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#7743 - 01/19/10 12:24 PM Anti-virus software for Mac
etaoin Offline


Registered: 08/06/09
At work we finally have an up-and-running Active Directory environment. Sparing you the long story, we have an external corporate IT department that is becoming increasingly belligerent about connecting any computer to our AD network without anti-virus software.

I've tried to explain to them what others (especially Tacit) have elaborated on so expertly in the past that no really good/safe antivirus software exists (or is needed, for that matter) for Mac OS X.

I just received several new MacBook Pro laptops running 10.6 and they're on me about installing anti-virus software before they'll let me connect them to the network.

Help on either pointing me to acceptable AV software or a short dissertation why this still is not advisable would be appreciated. Thanks.

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#7745 - 01/19/10 01:04 PM Re: Anti-virus software for Mac [Re: etaoin]
Bensheim Offline


Registered: 08/16/09
Loc: UK
Cyn (I think, might have been Dianne) wrote a long lively piece about this years ago on the MacFixit forums. I tried to find it for you, but that archive takes a L--o--n--g time to load.

This might help, http://www.themaclawyer.com/2009/07/articles/security/why-are-there-no-viruses-on-mac-os-x/

but I am sure that others here, especially the mods and admins, will provide a better response.

FWIW, I have been using Macs for ~15 years in this office environment without any antivirus protection and the only hardship we've suffered is antiquity of hardware. AFAIK (and it works for us) is that the only virus threat which Mac owners present, is, passing on PC viruses to other PC users. And that could only be achieved by forwarding infected emails which we do not do, anyway.

But as I said, you'll get a far more erudite and technical response from one of the 6 or so mod/admins here. Don't go down the Norton route.

best wishes, just trying to help

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#7749 - 01/19/10 02:40 PM Re: Anti-virus software for Mac [Re: etaoin]
alternaut Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
I'm afraid the IT guys may not be susceptible to reason in this case (after all, thinking hurts and all they're trying to do is cover their butts). It may be easiest to install some anti-virus software (Intego?), and then disable it to the extent possible and/or needed to have things work smoothly on your Macs. Problem with this scenario is that the IT dept. may also want to control your AV software choice plus its online updates, and mess with your Macs that way.
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#7752 - 01/19/10 05:46 PM Re: Anti-virus software for Mac [Re: alternaut]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
As long as you have to install AV software, ClamXav is very unobtrusive and even better free (actually donationware). It is good at detecting Windows virii, which is all there is out there, and can quarantine the infected files. There is no AV program capable of detecting Mac viruses because there are no known Mac viruses and therefore no Mac virus signatures, and no virus can be detected unless it has a known signature.
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#7755 - 01/19/10 10:19 PM Re: Anti-virus software for Mac [Re: Bensheim]
cyn Offline

Administrator

Registered: 08/03/09
I suspect etaoin's read it (tacit wrote it, not me or dianne) but JIC: Macs, viruses, and anti-virus software

Great tip from Kevin M. Dean, here at FTM: Fix for macfixitforums archive slow loading
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#7760 - 01/20/10 06:02 AM Re: Anti-virus software for Mac [Re: cyn]
etaoin Offline


Registered: 08/06/09
Thanks for the feedback. I can't get the first link in Cyn's response (at MacFixit) to load, but I suspect that's a reference to Tacit's excellent dissertation on Macs and antivirus software. I copied that into a document that I've saved. Good information, but I wonder if it's currently accurate.

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#7787 - 01/21/10 10:51 AM Re: Anti-virus software for Mac [Re: etaoin]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
The idiots at the local university won't let you attach your computer to the university LAN without installing AV software first. Macs included. Their system locks the DHCP server down by ethernet/wireless MAC address so you can't pull an address (or ROUTE for that matter if you try to go static) without being on the approved list.

Of course they don't apparently realize it's a waste of time to make that method so hardened when it's so easy to spoof your MAC on anything unix based... heh.

We recommend to students that they make a full time machine backup, take it in, get their MACs approved, (they will install Norton for you) and then restore to get the norton crap back off it.
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#7791 - 01/21/10 10:59 AM Re: Anti-virus software for Mac [Re: Virtual1]
etaoin Offline


Registered: 08/06/09
Two things: May I presume from your comments that the "Norton crap" still is problematic with OS X?

Has anyone used this product?

http://www.protectmac.com/

I downloaded and installed the 30-day trial and have been running it for a couple days. No apparent problems; did a full computer scan and found no threats; and seems to be pretty well-behaved.

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#7803 - 01/21/10 06:50 PM Re: Anti-virus software for Mac [Re: etaoin]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
I haven't seen it cause any severe problems recently, other than being hard to properly uninstall. It's highly invasive software.

First time their removal instructions said to run the uninstaller. Which, conveniently, refused to run if it wasn't properly installed. (like if you'd tried trashing it) It was also only present on the install discs, so if you lost the disc, you could not uninstall it.

The second time I saw something from Symantec on removing it, it was something like a 45 step list of terminal commands to type. (seriously!) I put it in a bash script of course, and it didn't work properly, still got errors and all sorts of issues after it was "removed". The script had several glaring mistakes (wrong paths) that I fixed, but there was a lot of stuff it was trying to remove that just plain was never there to begin with.

Third time I went looking for it they had put the commands in a bash script, unchanged, and it STILL didn't work properly.

Last time I checked they have an actual removal application for download, that appears to work for the most part. There for a few months they were putting out a new version of it every few weeks.
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#8032 - 01/29/10 01:49 PM Re: Anti-virus software for Mac [Re: Virtual1]
Sturner Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Cyber Space
Norton IS a virus. That's the common wisdom. It still causes problems when installed, so it's best to avoid it. It is also a resource hog.

ClamXav is the best bet. I use it to be a good neighbor to those who I talk to and are on Windows. It works, and as mentioned before it is not system intensive.
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#8062 - 01/30/10 02:17 PM Re: Anti-virus software for Mac [Re: etaoin]
macnerd10 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
I used it too for a while, as a mandatory corporate thing. Always kept it disabled! No problems. Got rid of it when switching to Leopard.
On one machine (PPC), I use ClamXAV (don't like it because it is very slow to update, and it does it every time I download something and it starts to scan), and iAntiVirus. The latter is my favorite - fast, unobtrusive and, by many reviews, reliable. Unfortunately, it won't work on a PPC, only on Intel.
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Alex
3.1 GHz 13" MacBook Pro 2015, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, TimeWarner Cable
2.8 GHz Xeon Mac Pro 2010, 16 GB RAM, OS 10.11.2, Office 2011, LAN

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