[unisog] AV for MACS

Hasan Khalil hasan.khalil at uconn.edu
Mon Dec 6 20:37:45 GMT 2004

On Dec 6, 2004, at 13:37, Stephen Gill wrote:

>> But again, that's a compromise of a host due to poor configuration, 
>> not a
>> viral/worm infection.
> The point is it was compromised.

Absolutely not. Nobody here (at least AFAIK) is debating that Mac OS X 
is invulnerable. Needless to say, no OS is invulnerable until you cut 
the network cord. There are plenty of Bad People(tm) out there that can 
get into your box (of arbitrary OS) around firewalls, ACL's, 

The point here is that some of us feel that Mac OS X is much more 
'immune' to virus attack than many other operating systems, including 
at the top of this list Microsoft's Windows. Looking at the subject 
line of this thread, the point is _not_ that it was compromised. I 
still haven't seen anything to refute this claim.

Some of the other posts suggest that Mac OS X boxes have caused 
network/security problems in the past. All of those posts, at least to 
my understanding, have detailed cases in which a Mac has been 
misconfigured or a break-in due to someone's irresponsibility in 
keeping up with updates to packages not authored by Apple (Apache, 

Over the course of the last few years, I recall one real browser threat 
on the Mac OS X platform (Safari's browser is what I mean by this). 
This was promptly fixed by Apple and updates were seeded to clients via 
Software Update. AFAIK, there was no large boost in compromised Mac OS 
X machines due to this security vulnerability. Comparing this to the 
hundreds of flaws in Microsoft's browser, I'd say Mac OS X is more 
secure by a long ways. That's just my subjective opinion though.

I think there has been sufficient attack, err, 'discussion' on the 
honeypot report table that Jim Dillon was kind enough to forward to us, 
so I don't think I even need to get into that one. Russell Fulton 
pretty much summed up what I wanted to say regarding that one.

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