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Thread: The Symantec CEO fields softballs from Fortune Magazine about MAC and Virus myths


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    Uber Poster Rson's Avatar
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    The Symantec CEO fields softballs from Fortune Magazine about MAC and Virus myths


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    Forum Regular Charles Putnam's Avatar
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    Would YOU really trust Symantec to protect your computer?

    While he's partially right that hackers/virus script kitties target Windows (which they do), to my knowledge there aren't any Mac specific viruses in the wild, unlike Windows. This doesn't mean that Mac's aren't succeptable. Sophos makes a free Mac antivirus, which appears to be a better option than SomeAntics...I mean Symantec. I've run Sophos without any issues. I do have Java disabled on Safari, and have the built-in firewall turned on.
    Last edited by Charles Putnam; 03-29-2011 at 09:44 AM.
    "Work is for people who don't know how to surf"

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    Senior Member mercphoto's Avatar
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    Are Macs susceptible? Yes. As susceptible? No. Absolutely not. Besides, 12 years of Mac ownership and NOT ONE VIRUS INFECTION ON MY COMPUTERS. Can any Windows fan say that?
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    The Nice Moderator Sonny's Avatar
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    Oh lord, here we go again.

    Keep it civil or else. I'm giving you all fair warning.

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    Uber Poster Rson's Avatar
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    IMO, the interview was a joke....Hell I could have answered the questions. IMO, Macs are just as open to viruses...not because of flaw, but because it is all about the code. Hackers will soon see a mac virus as a challange opening a new world of viruses. They may not be the easy coded Win-flaws but never the less a virus.

    Would I trust Some-mans-tech....not even for my calculator....does he speak the truth? I'd say pretty close.

    Mac easiest to hack, says $10,000 winner - Computerworld

    Pwn2Own claims RIM, Microsoft, Apple - Security - News

    http://www.zdnet.com/blog/security/s...2own-2011/8358

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    Quote Originally Posted by mercphoto View Post
    ... Besides, 12 years of Mac ownership and NOT ONE VIRUS INFECTION ON MY COMPUTERS. Can any Windows fan say that?
    Yes. ~20 years of Windows and no viruses. Of course, I'm a computer professional not a normal user so I'm not nearly as susceptible to viruses as "the common man".

    I've written a few viruses... but only as an educational satisfaction... no actual deployment.

    - Wil

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    Forum Regular Charles Putnam's Avatar
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    I think I can also say I've never had a virus infection, and that's going back to pre-Win95 days. Probably from knowing not to open certain e-mail attachments, knowing what I'm doing, and what to look for, and using a good AV program.

    Note - Symantec doesn't equal a "good AV program". I've had too many friends recently get trojans/malware/viruses and they're running Symantec's latest and greatest. T

    Rich - your right - the interview was a joke. Way too self serving. Not that I'm shocked by that.

    My recommendation - Kaspersky if you're careless (i.e. opening e-mail attachments, visiting naughty sites, etc.) or Microsoft Security Essentials if you know what you're doing on a 'puter.
    "Work is for people who don't know how to surf"

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    Uber Poster Rson's Avatar
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    I think I can say that I am mildly competent at computers....i recommend avast and ms security essentials

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    Interesting read....
    "Dying people lie too. Wish they'd worked less, been nicer, opened orphanages for kittens. If you really want to do something, you do it. You don't save it for a sound bite."
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    You Can't Be Serious!! kenw's Avatar
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    Folks, there is nothing inherently 'safe' about a Mac. The simple truth is no one in the hacker world gets much street cred from attacking #2. The overwhelming majority of the targets are businesses and busineses still are overwhelmingly PC based. Industrial espionage, financial info: the vast majority of these are on PC based systems. That's where the $$ (and infamy/street cred) are, so that's where they target.

    But yes, there are plenty of virus/malware/etc for Macs. Just because you haven't been hit doesn't mean they don't exist. Don't kid yourself, just be vigilant. Now as to Mr Symantec, well, he's got a product to hawk. Take his comments with a block of salt.
    5th Generation Texian.
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    Senior Member mercphoto's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenw View Post
    Folks, there is nothing inherently 'safe' about a Mac.
    Sigh..... while Macs are not 100% safe they are definitely safer than a Windows PC. Its in the design of the OS, there really is something inherently safer about Mac OS than Windows. 100% safe? No. Safer? You bet.

    Your argument is tantamount to going to Home Depot to buy a new lock set for your front door and saying that since any lock can be picked it therefore doesn't matter if you get the best lock or not. Any lock can be picked, but we bought the best lock set we could anyway for our front door. Ditto for my computer.
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    Forum Regular craigb456's Avatar
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    I like the following quote

    "Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." --Charlie Miller

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    You Can't Be Serious!! kenw's Avatar
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    Account Closed Per User Request Todd Lambert's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kenw View Post
    Folks, there is nothing inherently 'safe' about a Mac. The simple truth is no one in the hacker world gets much street cred from attacking #2. The overwhelming majority of the targets are businesses and busineses still are overwhelmingly PC based. Industrial espionage, financial info: the vast majority of these are on PC based systems. That's where the $$ (and infamy/street cred) are, so that's where they target.

    But yes, there are plenty of virus/malware/etc for Macs. Just because you haven't been hit doesn't mean they don't exist. Don't kid yourself, just be vigilant. Now as to Mr Symantec, well, he's got a product to hawk. Take his comments with a block of salt.
    That's not completely true anymore. Since OSX and Apple have become more popular, there is now a HUGE opportunity for street cred attached to being the first to write a self-propogating virus for the Mac OS. There's been large rewards for doing so actually, and no one has been able to claim them.

    But, people need to realize, even though OS X(which is really just BSD Unix) doesn't have any known self-replicating viruses, it is just as vulnerable to trojans. Trojans require action on the part of the user (inputting your system password) in order to work. Viruses do not. There are no Mac Viruses. This is mostly in part to the inherent security model of Unix. This model has been adopted by Windows now actually (it's not Unix but the overall systems and checks are similar) and thus modern Windows versions are much more secure than they used to be.

    On a Mac, if your vigilant about not downloading crap you don't know about, and providing it the system password when it asks for it, you're pretty much safe.

    The same is true on Windows, except there ARE known security vectors that do allow for viruses to operate without any interaction on the user's part. Mostly from Flash plugin and Acrobat plugins. (another good reason why both of those formats deserve to die quick deaths, in my opinion).

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    Uber Poster Rson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Todd Lambert View Post
    On a Mac, if your vigilant about not downloading crap you don't know about, and providing it the system password when it asks for it, you're pretty much safe.

    The same is true on Windows, except there ARE known security vectors that do allow for viruses to operate without any interaction on the user's part. Mostly from Flash plugin and Acrobat plugins. (another good reason why both of those formats deserve to die quick deaths, in my opinion).
    But back to rule one, don't download crap you don't know.

    BTW, pwn2own day one: Safari, IE8 fall, Chrome unchallenged

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