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I just read an extensive article titled "The malware myth" which addresses the whole issue of whether the Mac will eventually wind up just as messed up as most Windows PC's as more and more people use Macs everyday. There are things mentioned specifically about the inner workings of Windows (like the Windows Registry) that I don't really understand but seem to be fundamental to this issue in relation to the two operating systems.

The entire article is posted on my blog:  http://jwsound.net/WP/?page_id=32

-  Jeff Wexler

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Anyone who is seriously interested in any possible vulnerabilities with the Mac (or with their Windows machine for that matter) should read further articles that analyze all these contests to hack or exploit whatever it is they have chosen to demonstrate.

read more:  http://www.roughlydrafted.com/2008/03/29/mac-shot-first-10-reasons-why-cansecwest-targets-apple/

One real world indication of the present state of affairs, on both the Mac and Windows platforms, would be to put up a poll here: something like "using your Mac, how many viruses, Trojan horses, malware pop-ups, denial of service exploits, etc." have you had in the last year; and, "using your Windows PC, how many and how often have you had to deal with ... " This might give us some idea of how any of these controlled and demonstrated competitive hacks and and attacks actually could affect any of us.

-  Jeff Wexler

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not to start a war with anyone here as everyone as their own opinions. but both MAC and Windows each have their own weakness, but if you stay off the internet all OS's are safe.

No wars are being started, just discussion (I hope). Staying off the Internet isn't an option. My comment about methods employed at the contests was aimed at understanding that once many of these exploits are discovered or revealed (and people win prizes, job offers and so forth) it is important to understand if these are important security breaches and how they might affect you and your computer.

-  JW

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I just read an extensive article titled "The malware myth" which addresses the whole issue of whether the Mac will eventually wind up just as messed up as most Windows PC's...

-  Jeff Wexler

I have over 50 PCs and 4 Macs, most of which are used hard every day. All of them work very well. None of them are messed up.

Glen Trew

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I have over 50 PCs and 4 Macs, most of which are used hard every day. All of them work very well. None of them are messed up.

Glen Trew

Glen, you are not the sort of computer user that I would suspect has ANY of your computers messed up --- you are smarter than that. I am referring to the quite commonly held fact in many people's computing life that their PCs are messed up. In all fairness, I have friends with Macs whose computers are all messed up (but usually in all sorts of other ways --- not from viruses, malware, pop-ups, etc.).

-  JW

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Glen, you are not the sort of computer user that I would suspect has ANY of your computers messed up --- you are smarter than that. I am referring to the quite commonly held fact in many people's computing life that their PCs are messed up. In all fairness, I have friends with Macs whose computers are all messed up (but usually in all sorts of other ways --- not from viruses, malware, pop-ups, etc.).

-  JW

Thanks  Jeff, but I think I'm exactly the type that would have problems with a computer, but I don't and I think most others don't either. I have to suspect that the thought of one system being more or less fallible than the other is a hold over from another time when the differences were much more distinct. They are so much alike now that most people will never notice a difference in performance and reliability, much less appreciate the advantages that both have. It's become more like Ford vs. Chevy, or Mercedes vs. BMW (in my opinion). Of course there are exceptions, but to declare one is absolutely better than the other these days would be difficult to justify (also in my opinion).

gt

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Well, while there is a lot more talk of viruses on PC's and there are a lot more documented viruses on PC's I'm not sure the end user experience has been drastically different.  PC folks (I was one) have lots of virus protection apps and tend to use them so I don't think the virus issue is as great as the hype.  I was on PC's on DOS, Win 3.0 - Win 98.  In all that time I only had one virus and it was a mail related one.  For work I switched to Mac's at OS6.4 and am still on Mac's.  We had one half of a two part virus once on the Mac's (pre OSX) and I haven't met anybody that has had a virus on OSX.  Well actually one person I know had a Word virus but it was a pass through in that it doesn't work on OSX but the document he got altered and passed on kept the virus, so I don't think that counts.

This is not an OS critique, I think a lot of people who have "messed up" PC's are not the victims of a virus.  More likely they are victims of Windows, which is loaded with ways of getting "messed up" with a little help from the user.

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The best defense I've found over the past four years is to purchase a Hardware Router/Firewall. Configure the system using static IPs ( I find this easier to manage over DHCP ) be done with all the malware.

Combine the hardware router with a decent virus scanner and you'll never have a problem ( knock on wood! ). I haven't seen any spyware and/or ads ( that actively takes over the computer ) in the four years I've been using this setup.

