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Is my OS X Tiger 10.4.1 infected with any latest malware?

Networking & Security


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  #1  
Old 17-04-2012
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Join Date: Mar 2012
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Is my OS X Tiger 10.4.1 infected with any latest malware?
  

I bought a new PC in which I have my Tiger 10.4.1 installed and this is a very basic question which incidentally may have been attended and successfully resolved by majority of the experts present here. But being a not very tech savvy kind of person, I am still pondering over this issue. The question embarrasses me to put on a technical forum like this but I hope the trouble shooters out here are kind enough in actually helping me with this. The question is that how can I come to know if my system is infected with any malware which might land me and my system into unreasonable mess? If it is, how will it affect me and how to get rid of it, if there is nothing to worry about, how can I stay safe from it? These areis basically a very raw question, I know but I thought I would rather be a stupid than landing into troubles and then crying panickily for a solution by opening another thread. Is it any wrong to follow the theory of ‘Precaution is better than cure?’

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  #2  
Old 17-04-2012
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 218
re: Is my OS X Tiger 10.4.1 infected with any latest malware?

No, this is not at all a stupid question and you needn’t b a bit embarrassed about it. This is the most ideal way to deal with things. What’s better than understanding and knowing the possible problems you might face with your system and then being prepared to fight with it before it even plans to occur. I don’t know what my fellow-posters think but I personally appreciate such threads as this is very useful for other users too who aren’t even aware of the fact that their system is prone to a number of attacks.

What exactly is malware is something that every single person even stroking 5 keys a day should be knowing. Now, malware is basically any software or even a single piece of code that tends to spoil a PC or its application. To explain it better I would term it as a piece of software used to intrude into a system with an aim of physically affecting the system, gathering information that are important for the user or disrupt the basic computer operations. Some examples of a malware would be: computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses, spyware, and adware.

They tend to attack and kill the very basic purpose of owning a system i.e. it will not let you do any kind of operation with the data, it might even take away all the data that you have and put you into a kind of trouble that is going to be an ultimate experience of disaster.
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  #3  
Old 17-04-2012
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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re: Is my OS X Tiger 10.4.1 infected with any latest malware?

What exactly a malware is, is very well explained by Swiz. I would like to put some light on what affects can malware bring about in your system.
The problems that you would probably face by the very interference of a malware in your system can be categorized as follows:
Computer Damage:
Any computer which is infected by a malware is sure to be showing some sort of physical damage in the system. The damage may be to start with lower computing speed, now this may be a neglected criteria because of which the problem moves to higher level of symptoms which includes program crashes, malfunction and illogical and unreasonable amount of continuous and repeated error messages. To extend the problems that you might possibly face, the email account you own might be accessed by the malware or others might use malware to access it by sending messages that you do not want to. The problem may also be like frequent crazy pop-ups throughout the screen and even when you are surfing internet. When most malwares are designed with an aim of theft and all, there are some malwares which are exclusively designed to damage your computer and give issues that are killer.

Financial Theft:
Another basic and the most important and common purpose of designing a malware is to carry out theft. There is an estimation of about billions of dollars which are stolen because of malware which provides unauthorized access to employees and partners to personal and business financial documents. There also exists certain types of malware which is capable of automatically transferring funds to bank account. There are some which eases the back door entry for hackers and all to your system which is unrestricted and may not be found out for a long time. Malware which is designed with the purpose of theft in mind is made in such a way that it cannot be detected soon so that it can stay very long in the system and it will avaoid giving any symptom of existence

Identity Theft:
There also exists malware codes which are supposed to be stealing your personal information from the computer. Details like, Name, Social Security Number, License number, account details and other such vital data can be used effectively for identity theft. This basically is the first step to financial theft and is considered to be aiming only financial theft on the long run. However people with personal issues can also be the cause behind this and pure identity frauding may be the basic driving force in them. This information of identity can be effectively used for applying for Social Security benefits or simply as fake ID or fake guaranteer to police or to bank when the time for consequence comes, you might be the one who has to face the fire.

Loss of productivity:
A malware once detected or even suspected must be removed with immediate effect. If you are lucky enough the malware must be affecting only one single computer but if there are multiple computer connected over a network, the problem becomes even severe affecting like more numbers of computers and the entire server might need to be shut down and rebuilt. All the software that were installed has to be removed and reinstalled. This might then result into an entire department of a company to get shut down for hours or days which leads to losses of over a millions of dollars.
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  #4  
Old 17-04-2012
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Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 228
re: Is my OS X Tiger 10.4.1 infected with any latest malware?

