General Question

eevo19's avatar

Is it true?

Asked by eevo19 (33points) April 8th, 2008 from iPhone

is it true that macs don’t get viruses?

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14 Answers

glial's avatar

There have been some proof of concept viruses; but none in the wild, no.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Macs get that wonderful Blue Screen Of Death now ^_^

Allie's avatar

no. it is true however that macs get less viruses. but thats only because the majority of people use pcs and the people who create viruses try to target the greatest number of people. so why would they make viruses that attack the minority of computer users?

Bri_L's avatar

Macs, like PC’s get viruses. There is just no comparison as to the number. PCs get so many more. And there is also all the work and worry you have in protecting your pc and updating and everything compared to a mac.

glial's avatar

Over 18 years on Macs; never have gotten a virus or heard of one in wild.

Allie's avatar

I’ve been using Macs since freshman year of high school (so 6 years) and I’ve never had one either.

Bri_L's avatar

@ glial thought about it my self. 16 years and I can say the same

gailcalled's avatar

10 years and one virus in year one, when I was computer-retarded. Since then, never.

El_Cadejo's avatar

Comparatively theres not enough people using macs for people to want to make virus’ for them as there are for pc. If i were going to make some piece of malicious software id want to go after the largest amount of people possible.

Macs aren’t unhackable by any means. Vista took much longer to be hacked but was finally on the last day. Linux on the other hand wasn’t able to be hacked at all.

Your mac isnt some high security device. Just no one cares about you.

eevo19's avatar

that answers a lot. Thanks guys

sumul's avatar

I don’t believe that the lack of Mac viruses has much to do with the relative market share of the platform. Millions and millions of people use Macs, and anyone who wrote a real OS X virus would have immediate infamy. It would be the number one story on every tech blog, and you’d probably even hear about it in the 24 hour news networks. It would be quite the malicious achievement. What egomaniacal hacker would turn that down just to get yet another Windows virus/worm/trojan on the average joe’s computer?

Randy's avatar

I’ve got to agree with sumul on this. There are plenty of people out there who own and use macs. With all the “macs can’t get viruses” rumors that are around, someone who would create one would get instant infamy. Kinda like Jesse James or Robin Hood to the pc users. It doesnt make sense that virus creators dont go after macs because they dont care about them. There has to be more to it.

cwilbur's avatar

The number of Mac viruses has almost nothing to do with the number of Mac users, for the reasons Randy points out; as well, Mac users tend to be individual people (not companies) who keep personal information on their computers. A virus that installed a keylogger on a Mac would make a lot more money per installation than a virus that installed a keylogger on a Windows machine.

Viruses used to be written for fame and glory in the black-hat hacker community; now they’re written for profit in the organized crime community. A Mac virus offers the prospect of fame, glory, and profit; the fact that none exist in the wild is the result of good security engineering, not market share.

Before OS X there were something like two dozen Mac viruses; after OS X, there have been maybe a half-dozen proof of concept viruses that were never released in the wild or never managed to spread. Compare those with the what, 200,000 different WIndows viruses, and consider.

b's avatar

First, lets define a computer virus: A computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user. So far, this had not happened on Macintosh OS X (I never really paid attn to Apple in the classic days, so can’t account fir it then).
Macs do have plenty of exploits for hackers to gain access and install malware, but this is not a virus. Also, some Trojan horses exist for Macs, but they are not viruses either.

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