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Viruses on iPhone/Android?


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#1
ElliotFriend

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Just a thought, based upon not much technical knowledge and/or experience ...

Aren't Mac OS and Linux supposed to be "virus-free"?

I understand that in either, you could execute some malicious code. But most people using either are generally singing praises of no viruses.

Any thoughts?
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#2
Danc20

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It has been my understanding that this assumption has been correct, at least in the past. I think the way they code the computer makes it secure (fewer exploits), but leaves some users feeling restricted. With the number of OS versions (Kodiak, Cheetah, Puma, Jaguar, Panther, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and the soon to come Lion) perhaps they have had a lot of opportunity to make their OS more secure. Unfortunately I've heard some complain that it is a little bit limited. Good for the average computer user, but not good for a developer of some sorts. Not sure if that is true.

I do however know that Windows Vista and 7 are leaps and bounds beyond XP's security (see post). Which is more secure might be hard to tell, but like you, I'm no expert, so the experts would have to weigh in on that.

PS:
Not sure if you can move posts, but for future reference this post should be put elsewhere than the phone sections unless you are talking about iPhones being virus free compared to Windows phones. Maybe under Operating Systems>All Other Operating Systems.

Edited by Danc20, 26 January 2011 - 09:40 PM.

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#3
ElliotFriend

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Not sure if you can move posts, but for future reference this post should be put elsewhere than the phone sections unless you are talking about iPhones being virus free compared to Windows phones.

I can see that my original post was a little vague. I should have been a more overt. Thanks for the heads up, Danc20. This is more what I was getting at:

Seeing as the iPhone's iOS is based on Mac OS (I think?), wouldn't the added security of a Mac carry over to the phone?

Android OS being a flavor of Linux (I know that one :D), wouldn't the virus-free qualities remain on the phone?

For that matter; on a Windows phone, do the vulnerabilities carry over from the Desktop operating system to the phone operating system?

Maybe the mobile operating systems of each are completely different creatures and more dissimilar than alike. I'm not sure, just asking questions.

Any thoughts?
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#4
devper94

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As far as I know, Unix-like operating systems like Linux and Mac OS are built to be secure from the ground up. Security features like LUA, chroot, ACL and privilege dropping are implemented and enforced. Windows just recently took on this (NTFS ACL, UAC...) so its security can't be as good.

Windows has lots of malware due to its large marketshare. Criminals can get much more bang for a buck when creating a Windows malware as opposed to Linux and Mac OS, which won't allow it to spread very far.
Users are also a problem; in fact, user is the weakest link of a security system. If the malware can trick the user into giving it privileges, it is game over. No matter how many security precautions are there, the computer would still be infected.

That said, Linux and Mac OS are not free of malware. There are viruses that work on those OSes, but they are generally proof-of-concepts that are not destructive, easily removed or limited by the operating system's security features.
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#5
ElliotFriend

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Thanks for the insight, devper94. Great info!

Do you know to what extent the security weaknesses/strengths of each operating system carry over to the phone platforms?
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#6
Log2

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Ok, well I'll put an end to that Rumour right now, they are NOT malware free, I worked for an Apple call centre for a couple years

Windows has lots of malware due to its large marketshare. Criminals can get much more bang for a buck when creating a Windows malware as opposed to Linux and Mac OS, which won't allow it to spread very far.


That is correct.

However the way that UNIX is coded makes Viruses near impossible. Malware on the other hand doesn't do the same thing as a virus.
A Virus is defined as a program that spreads from one program to the other, having babies in a sense. Malware installs and is constantly running from it's own file.

The reason a UNIX system is better with viruses is simply because it's coded in a layered sense. That is to say when a program opens up, it uses only it's own code, rather than relying on the operating systems code like every windows based application. That's how it works basically, it's a little more complex that that, but it's an example
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#7
devper94

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no.
without the operating system interface the program wont even start up. it is secure since privilege separation is enforced.
uac does the same thing in windows, but many users turn it off, or just allow the program without thinking. that is where malware thrives.
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#8
Ferrari

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Nice discussion. I wanted to point out that a virus (malware) is really no different than any other program installed on a computer. There's nothing really special about them... it's just that they are written to not show up like say a program like Microsoft Word appears to all of us and what makes is "malware" is that it's malicious software. For the most part, they run in the background and depending on what they were designed to do, they work on that goal in the background. This is why your computer "seems slow" when you are infected.

