it can piggyback along.

     

    For OS X, people care enough to write malware for it and certainly do, it's just that the BSD Unix is rather a tough nut to crack.

     

    It's also because Microsoft kept Windows XP around too long and tried to keep patching over and over it, supported legacy code as it served their purpose to give IT personal jobs, which they supported Microsoft by recommending a squeaky wheel they needed to always fix.

     

     

    When OS X appeared on the scene, it scared Microsoft into action, and they produced Vista and later Windows 7, which they finally got things right.

  • 5. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,300 points)
    So, 3 years with no viruses. Why is that? What is the reason? I would like someone to explain that to me (actual facts are welcome).

     

    My own take on it is: hackers write viruses to gain fame (or whatever it is that they do it for) - in any case, they can wreak far more havoc by writing one for a PC since more than 90% of the world's computer users use PCs - so why would they bother with a Mac? That wouldn't create more than a ripple.....

  • 6. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    that was my alias Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    No viruses... can you back that up?

     

    If you could, I guess this topic would be of no use to me afterwards.

  • 7. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    Barry Hemphill Level 7 Level 7 (34,500 points)

    No viruses... can you back that up?

     

    If you could, I guess this topic would be of no use to me afterwards.

    Apparently you want to argue.   I made a definitive statement.  If you are able to find any virus that affects a Mac, I will be the first to salute you.

     

    By the by, I have been rattling around Macs for over 15 years (see the little purple dots).  Those signify that I have helped quite a few people.

     

    Barry

  • 8. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    that was my alias Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I asked you to back up your statement.

     

    You did.

     

    WE THANK THOU.

  • 9. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    Ronda Wilson Level 8 Level 8 (40,695 points)

    So not true, babowa. The fame of the first true Mac virus would be a stunning and fame-producing achievement and would create not a ripple, but a tsunami.

     

    It will likely happen some day, but I'm not going to be hiding under my bed, afraid of that day.

     

    Windows folks deal with viruses all the time. We will deal with it when we have to. Meanwhile, I'm going to relax and enjoy my Mac without worrying about it.

     

    (And I don't run Windows on my Mac; that would cause me to worry.)

  • 10. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    babowa Level 7 Level 7 (23,300 points)

    I hadn't thought of it from that point of view; but, not sure it would be a tsunami: PC people are so used to hearing about viruses I don't know that they'd pay that much attention to a Mac virus and the Mac community is still small....

     

    And I don't run Windows either.....

  • 11. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)

    that was my alias wrote:

     

    No viruses... can you back that up?

     

    If you could, I guess this topic would be of no use to me afterwards.

     

     

    Windows viruses can affect a Mac, but usually as a corrupt file or a Office macro virus (contained in the application), also a Mac can assist in the transfer of Windows viruses.

     

    Now Mac's do get trojan horses and hacked occasionally, so it's wrong to think that a Mac is completely malware free.

     

    But for OS X viruses, no. None at all.

  • 12. Re: Apple computers & viruses. Why so little?
    MacintoshProfessional Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    babowa wrote:

     

    So, 3 years with no viruses. Why is that? What is the reason? I would like someone to explain that to me (actual facts are welcome).

     

    My own take on it is: hackers write viruses to gain fame (or whatever it is that they do it for) - in any case, they can wreak far more havoc by writing one for a PC since more than 90% of the world's computer users use PCs - so why would they bother with a Mac? That wouldn't create more than a ripple.....

    Actually, in recent studies, it has been demonstrated that companies pay "hackers" (your term, not mine) to write malware and tracking programs which people often dub "viruses" (viriii). These companies do so to sell products to people... Products, like, say... "anti-virus" software.  The other main producers of virii are so-called technology consultants for industrial espionage or other forms of data collection for the purposes of discrediting opponents or for gaining an advantage over opponents. Government agencies also produce software for this purpose. this sort of software is usally not written to infect large groups of computers especially those of consumers as their purpose is more specialized. wether or not this is a true computer virus is debateable, but my point is that often people misuse the word and have misconceptions about who creates virii and why. For the most part osx is immune because it does not allow unsigned code to take over the os like activex does on windows, and osx is not used by enough of the folks that are targets of virii in either case to be cost effective for those who spread them.

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