Ant-Virus Software for Mac

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Puritan Board Junior
As many of you know protecting your computer can be expensive work. Software is not cheap. My subscription to some anti-virus, firewall stuff for my Mac is about to expire. I really don't want to have to be paying so much each year - especially as I leave the country and don't want to keep having to pay western currencies through my nose.

Does anyone know of some half descent anti-virus/firewall/general protection software for Mac that is free? I know there is quite a range for Windows but it just doesn't seem to be out there for Mac. Anyone else got this problem?


Puritan Board Graduate
Actually, I don't have any anti-virus software on my mac....and I haven't had any problems at all! And honestly, I was recently in the apple store....and they assured me that I shouldn't have any issues with it! But, if you feel that you should have some protection....there are a couple of free ones that you can download from the Apple website. Just look under "downloads".


Puritan Board Freshman
On the Mac, there is essentially no need to use a virus protection software. In the past, about 10 years ago, there had been some problems with malicious scripts written for MS Word, but they only affected some Word users.
To set up a firewall, just go to System Preferences > Security > Firewall and click the "Allow only essential services" button.


Puritan Board Freshman
OS X is antivirus software lol

Seriously, get rid of the AV software.
I have been a Mac user for 7 years without ever getting a virus.

Oh, I did install the Mac Norton once...that was as close to malware as I have had.

If it makes any difference, I am certified by Apple.

Semper Fidelis

2 Timothy 2:24-25
Staff member
If you're not going to protect your system from Malware, Antiviruses, and intrusions then that's fine but do not put anything on that computer that is important. I don't care if you're running the Mac OS or Linux. Anybody that tells you otherwise doesn't understand the cyber threat out there.


Puritan Board Junior
From Apple Forum.

No viruses that can attack OS X have so far been detected 'in the wild', i.e. in anything other than laboratory conditions.

It is possible, however, to pass on a Windows virus to another Windows user, for example through an email attachment. To prevent this all you need is the free anti-virus utility ClamXav, which you can download from:


However, the appearance of Trojans and other malware that can possibly infect a Mac seems to be growing, but is a completely different issue to viruses.

If you allow a Trojan to be installed, the user's DNS records can be modified, redirecting incoming internet traffic through the attacker's servers, where it can be hijacked and injected with malicious websites and pornographic advertisements. The trojan also installs a watchdog process that ensures the victim's (that's you!) DNS records stay modified on a minute-by-minute basis.

You can read more about how, for example, the OSX/DNSChanger Trojan works here:

Virus Description: Trojan:OSX/DNSChanger

SecureMac has introduced a free Trojan Detection Tool for Mac OS X. It's available here:

MacScan - Mac OS X Anti-Spyware Security and Privacy Protection Anti-Malware for Macintosh

The DNSChanger Removal Tool detects and removes spyware targeting Mac OS X and allows users to check to see if the trojan has been installed on their computer; if it has, the software helps to identify and remove the offending file. After a system reboot, the users' DNS records will be repaired.

(Note that a 30 day trial version of MacScan can be downloaded free of charge from:

MacScan anti-spyware security program removes spyware for Macintosh Mac OS X.

and this can perform a complete scan of your entire hard disk. After 30 days the cost is $29.99. The full version permits you to scan selected files and folders only, as well as the entire hard disk. It will detect (and delete if you ask it to) all 'tracker cookies' that switch you to web sites you did not want to go to.)

A white paper has recently been published on the subject of Trojans by SubRosaSoft, available here:

Malware On Mac OS X - Viruses, Trojans, and Worms : MacForensicsLab, Cross platform forensics and e-discovery solutions

Also, beware of MacSweeper:

MacSweeper is malware that misleads users by exaggerating reports about spyware, adware or viruses on their computer. It is the first known "rogue" application for the Mac OS X operating system. The software was discovered by F-Secure, a Finland based computer security software company on January 17, 2008

MacSweeper - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

On June 23, 2008 this news reached Mac users:

Rare Mac Trojan exploits Apple vuln ? The Register

More information on Mac security can be found here:

MacScan - Mac OS X Anti-Spyware Security and Privacy Protection Anti-Malware for Macintosh

The MacScan application can be downloaded from here:

MacScan anti-spyware security program removes spyware for Macintosh Mac OS X.

