Posted by: David Harley | February 6, 2010

Viruses and the Macintosh

I just stumbled across an eHow article on “How to delete a Facebook Virus on the Mac” by Krystle Vermes. Technically, I’m not sure that there are Facebook viruses as I’d understand the term, and I don’t normally work in Facebook on a Mac in any case, so I’ll have to see if I can find time to look more closely at that.

However, I did notice that my “Viruses and the Macintosh” FAQ for Usenet is cited in the references. That worries me a little, because the version referenced there is 1.62a. Or 1.6b, depending on which end of the document you look at. Either way, it’s over ten years old. And that, my friends, is because I no longer have access to the credentials that would allow me to update or delete it, or stop it being re-posted on Usenet.

And yes, I would remove it if I could. Not because it’s “wrong” or because I’m ashamed of it, but because it’s hopelessly obsolete. There was actually a version 2 available for a while on the ICSAlabs web site, but I don’t think it’s been there for years. Nor should it be, because that content is also obsolete.

So where is version 3? Well, there’s probably a case for putting one together, but that will take time. In the meantime, I guess maybe I’ll look back at the text for the two previous versions and see if there’s anything worth revisiting as the basis for a version 3. I may put them up here along with some other papers for their historical interest, too, as long as people don’t get misled into thinking that they’re current.

Mac Virus
Small Blue-Green World
AVIEN Chief Operations Officer
ESET Research Fellow & Director of Malware Intelligence

Also blogging at:



  1. Hey David!

    I read the Eset Blog as well as this one.

    And I got a couple of question/wonderings for you wich I hope you can answer,
    or Randy perhaps :).

    1. You mentioned at the Eset blog in respons to one of my comments that you where running EAV for Mac, on your Mac. So I am just wondering what the average Memory and CPU usage is for EAV on a Mac?

    2. Also wondering why Eset don’t show how many malware’s records that’s in your database?
    Not that it is very important that I know how many, but why not?

    3. I know that the Mac version of NOD32 is crossplatform and detects Mac,Linux,and Windows malware.
    But does the Windows version detect Windows, Mac, And Linux malware as well?

    Cheers, Johan

    • Hi, Johan.

      As those questions are specific to ESET products, I’ll try to answer them over on the ESET blog. This blog does not belong to ESET, and I’m anxious to maintain its vendor neutrality. However, I’ll flag my response on this blog when it’s posted, in case other readers are interested in the answers. They’re valid and interesting questions: it’s just that this isn’t the best place to answer them. 🙂

  2. […] antivirus scanner for OS X, which is currently in beta, that I was asked in response to a post at Mac Virus. (If you want to take the beta out for a spin, you can still download it at […]

  3. […] antivirus scanner for OS X, which is currently in beta, that I was asked in response to a post at Mac Virus. (If you want to take the beta out for a spin, you can still download it at […]

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