These are some excellent pieces of information for both layman users and students pursuing Computer science. However, I wish to do my bit into it. I would like to deal with the question related to the title itself. i.e. how can we make out if there is any kind of malware infection in your system.
Basically, in case of a malware infection, the system tends to show some typical symptoms which, if noticed on time and fixed quickly can prevent great hazards mentioned in the previous post:
- Excessive pop-ups: there definitely exists websites which have pop-ups and other forms of advertisements which states that all types of pop-ups are not malware. However, it is a bit difficult to distinguish between the legitimate ones and the other ones. To troubleshoot this issue, what you can probably do is visit URLs which have minimum number of advertisements like Google or yahoo. And if even after this there exists any kind of pop ups that simply means that there is a malware active on your system
- Unsolicited activity: your internet might possibly be busy sending and receiving in spite of the fact that the connection is idle and is not really in use by any user. You might also experience a similar behavior with the system’s hard disk even when on checking you might find that no programs are meant to run automatically.
- Browser Modifications: you might see your browser undergoing changes that you’ve never seen and this might look strange and weird and must probably be unexpected too. There might be unknown toolbars installed which might be search companions or any such convenience plug in. also, the default homepage and search engine changes without authorization
- Poor system performance: in case you happen to notice a sudden downtrodden kind of behavior when you are performing the usual basic tasks, your computer might potentially be infected. There are malicious threats which are seldom inactive and sucks the entire usage of RAM, slowing down the system and thereby affecting the performance of the system. You might also possibly notice some not very common services and processes being added to your windows task manager. Which might re-add itself in spite of being ended by you
- Unusual Desktop entries: there might be a number of unknown computer applications and icons that might possibly appear on your computer or on your task bar maybe your system tray also. These programs mainly include Casino games or online shopping offers or porn links. There might also be unidentified programs in the Windows ‘Add/Remove Programs’. If at all you happen to try deleting them you may not be available giving you a warning of denial or even after deletion, it might come back.
- Program Restrictions: you may occasionally notice all anti malware applications getting disabled. This might leave you in a state of shock, forcing you to re-enable them and their capabilities. However, you might still notice it getting disabled again. Just in case you happen to troubleshoot it further, there might possibly be a malfunction which might alert you saying it is not possible to launch the program for not any specified reason. Even if you try reinstalling it, the unusual behavior should persist.
- Access Restrictions: there might come situations where in, you are no longer allowed to possess enough privileges for launching very important system applets. These might be an inclusion of system registry or MsConfig. Even if the program is launched, you might not be allowed to access or modify it, usually.
- Prevention and Solution: always make sure that the system is stays updated through the ‘Windows Update’ utility. You should be running a complete system scan by using safe mode. To get into safe mode, you just need to press the F8 even before the program starts. After that, turn on the Windows firewall and restart the system.
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  #5  
Old 18-04-2012
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Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 218
re: Is my OS X Tiger 10.4.1 infected with any latest malware?

I think, I just missed out on an important topic as to how do we stay away from malware and prevent out system from getting affected by it.
There are basically 3 golden rules to go about it which are stated below as an attempt to provide maximum security to the users.
1. The most basic and the most important among these are that every Mac user should be following the golden rule which states ‘Install all Mac OS X Secureity Updates the soonest the best!’. As a matter of fact, Apple has been making all possible attempts and efforts of ensuring that every user has been doing this. There is an Update Software mechanism which is been embedded In the OS which always and automatically notifies the user about every single, new security patch that come up.
Also, each and every security update comes digitally signed and this assures that it is coming from a very trusted source whenever you’ve got to install it in your system. Hence, to keep the Mac’s security intact, it should be updated every time, the notification for the new update comes out.
2. The second most important piece of advice would be to ‘Surf, download and install software only from a very trusted source. To make it simpler for users, whenever you try to run an installation file without knowing its source or provider Mac itself asks you if you trust them and are willing to run, you better call it off if that is not the case.
Leopard powered Macs come with a much peculiar kind of solution, in which every application is tagged or labeled with metadata which indicates that the file is downloaded from the internet will also store the date of download, the time and the URL of download. In such a case, the first time you try installing it, you get a dialog box that asks if you are sure about opening it.
Here too, apple has been working towards the safety of the users and it even makes sure that the users will take the safer end without running anything harmful stuffs.
3. Another, commonly said but even commonly forgotten concept of ‘Use Antimalware software’ some very reliable sources of antivirus worth giving a try are Morton Antivirus, McAfee, Avast, AVG, ClamXav etc. I know that most users think installation of software is nothing but an invited trouble. The whole pain of installation, then slowed down PC and anyways, viruses are not at all prone to viruses. So why on earth do we even consider installation of Antivirus, it hardly serves any purpose anyway.
But let me tell you and make it very clear to you that installation of an anti-virus is worth the effort and the pain. Imagine you going through all the problems mentioned in the above mentioned posts. You’ll be so badly ruined, can you even imagine? Also, these days, antiviruses on Mac are detecting viruses so let’s not be over confident about anything!
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