You can download a 30 day trail copy which enables you to do a full scan of your hard disk. After that it costs $29.95.

More on Trojans on the Mac here:

Welcome to TechNewsWorld

This was published on July 25, 2008:

Attack code that exploits flaws in the net's addressing system are starting to circulate online, say security experts.

The code could be a boon to phishing gangs who redirect web users to fake bank sites and steal login details.

In light of the news net firms are being urged to apply a fix for the loop-hole before attacks by hi-tech criminals become widespread.

Net security groups say there is anecdotal evidence that small scale attacks are already happening.

Further details here: BBC NEWS | Technology | Attacks begin on net address flaw

A further development was the Koobface malware that can be picked up from Facebook (already a notorious site for malware, like many other 'social networking' sites), as reported here on December 9, 2008:

BBC - Newsbeat - Technology - Facebook users hit by virus

You can keep up to date, particularly about malware present in some downloadable pirated software, at the Securemac site:

Macintosh Security Site - Security for Mac Platform MacOS X Security Firewalls Desktop Network Security secure mac os x Virus Encrpytion PGP macosx

There may be other ways of guarding against Trojans, viruses and general malware affecting the Mac, and alternatives will probably appear in the future. In the meantime the advice is: be careful where you go on the web and what you download!

As to the current 'Conficker furore' affecting Intel-powered computers, MacWorld recently had this to say:

Conficker may be more widespread than previously thought - Digital Lifestyle - Macworld UK

Although any content that you download has the possibility of containing malicious software, practising a bit of care will generally keep you free from the consequences of anything like the DNSChanger trojan.
1. Avoid going to suspect and untrusted Web sites, especially *********** sites.

2. Check out what you are downloading. Mac OS X asks you for you administrator password to install applications for a reason! Only download media and applications from well-known and trusted Web sites. If you think you may have downloaded suspicious files, read the installer packages and make sure they are legit. If you cannot determine if the program you downloaded is infected, do a quick Internet search and see if any other users reported issues after installing a particular program.

3. Use an antivirus program like ClamXav. If you are in the habit of downloading a lot of media and other files, it may be well worth your while to run those files through an AV application.

4. Use Mac OS X's built-in Firewalls and other security features.

5. Stop using LimeWire. LimeWire (and other peer-to-peer sharing applications) are hotbeds of potential software issues waiting to happen to your Mac. Everything from changing permissions to downloading trojans and other malicious software can be acquired from using these applications.


Puritan Board Freshman
You can get Avast for Mac (40ish), ClamXav (free), or Norton (50ish). I've tested all three but to be honest if your using nothing but legal software (believe it or not there are those brothers who have no problem stealing from MS, Apple, whoever because they think its "unfair" for them to charge so much for software) and aren't downloading pirated movies, software, praise and worship songs (I still can't believe I use to do that, like God is pleased when we sin "in service to Him") etc then you should likely be just fine as you will have minimal if any exposure to viruses. The vast majority of viruses are designed for Window PC users. I've been a MAC user for 7 years (yay!) and never had a virus even though I am a admin in a Windows based network. You really shouldn't need it for the mac. :) As for sending Windows viruses to other Windows users when they email or transfer you something may be worth picking up a cheap virus scan such as ClamXav just to not pass a virus along to them.

Semper Fides:
I think that the likely hood of getting a virus on a MAC system is pretty low, a virus that will effect either the MAC or Linux is negligible as long as you aren't doing illegal activity. Not impossible but unlikely.

Good point. Using the MAC firewall and a free system like ClamXav is a good call.


Puritan Board Junior
I run Linux and no one can not get a virus for Linux like for Windows; However, they can be transmitted so even I have one that scans my mail. I know that I will never get a virus though, rootkits now that is a whole other matter :)
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