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Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

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Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:48 pm
by Sam Spoons
I run Mavericks OSX10.9.5. Sonos is not available (10.10 or newer only), Malwarebytes is but is not picking up a problem I have (it's not the latest version which may or may not be the problem). Made the mistake of trying the free version (ha!) of TotalAV, scan didn't find the problem but it did identify numerous 'issues' which it wanted me to buy the 'pro' version to remove. Given these were cookies from sites like Facebook and Google and stuff I had chosen to download I felt reluctant to pay up.......

The problem, and it only happens with Safari, is that on ebay and, very occasionally, Facebook I click a link and get an "invalid certificate" popup for "stags.bluekai.com" (even though the link doesn't refer to that site). The 'details' reveals the cert holder to be "www.oracle.com".

Searches of my files for either URL come up blank..... The only plus is that's it's my MacBook that's infected not the Studio Mac.......

Any suggestions?

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 4:59 pm
by Hugh Robjohns
https://www.eset.com/uk/home/cyber-security/

I've been using the Windows version for more than a decade and rate it very highly.

H

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 6:57 pm
by ConcertinaChap
It used to be the way that if you suggested the advisability of installing anti-virus software on Macs you would get a profound pasting from those who believed that Macs were magic and impossible to infect - I got such a pasting once on the old forum. Fortunately common sense seems to have broken out now with the realisation that there is no such thing as bug free software (even in Cupertino) and "security through obscurity" no longer works for Macs either. Rant over - sorry about that.

I use Avast Security. It's free with not too many nag screens and seems to have little impact on the running of my machine.

CC

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 7:48 pm
by Jumpeyspyder
It sounds like a browser hijacker rather than a virus

have you tried resetting safari ?

https://www.macissues.com/2015/06/22/how-to-fully-reset-safari-on-your-mac/

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:17 pm
by desmond
You don’t need it.

Unfortunately, adding stuff like this offers very little protection, no protection from zero day exploits, and actually just provides a whole extra layer of attack service that hackers can exploit.

On Windows, use the inbuilt tool, it’s good. On the Mac, do not use third party tools, it can make your system less secure.

This remains my advice...

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:21 pm
by ConcertinaChap
Well, we'll agree to differ on this one, I trust.

CC

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:42 pm
by Sam Spoons
Thanks guys, I have Avast running a full scan as I type and, though I have, I thought, cleared history, cookies etc to no avail, I have followed the full reset instructions Jumpy linked to and a quick browse on ebay didn't throw up the issue. I'll give it a day or so before I'll believe it's fixed but initial feeling is hopeful.

I suppose I will have to upgrade to a later version of OSX eventually but I'm loath to mess when everything is working.......

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Wed Feb 07, 2018 8:44 pm
by desmond
ConcertinaChap wrote:Well, we'll agree to differ on this one, I trust.

It's nothing to do with Macs being perfect, it's more to how much you trust your entire system security to a random third-party company, who are just as capable of writing flawed code that intercepts itself very deeply into your system with high privileges - meaning it' far easier for attackers to target flaws in the third-party code than it is the OS itself.

There' a lo more to ay on this topic, but your best security is to us the system tools you have available, install security updates, and use good, sensible practices such as not clicking on email links, not installing dodgy software, using good passwords with (good) password managers, and you'll pretty much be fine.

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 6:01 pm
by Dave B
For a 'belt and braces' approach, is it possible to install something like Avast and only activate it to do scans rather than having it running permanently? This sounds like a sensible approach to me - no?

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:22 pm
by Sam Spoons
That's my preferred approach to Dave. FWIW my studio Mac Pro is still not connected to the net and transfers/downloads are by USB stick so as long as I scan any downloads/dodgy stuff on the MBP before it gets to it I should be fine with that one.

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:53 am
by Kevin Nolan
My understanding is that Macs are less prone to viruses because OSX is built on BSD UNIX - and by default - when a file is copied to the file system - it is saved without execute permissions - so it can't run.

I just tested it and it's still true. I just downloaded a NASA image and via a Terminal (ls - l) command can see it's permissions as:

rw-r--r--

If execute permissions on a file were switched on for user, group, world, it's permissions would read:

rwxr-xr-x

It means that even if a virus is downloaded to your system, it can't run (by default)

This isn't the case on Windows machines - you can, by default, execute a file downloaded onto a Windows PC.

Not saying it's bullet proof - but it is one of the reasons Mac's are less prone to viruses than PCs.

Re: Best (free?) Mac AntiVirus/Malware

PostPosted: Fri Feb 09, 2018 2:05 am
by desmond
Kevin Nolan wrote:Not saying it's bullet proof - but it is one of the reasons Mac's are less prone to viruses than PCs.

Not really, there is a permissions system on Windows too. The holy grail of an exploit is to get root access, which means something could do anything* on the system, regardless of permissions.

There are generally more Windows exploits because there are more Windows users compared to Macs, meaning it's a much bigger target. *All* OS's have undiscovered weaknesses that get found and fixed over time (and new ones come along, Apple have had a few dreadful security issues with HS recently...)

* On newer versions of OSX, there are additional "hardening" measure over and above the unix permissions system - things like code signing, System Integrity Protection and signed bootloaders and so on.

There is always a tradeoff between security and convenience, and it's hard to have a system thar's sufficiently locked down to be secure, but also allow users to do the things they want do.

It's a constant struggle for developers, really...