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Mac computers don't get virus? Think again.
Thread poster: Mario Chavez (X)

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
Sep 26, 2017

No matter what operating system you use, a good practice is to safeguard it against virus, malware and other intrusions.

Chances are the average translator or interpreter using a Mac operating system won't have an infection, but it's better safe than sorry. Here's an article on the subject that appeared today on ArsTechnica: http://bit.ly/2whSAgE

During a medical devices conference in early 2016, I asked one of the manufacturers in attendance whether their bedside pump could be hackable. It took him several minutes to come up with an answer, after consulting with his colleague: “No, our software/control board/etc. is proprietary, not connected to the Internet, etc.”

In the intervening year after that, I for one have read articles about how certain medical devices can be tampered with wirelessly.

No matter what operating system one uses, even the Linux OS found in DVR boxes, no system is hacker-proof or inherently immune to wired/wireless tampering.


 

CafeTran Training (X)
Netherlands
Local time: 22:05
1Password Sep 26, 2017

Mario Chavez wrote:

Here's an article on the subject that appeared today on ArsTechnica: http://bit.ly/2whSAgE


From the article:

The Mac keychain is a digital vault of sorts that stores passwords and cryptographic keys. Apple engineers have designed it so that installed applications can't access its contents without the user entering a master password. A weakness in the keychain, however, allows rogue apps to steal every plaintext password it stores with no password required.


Better use 1Password (www.1password.com ):

Encrypted from End to End.
Every time you use 1Password, your data is encrypted before a single byte ever leaves your devices. Your encryption keys are protected by your Master Password, so only you have the keys to unlock your secrets.


 

DZiW
Ukraine
English to Russian
+ ...
CafeTran, Sep 26, 2017

The problem is when some serious abusers target a specific system/software/protection/machine, they will *surely* and *eventually* break through; only actuality/time/efforts/costs that matters. Also if people don't know something, it doesn't automatically imply there're no such things.

Shortly, 'impenetrable' Mac or whatever human-made is but a marketing, alas


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
1995 Sep 27, 2017

I have been using Macs since 1995. Never had a virus. Never used any anti-virus software.

Periodically a "Macs can get viruses" scare is floated virally by the companies that make a lot of money from anti-virus software. They hate the MacOS.

Without going into technical detail about how this works, any new software installed on a Mac (by the user or by anyone else) will not run unless the user authorises it. And there is no back door.

By default, the system blocks all unauthorised software and only experienced users know how to bypass that.

So yes, you can get a virus on a Mac, but only if you're foolish enough to allow unauthorised software to run. But even if you do, chances are that the system will block it anyway.

[Edited at 2017-09-27 07:57 GMT]


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:05
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Never say never ... Sep 27, 2017

They said the Titanic was unsinkable, and look what happened.

They (Einstein's teachers) said he would never amount to very much, and look what happened. Or was it Mick Jagger's, or both?

They said Lehman Bros and others were too big to fail, and look what happened.

They said groups of four lads with guitars were on the way out, and didn't sign up the Beatles, and look what happened.

They said any translation work requires experienced professional human beings, and look what's happening.


 

Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:05
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Who said? Sep 27, 2017

Mervyn Henderson wrote:

They said the Titanic was unsinkable, and look what happened.

They (Einstein's teachers) said he would never amount to very much, and look what happened. Or was it Mick Jagger's, or both?

They said Lehman Bros and others were too big to fail, and look what happened.

They said groups of four lads with guitars were on the way out, and didn't sign up the Beatles, and look what happened.

They said any translation work requires experienced professional human beings, and look what's happening.


Who said all those things? We need to find them and put them to work. Was it Them, Van Morrison's first band?

[Edited at 2017-09-27 08:58 GMT]


 

Mervyn Henderson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 22:05
Member
Spanish to English
+ ...
Quite right ... Sep 27, 2017

... if you can find them, or they aren't dead ...


Titanic - one of the wretched engineers trapped downstairs on a once-in-a-lifetime ocean-crossing freebie (once-in-a-lifetime is right).

Albert Einstein/Mick Jagger - both teachers dead, obviously.

Lehman Bros - don't know, but probably in jail and unavailable for work.

Beatles - Decca records, still going strong but mostly Broadway and classical these days, so the niche is limited.

BUT ...

