Anti-malware and antivirus software

Should I use an anti-malware and antivirus software on my Mac? If so, and with so many on the market, what would be the best to use? Websites and magazines always seem to contradict one another. Any help would be appreciated.

I’ll be interested to see what people say to this as I’ve seen a huge decline in antivirus/anti malware for windows outside of defender as well.

I still use ESET NOD32 on my main windows desktop and I have done so for years.

Whether it’s any better or worse than defender or not, well I’m probably not qualified to say. All I know is that it’s saved me a few times both when innocently doing things online and also when doing things less innocently :innocent:

The quick and final answer is no. Don’t waste your money! Almost 100% of the malware require physical access to your Mac. Same with Windows… complete waste of $. Defender is as good or better than anything you can buy. Consumer AV software is terrible. In contrast to Corporate based AV is not bad because the IT dept controls it.

They don’t require physical access. They just need some way to get the software on your computer, either by some no-click action (like casually browsing a site, and some bad code uses an exploit to install the malware without you even knowing something happened), or tricking you to run bad code (normally how YouTube channels are hacked, which currently is used for Crypto scams)

No clue if Macs have anything built in or not.

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Well, except for the zero-click Safari security bugs that Apple patched last month that could be exploited just by visiting a malicious web page - and we got multiple alerts from our corporate anti-malware system that Bing was serving bad ads and Google was in the news this week as having served up malware ads, yet again…

Or the a host of other remote execution holes that Apple patched in the previous patches.

I use our corporate anti-malware on my company MacBook Air, the same as on my Windows laptop. At home, my network uses advanced intrusion detection and I run a blacklist of known advertising and malware sites - it currently blacklists well over 2.5 million domains. And I don’t tend to browse many “strange” sites.

I ran ClamAV for a long time on my Mac, but that was mainly to protect Windows machines on the network or to catch malware attachments in email from being passed on to Windows users. But times are changing and there are more and more active exploits against Macs out there - it isn’t as bad as the late 80s and early 90s, where the Macs at work were plagued with malware, but it still isn’t good and the malware today does a lot more damage.

I am currently looking at putting Eset Advanced Security on my Mac - I know their PR guy and trust him, so I’ll give them a try.

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That is my point here. Zero Day. The AV companies haven’t release a signature update and/or the industry doesn’t know about it. In essence, 3rd party AV/Sec Software is useless and waste of money.

BTW… Apple does have anti malware/AV built into MacOS, with the last few releases.

Also, there are tricks (at least on Windows) that allow malware to not even be scanned by anti-malware, built-in or 3rd party. So, even if the signature would catch it, malware can run on your system because they did something to cause the file to not be scanned before you run it.

The current trick that’s being used against YouTubers is to phish you into download a zip file, and in the zip file, there’s an EXE file (or something that is the same format, even if it’s a different extension, like an SCR file (screen saver)) that is 0 zero padded to around 1 to 16 GB in size (Forgot the exact size), and this causes all the antivirus software to not auto-scan the file. In a video I watched, some unzip programs will warn on the fact these are zip bombs and won’t extract the file. Sadly, the one I saw was a CLI program and not a GUI.

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Good AV software hasn’t worked solely on signatures for well over 2 decades. A lot of it is based on behaviour and monitoring activity that would suggest that the software is up to no good, with white listing of known good utilities.