Most of my experience has been with two PC's running Windows XP with the latest Service Packs and updates.

-Ron

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I haven't owned a windows machine in almost a decade, so I can't comment on the difference, but I have never had a virus or malware on my macs.

I did however find a Romanian server trying to brute force hack into my studio machine last week. Thousands upon thousands of login attempts using different user names hoping to automatically guess it's way in. Although unsuccessful, it did force me to update my computer security level to stop the attempts from happening in the first place.

Stopping malware isn't always about the is vulnerability, but sometimes how we setup and use or machines. Security isn't just a matter of trusting your software, but is a combination of things including strong passwords, firewalls, anti virus software, secure key authentication, etc...

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Stopping malware isn't always about the is vulnerability, but sometimes how we setup and use or machines. Security isn't just a matter of trusting your software, but is a combination of things including strong passwords, firewalls, anti virus software, secure key authentication, etc...

So do you run a firewall and virus scanner directly on your mac?

I have been a mac user for 8 years, but coming from thr windows side I was concerned about virusses. I did try various security programmes, but gave up after a while (except for the firewalls that's built into the router and the one which is part of the MacOS) because the programmes seemed to be causing more trouble than they were saving. So I am curious what you are using

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did definitely run into occasional Mac viruses in the early 1990s under OS 7, but somewhere around OS 8 and above, all the viruses went away. But on my Windows machines, I'd occasionally download one piece of freeware -- claimed to be "virus-free" and within 24 hours, the Windows machine was choking with malware, viruses, adware, and spyware. This was with Windows XP, ME, and Vista. No issues with Windows 7 yet, and I have yet to change to Windows 8.

 

I use Windows occasionally under protest, but anything can do the job as long as you take precautions.

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I have seen an OSX Mac get brought down by a virus it was an inffected office document

 

Yes, there was a thing a few years ago where Excel macros and also infected Acrobat PDF documents would take down a Mac. But that also goes for Windows machines.

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When I worked for a major American magazine publisher our magazine used Macs while most of the other mags used WIndows machines. There would be regular email blasts from corporate IT about the latest virus threat to the companies machines, followed minutes later by a message from out mag's IT department saying, "Don't worry, we're using Macs, it's a WIndows problem."

 

The corporate big wigs used Macs...

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So do you run a firewall and virus scanner directly on your mac?

I have been a mac user for 8 years, but coming from thr windows side I was concerned about virusses. I did try various security programmes, but gave up after a while (except for the firewalls that's built into the router and the one which is part of the MacOS) because the programmes seemed to be causing more trouble than they were saving. So I am curious what you are using

I do not use any anti-virus software, in my experience the Norton type utilities screw as many things up as they fix.  One of the benefits of being in a Unix architecture is that all of the sysetm and programs are completely seperate, all using their own individual files instead of a central database like the windows registry.  This mean if one program gets corrupted / infected, it's much harder to affect the rest of the system, and much easier to quarantine and fix.

The threats and issues I worry about on macs are more like the issue I had recently, someone trying to log in, or someone sending me an infected document, but I rarely think about viruses, malware, trojan horses etc...  I do use a firewall on my router, and since I have my computer setup so I can log in remotely (which I do frequently), I've switched to using non standard ports, and recently have blocked user / pass authentication, so only the devices I own can log in.  I plan to start using a VPN for an additional layer of security, whenever I find the time to set it up.

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There isn't as much diff between mac and w7 etc as there used to be between mac/pc in the pre unix days.  I've always had both types--currently 4 macs and 2 soon to be 4 Win computers, and haven't had any probs either way.  I don't use freeware from download sites and I don't open attachments much.  You don't get to be internet stupid with any computer (or device) anymore.

 

philp

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There isn't as much diff between mac and w7 etc as there used to be between mac/pc in the pre unix days. I've always had both types--currently 4 macs and 2 soon to be 4 Win computers, and haven't had any probs either way. I don't use freeware from download sites and I don't open attachments much. You don't get to be internet stupid with any computer (or device) anymore.

philp

But you do use virus scanner/firewall on your pc? And on your mac as well? Or none on either?

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I've also used the free Avast on my PCs with no problems (along the free Zone Alarm firewall).. I recently switched to Norton 360 which came free w/ with my a new service provider.. I think  N 360 slowed the connection down slightly though.

That said, I have no antivirus apps on my post-production NLE/DAW, which is not connected to the web. Internet access and file transfers are done through the other machine.

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