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WinXP won\'t expose Macs to viruses

updated 11:05 am EDT, Thu April 13, 2006

WinXP, Macs, viruses

Analyst firm Gartner has said that any talk of Apple's Boot Camp software exposing Mac OS X to security risks is hype, and should be ignored. "All users should ignore any hype about the possibility of exposing the Mac OS to more viruses or worms. The Mac software will be located on another partition within a different file system; thus, running Windows on a Mac will not expose the Mac software to more malware," said research VP Michael Silver. The analyst noted, however, that any additional marketshare Apple stands to gain by introducing Boot Camp may attract the attention of malicious users, according to Silicon.com. "If Mac sales and Apple's market share increase, the Mac OS could potentially become a more attractive target for malware," Silver said. Earlier this week, a marketing director for the McAfee anti-virus firm said that Macs could pose network security risks by incubating viruses, which could then be passed on to vulnerable Windows systems.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Guys an idiot

    What does it matter that the mac partition is on a different partition. You don't think windows viruses are sophisticated enough to be able to s**** around with the hard drive partitions?

    Also, there is software for windows (called MacDrive?) that allows you to read/write HFS+ formatted drives. If you have that installed, your disk is certainly exposed (not to mention that, without a doubt, the file permissions will be completely ignored and, thus, malicious software could decide to replace/add kexts, kernels, apps, or anything else they want).

  1. Treuf

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    rotfl

    Quote : a marketing director for the McAfee anti-virus firm said that Macs could pose network security risks

    * A MARKETING DIRECTOR * ... .. ok thanks, nothing to see here, you won't have my money :D

    As testudo says, unless windows has access to the partition via a 3rd party tool, virii can crush windows without harming at all the mac part (unless damages are done with low level disk or bios access)

  1. migs647

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Credible Source!?!?!

    "Analyst firm Gartner has said that any talk of Apple's Boot Camp software exposing Mac OS X to security risks is hype, and should be ignored."

    WHATEVER! I am NOT going to take Gartner's word for it. Windows virii have done a lot of damage through they years. They are programs / applications. They can DO whatever someone tells them to DO. Gartner acts like virii are real virii. They are human made, therefor they can do ANYTHING. I will NOT be installing windows on my intel mac, and will KEEP windows on my custom built pc. I will however install FC5 Linux on my mac. Don't believe what some idiots tell you. Anyone can make a virus do ANYTHING.

  1. dozx

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    dosen't matter to me

    I really don't care if windows viruses will hurt a Mac partition. You know why I don't care????? Cause I will NEVER put that Winblows Crapola on my Intel Mac. So, you see it is really quite simple to keep your Mac virus free "Keep it Windows Free"!!

  1. dozx

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    dosen't matter to me

    I really don't care if windows viruses will hurt a Mac partition. You know why I don't care????? Cause I will NEVER put that Winblows Crapola on my Intel Mac. So, you see it is really quite simple to keep your Mac virus free "Keep it Windows Free"!!

  1. SolarMedia

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    A few answers...

    From what I understand, Boot Camp keeps the other partition running in a sandbox mode, locking it off from the separate partition. I do not have a machine to test this on at present, but have to believe that something so basic would have been built into it. I am not sure about Parallels solution either, but from what I understand of the capabilities in the Intel chip for VMs, it does indeed keep the two streams of information separate, but equal in priority.

    Migs, you are right in that virus writers can do anything they want, but if one looks at the benefits of creating a really complex virus or worm that goes into WIndows and then hops the pond, so to speak to the Mac side, the time involved would far outweigh the benefits of a smaller user base. That is not always going to be the case, though. The key is to keep Windows and the Mac side up to date at all times. Virus writers are generally a half step ahead, in that they exploit as soon as a hole is found, and then the anti-virus makers or OS makers create a patch shortly thereafter. It is not the perfect solution, but for the most part, it works, if a person is truly diligent, which most are not. Most Windows users frankly do not care, because the majority of viruses do not do anything other than degrade the performance to the end users. They don't seem to care that their machine sends out hundreds of thousands of messages a night, when the machine is idle. They just care that it works when they need it to. And, because Windows users are so accustom to slow-downs in performance, they normally just deal with it until it gets so bad that they have to do something about it. That is why we have the problems we have with viruses today. If users as a whole did a much better job maintaining their machines, then virus writers would be fighting the masses, not the few that actually maintain their machines. Users are their own worst enemy in ambivalence. Anti-virus software makers are almost as much to blame for their bloatware that makes the machine just as slow as if it were infected with a virus or two. Their own in-program advertising makes it seem like they are more interested in the stupid ads than actually keeping a machine clean. Over the course of a couple years, Clam has found more viruses, more quickly and staved off more problems than both my McAfee and Symantec boxes combined. That is downright sad, considering those boxes cost me about $25k/year and Clam costs me nothing, except donations and support to their sponsors.

  1. JulesLt

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Hosed PCs

    There are at least a couple of viruses out there capable of causing physical damage to PCs (mostly trashing the HD through mechanical failure)- admitedly they are pretty uncommon, but not impossible.

  1. localnet

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Windows on a Mac...

    Well, I guess I am one of the few who when I purchase a new MacTel laptop, will get a copy of XP Pro to install on it.

    I will take my chances with viruses, but I cannot say that I have ever had a virus on my windows machines, other then many software/crash/BSOD problems caused by the patch work os. I have removed all of the MS junk, stuck to the 2 Windows programs I need for work, and limit my internet usage, and all is fine on my windows box. Though I must say, the cost of ownership and time loss using Windows is over the top compared to a bug free, stable Mac.

    It's a real pain in the butt, having to use Windows, but no one seems to be making any transportation/mapping software for the Mac. It will be nice to carry only one laptop.

  1. Anti-Spam

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    sky is falling

    U guys need to get bent!

    If a virus writer wrote a virus for windows, just so it would jump on board the Mac partition, i have a suggestion for them.

    Why not write one straight forward for the Mac. U guys are idiots, thinking someone would actually waste their time, writing a code for windows and , then having that code be able to run in a Mac environment , when they could just, write one for the mac environment.

    Idiots.. All idiots.

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