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Symantec on Mac OS X virus threats

updated 11:05 am EDT, Fri July 14, 2006

Symantec on OS X viruses

Symantec has offered clarification between the terms "virus" and "worm" via a recent blog entry, stating that there are currently no known file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X. Referencing the OSX.Leap. A security threat -- which was declared a virus by various media sources -- Symantec says its security response team had determined that the newly-discovered entity was in fact a worm, not a file-infecting virus. "Our Security Response Web site explains the differences between viruses and worms," Symantec wrote. "Basically, viruses are designed to infect files within a single computer, while worms are designed to spread from one computer to another."




by MacNN Staff

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  1. MrWizard

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Newly discovered?

    "Symantec says its security response team had determined that the newly-discovered entity…"

    The Symantec site says it was discovered February 16, 2006

    On Feb 17th, another site noted that the only way to pass the "infection" was via Bonjour iChat, and even then with great difficulty

    I'd like to read why you think this is worthy of note today.

  1. MSchienle

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Worthy of note today

    Very likely due to this article posted on Symantec's site yesterday - http://www.symantec.com/enterprise/security_response/weblog/2006/07/macinenterprise_mac_os_x_virus.html

  1. MSchienle

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Link update

    Let's see if this link works better.

  1. MrWizard

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    it fails to note

    that in almost every case physical access or admin user interaction is required. Ben's quote may be historic, however, Aesop's story of a boy who cried wolf is more germane.

  1. LouZer

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Re: it fails to note

    that in almost every case physical access or admin user interaction is required.

    Well, I guess if you assume all mac users have total control over their computer, and none exist in offices, labs, internet cafe's, etc, they you're point on access would mean something.

    As for an admin account, since that's the default when you set up a new mac, and most people wouldn't know that they shouldn't use it, admin access is also not something to ignore.

    Ben's quote may be historic, however, Aesop's story of a boy who cried wolf is more germane.

    Great. But read the fable again. While the boy (symantec) in the end got eaten (exactly how that would happen is beyond me), the townsfolks *us mac users) who didn't save him lost all their sheep. So, theoretically we're all going to get infected. (of course, in theory when Symantec yells "virus!", since when do computer users come to the rescue?

  1. MrWizard

    Joined: Dec 1969

    0

    Fables are not literal

    the moral of the story is that the consequence of "crying wolf" is that it desensitizes those who must respond to the warning, rendering the "alarm" ineffective. Not accurately describing the risks, leads to confusion, rather than meaningful action. When a threat is found, users should respond by protecting their computers. MacNN and Symantec should not raise the alarm unless a threat exists and they should describe the threat accurately and what action is needed -- they didn't if the user is not in control of the Mac, the article was even less helpful.

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