Can Macs Get Viruses?

As a software developer and Mac user, I’ve been carrying out a great deal of research lately on whether Mac computers (iMac, MacBook, or Mac Pro) could possibly get viruses, and I thought I’d share a lot more of my research here.

The short answer is that yes, based on your meaning of the herpes virus, one Mac could get a “virus”, no less than a starter virus. As a simple example, imagine that I send you an e-mail with an attachment, and you also plan to open that attachment. If that attachment is malicious, it may delete all of the files you own on your hard drive, together with your photos, music, as well as any other files you have personally created. If that’s your concise explanation of the herpes simplex virus, that will certainly happen.

However, most people define the herpes virus as a malicious program that is smart enough to learn the way to transfer its self derived from one computer to a new to an alternative, wreaking whatever havoc it wants along the way. With this more proper concept of the herpes virus, Mac OS X information technology has not had a virus to date.

Apple Has You Covered

On Apple’s website, they now show several large banners that say “We have you ever covered” in relation to Macs, viruses, and malware. There is a minimum of two primary technical reasons for their confidence regarding the deficiency of Mac Mac viruses.

First, the Mac approach of establishing a separate “administrator” take into account doing dangerous things alert users to some malware approaches. For instance, while my script can delete the files you’ve personally created without getting the administrator password, will delete all files on the Mac I would prompt that you enter in the administrator password.

That’s not something you may be likely to deliver effortlessly, plus in lieu of these, my script would need to find a hole inside Mac operating-system that will easily grant me administrator access, and thus far that hole was not there.

Second, mentioned above previously, by definition, a virus is often a program that spreads derived from one computer to an alternative. Viruses jump derived from one computer to a new one using open network “ports” on computers. Network ports can be like doors, so when you already know, some doors are open, some doors can easily be opened, other doors are similar to bank vaults, yet still, other doors are like bank vaults but behind a fortress so large you don’t even know they’re there.

This last approach’s what happens with Macs. Because all Mac ship which has a “firewall” enabled, no ports (doors) open, my malicious program can’t easily jump derived from one of a computer to an alternative. And once again, even if a port is open, including when Macs are in corporate locations, nobody has yet had the opportunity to exploit a partially-open door.

Buffer Overflow Attacks

Hackers in addition try other much more technical ways to attack computers, typically “buffer overflow” attacks on systems (when a hacker sends more data with a program compared to the program is expecting), but without open ports over a Mac system, attacks like these need to happen through browsers or it could be network Macs with a local area network (LAN).

If a Mac ever gets a virus, you will probably hear more about this “buffer overflow” term, but again, nobody has successfully used this method thus far.

Apple Shares Mac OS X Lion With Security Experts

Interestingly, as I write this informative article, Apple has just provided an early discharge of their next main system, Mac OS X 10.7 (“Lion”) with security experts. As the world of hackers, malware, and viruses get more and more complicated, Apple looks like it’s choosing a proactive way of share their OS X main system with security experts as part of their normal development life-cycle.

Mac Viruses – Summary

In summary, yes, it’s theoretically practical for an iMac, Mac Pro, or MacBook to get a virus, but currently, nobody has established the herpes simplex virus for Mac systems. Also, as stated, Apple is becoming more proactive in their approach by providing an early discharge of their “Lion” main system to security experts, and this is an incredibly healthy approach for them.

Most hackers these days are most often focusing their efforts on other approaches, items like “phishing” and “spoofing”, eighteen, you are for your information using your browser, so at the moment, these are most often larger concerns than potential Mac viruses and malware.