I'm not the biggest fan of Microsoft, but let us remember it's not MS's fault that criminals attack their OS.

Whoever has the market share will be the one attacked and the one always getting infected. Sure, Mac and Linux may be more secure, but if they had 80-90% of the market share all of these same programmers that attack MS would turn their focus onto Mac or Linux and they would surely find several ways to infiltrate consumers computers.

You could build the most secure fort in the world, but if your being attacked daily thousands and thousands of times... it's just a matter of time before vulnerabilities are found and exploited.
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#9
ZaRMan

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In response to mobile OS questions, being an avid iPod user, it is very hard to be infected with a virus or malware on an iOS device. All apps are approved and checked by apple before being available on the Appstore, so they are sure to be clean. However, jailbreaking does expose vulnerabilities. Jailbreaking allows Cydia tweaks, mods etc. to be installed, and they have no method of authentication. It would still be safe if you use trusted Cydia sources and Reposotories (e.g. BigBoss) because these are checked, but using other repo's could be dangerous. There are not any viruses for iOS devices yet (that I know of) but may become a real threat in the future.
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#10
calvert

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being a linux user i can say that there is not much 'in the wild' malware around,

it has nothing to do with the amount of users, its how the user uses their system,
think about web servers, most are linux based - get one of them infected and you would be famous for years

if people stick to downloading software from their respective repositories then there would be even less malware around,
here is a good write up

http://linuxmafia.co....php?page=virus

then there is android - exactly the same rules apply as its open source and linux based

http://howto.techwor...us-and-malware/
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#11
CustomiZer

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" Aren't Mac OS and Linux supposed to be "virus-free"? "

Thst is a quote of the past. Currently all the stuff are crawlling with viri
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#12
calvert

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" Aren't Mac OS and Linux supposed to be "virus-free"? "

Thst is a quote of the past. Currently all the stuff are crawlling with viri


you could post proof,

i've been a linux user for years and never come across one
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#13
sari

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I don't hold Wikipedia as proof-positive; however, this link at least gives you a starting ground for researching Linux malware. Just because you haven't seen the malware yourself doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

Also, CustomiZer, just as a general comment, the correct plural form of virus is viruses.
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#14
calvert

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the wiki article itself says

few if any are in the wild, and most have been obsoleted by updates


and i do believe the latest one in the wiki was 2007

i am not saying that there are no linux malware, i'm saying that there are few to none in the wild,

with this site being a malware removal site then - and this is just a guess - there should be records from linux malware removal,
you would think that as, say (and rounded off) that 90% of home pc users run windows and 10% run linux/mac/unix then this would be reflected in the findings,
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#15
CustomiZer

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Ah..sorry about the spelling..I sort of assumed it I guess.

And regarding Linux malware they are much more advanced as compared to its windows variants. And also linux audience is pretty less, so you will probably see lesser of them around

In response to mobile OS questions, being an avid iPod user, it is very hard to be infected with a virus or malware on an iOS device. All apps are approved and checked by apple before being available on the Appstore, so they are sure to be clean. However, jailbreaking does expose vulnerabilities. Jailbreaking allows Cydia tweaks, mods etc. to be installed, and they have no method of authentication. It would still be safe if you use trusted Cydia sources and Reposotories (e.g. BigBoss) because these are checked, but using other repo's could be dangerous. There are not any viruses for iOS devices yet (that I know of) but may become a real threat in the future.


I'm not really familiar with ios devices but I know that there are quite some viruses for mac (i mean the mac book)

Edited by CustomiZer, 30 May 2011 - 08:26 AM.

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