"Experienced human translators" - any amount of agencies/large corps saying that kind of thing on a gaudy website with globes and countries' flags, and then sending out laughably shoddy machine or bottom-feeder work to be retranslated. Now there's the most potential in terms of putting people to work.

[Edited at 2017-09-27 09:30 GMT]


 

Lincoln Hui  Identity Verified
Hong Kong
Local time: 04:05
Member
Chinese to English
+ ...
It's a religion Sep 27, 2017

The infallibility of their machine god is the central tenet of their religion. You can no more talk sense into them than you can get blood from a stone.

 

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 21:05
Member (2004)
English to Italian
Never... Sep 27, 2017

got a virus on a Windows machine... I hope I'm not jinxing it... icon_smile.gif

 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Keychains Sep 27, 2017

Tom and other doubters:

The article, written by Ars Technica staff (not some paid suit from an antivirus software company), refers to a vulnerability in the keychain.

To reduce the virus-in-a-Mac potential problem to an expert vs. foolish user is, to be honest, quite reductive as an argument. I'm being a realist when I speak about potential infections in different operating systems, including Mac OSx.

Virus and malware aside, I just read from InDesign magazine that they're advising against upgrading to High Sierra because of a cursor bug in InDesign.

icon_smile.gif


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 03:05
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Social Engineering Sep 28, 2017

Mario Chavez wrote:
The article, written by Ars Technica staff (not some paid suit from an antivirus software company), refers to a vulnerability in the keychain.


Except, it's not a vulnerability, it's there on purpose. And Apple is not going to change that. You can dump your keychain data yourself:

Terminal%20Virus.png

And if you can do it, anyone or anything can do it, it "only" requires your admin password.

To reduce the virus-in-a-Mac potential problem to an expert vs. foolish user is, to be honest, quite reductive as an argument


The exploit uses social engineering. There's little you can do about that. You'll have to download an unsigned app, and ignore all Gatekeeper warnings when trying to install it. Foolish versus expert has little to do with it. I can imagine someone downloading a rogue app, but ignoring all warnings is as deliberate as unlikely.

Much ado about nothing.

Cheers,

Hans


 

CafeTran Training (X)
Netherlands
Local time: 22:05
True Sep 28, 2017

DZiW wrote:

The problem is when some serious abusers target a specific system/software/protection/machine, they will *surely* and *eventually* break through; only actuality/time/efforts/costs that matters.


Of course this is true, DZiW. I was merely advising the cross-platform solution 1Password for storage of your sensitive data on your Mac. I didn't make any claims about Mac's safety per se or compared to any other OS.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Social engineering Sep 30, 2017

To reduce the virus-in-a-Mac potential problem to an expert vs. foolish user is, to be honest, quite reductive as an argument


The exploit uses social engineering. There's little you can do about that. You'll have to download an unsigned app, and ignore all Gatekeeper warnings when trying to install it. Foolish versus expert has little to do with it. I can imagine someone downloading a rogue app, but ignoring all warnings is as deliberate as unlikely.

Much ado about nothing.

Cheers,

Hans



I disagree. Social engineering, by definition, expects a few, a small percentage of users or recipients will still ignore warnings or install risky software or click on suspect links.


 

Mario Chavez (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 16:05
English to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
And now, vulnerability in firmware Sep 30, 2017

Learned about this a few minutes ago: http://reut.rs/2x4Cy9t

“Security firm finds some Macs vulnerable to 'firmware' attacks”

And Apple is aware of it (if you read the short article).

I prefer to be less fanatical about my preference for this or that operating system or computer and more skeptically look into my chosen system as an inherently fallible, vulnerable one, and take preventive steps accordingly.

icon_smile.gif


 

Meta Arkadia
Local time: 03:05
English to Indonesian
+ ...
Except Sep 30, 2017

Mario Chavez wrote:
I disagree. Social engineering, by definition, expects a few, a small percentage of users or recipients will still ignore warnings or install risky software or click on suspect links.


Except, it's not that easy. To download the malware, you'll have to change the default settings ("Allow apps downloaded from: App Store") in the Security & Privacy settings in the System Preferences. When you try to download the malicious app, you'll get a warning, and another one when you want to install it and run it for the first time. That's why I called it a deliberate action. There's little/nothing Apple can do to prevent it, except forbid to download and run unsigned apps.

Cheers,

Hans

[Edited at 2017-09-30 22:01 GMT]


 
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