Top 4 Malware for Mac OS X

Yes, malware does exist for OS X, and these are the top 4 malware on the radar today.

1. Norton Antivirus for Mac
2. Symantec Endpoint Protection
3. Sophos Antivirus Protection for Mac
4. McAfee VirusScan for Mac

In case anyone thinks I’m joking or that there are malware pretending to be these legitimate software, I’m not, and there isn’t (or at least from what I know so far).

Take for example, Norton Antivirus(NAV) and Symantec Endpoint Protection, both of which are probably the same thing, except that you get the former if you enter a certain polytechnic and the latter if you enter another one. Both products, upon installation, installs a kernel extension. This modifies the system, and from experiences of students who were forced to run them in school, makes the system extremely unstable, especially after system updates. In the case of Norton Antivirus, very often installing the package (note that I didn’t use the word App here, for Norton Antivirus is anything but a useful mac application)itself may cause the boot sequence to fail in the future (read: spinning indicator with Apple logo on grey background forever).

Installing NAV or any other Symantec products on your Mac will also almost definitely cause your system to have poor performance, although it might not seem apparent immediately after install, for a clean and new system can look and feel fast enough even after the performance cut. Six months down the road however, NP students and SDN/SDMC students from NYP will think they need a new Mac already.

Many users with the above malware do not have a choice in the installation. Often times when they purchase their brand new Mac from their schools, it is already preloaded with malware. And in the case of NAV and Symantec products, it is almost impossible to remove. Contrast that with the recent MacDefender non-issue, when you actually have to install it yourself, give it the correct permissions, before it will actually run. And removal is a simple process. Activate Activity Monitor, kill the process, and trash the app.

No matter how you look at it, malware like Norton Antivirus and the Symantec products are definitely some of the deadliest you will ever find on the Mac platform.

Thankfully the majority of Mac users are well-educated enough that they do not need to install the above products, and will probably never do so.

The only people who gets hit with MacDefender are the idiots who thought they needed an anti-malware/antivirus program on the Mac in the first place, and chose to install MacDefender onto their systems happily. These are also the same idiots who will install Norton Antivirus on their systems from day 1. And obviously Norton Antivirus isn’t going to protect them, since it can’t even identify MacDefender as malware.

If you are one of those unfortunate enough to have NAV installed on your systems unwillingly, GET HELP NOW.


MacRyu is the Mac Blog by Singaporeans and for Singaporeans. It was started in April 2007 as a side project of the then President of the Official Mac User Group of NUS, Ryu, and grew to become possibly one of the most popular Apple-related sites based in Singapore. MacRyu hopes to provide you with more Mac-related info, thoughts and stuff, from the Singaporean perspective.

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