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Thread: Are Mac users safe from spyware?

  1. #1
    HEXUS webmaster Steve's Avatar
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    Are Mac users safe from spyware?

    Nicholas Raba aka "Freaky" to all you hacking folk, warns that Mac users are living under a false sense of security. There is Mac spyware out there and they should take steps to keep it off their system. Conveniently, Raba, who is co-author of Maximum Security and CEO of SecureMac.com, has recently released the latest version of this spyware scanner for the Mac.
    MacScan, one of the few Macintosh anti-spyware programs, was released in 2002 and recently reached version 2.0. It currently recognizes, quarantines and deletes dozens of spyware programs and keystroke loggers and Raba adds, "And I'm not talking about cookies. You'll see that other anti-spyware programs classify browser cookies as spyware." The program is freely downloadable for a 15 day free trial. Afterwards, a perpetual license is $24.95. With a booth at the upcoming Macworld in San Franscisco and a retail push, Raba wants MacScan to become a household name like Ad-Aware or Symantec.

    Raba told us that spyware makers have not hit the Macintosh as hard as windows because, "there is much more money to be made by spreading spyware on Windows." He adds that it is technically a bit harder to get malicious code to run on Mac OS X's BSD-based kernel, but says, "If you have decent programming skills, you can make a spyware or virus program."
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  2. #2
    Mike Fishcake
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    What? Someone selling software for a Mac has told Mac users they need to buy it?

    I don't doubt the potential for viruses and spyware is there, but I'm not going to listen for "advice" from someone who just wants to sell their software!

  3. #3
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Anti-Spyware.......... is it just me or can people see the need? If your not stupid, you don't get spyware its that simple. Problem is, just like firefox, apple users are more like a religion, which throw common sense and logic to the wind. Now, as he said few people target mac os because fewer people use it. But its a niche market, and all you need is one nasty. Its stupid to claim otherwise, but like any OS if you've got it well set up its very hard to get spyware, for those that don't want to do it properly (well their running a mac already) $25 is not much.
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  4. #4
    Mike Fishcake
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheAnimus
    Anti-Spyware.......... is it just me or can people see the need? If your not stupid, you don't get spyware its that simple. Problem is, just like firefox, apple users are more like a religion, which throw common sense and logic to the wind. Now, as he said few people target mac os because fewer people use it. But its a niche market, and all you need is one nasty. Its stupid to claim otherwise, but like any OS if you've got it well set up its very hard to get spyware, for those that don't want to do it properly (well their running a mac already) $25 is not much.
    True, it's not much, and I'm not denying it's possible (it would be stupid to do so - no browser or platform is 100% safe) but I'm not going to start getting paranoid and stressing about it just because some anti-spyware vendor has told me that I should do.

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    Civilian Nick F's Avatar
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    Having recently brought myself a Mac I have not heard much about Spyware or viruses tbh. Must get myself a couple of programs to protect myself

  6. #6
    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Fishcake
    True, it's not much, and I'm not denying it's possible (it would be stupid to do so - no browser or platform is 100% safe) but I'm not going to start getting paranoid and stressing about it just because some anti-spyware vendor has told me that I should do.
    Absolutely, the reason spy-ware is classed as spy ware, rather than malicous program (that a virus scanner would dedect say) is because it installs itself legitamtely, with some user intervention. Now granted you can say that an active-x warning saying "its been signed" isn't user intervention, i damn well think it is (enless the user isn't of skill to be allowed to install programs, so why give them the trust to do so in the first place).

    Its important to note its not a case of safety with spyware. As it tends to not spread like a virus, its normally legitimate.

    As such, if you've got a clue, you shouldn't need any spyware removeal tools, it simply dosen't get there in the first place. I've been using the net un-supervised since 1994 (i was only 9!) and i've never installed any spyware without intention to do so. The point their making is that a lot of people don't have the formal grounding in computers i had (i've been programming for 3 years previously on the BBC Master and A5000) now, there are lots of people in my posistion who can't understand what drives someone to install some spyware.

    But obviously my generation was lucky, we had our practice and learning before the internet with more trusted sources. Imo, $25 is quite a good price for that skill. Anyone who's already got it, needn't bother.

    Off-topic to famished, its well worth running a good virus scanner on any platform (even if your pervse enough to choose a mac) because you can pick up viruses that are ment for other platforms people have passed to you on a memory stick say.
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