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Apple Mac Anti-virus Software and Security

 

Mac OSX

Securing the system

Many Mac users believe that their computers are safe from viruses, spyware and other kinds of malware, however this is a dangerous assumption. Any Operating System is vulnerable, and if not maintained, the computer could soon be in serious risk of being hacked or compromised by a malicious program. It only takes one un-patched vulnerability to lead to a compromise. A vulnerability discovered in 2004 was soon exploited as the following extract demonstrates:

"The SH/Renepo worm (also known as Opener) can turn off the Mac OS X firewall and other security software; will download and install hacker tools for password-sniffing and cracking…"

http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/articles/renepo.html 25 October 2004

Software Update

The first step in securing your computer is to make sure that your software is up-to-date. This is often referred to as "Patching your software" or "Applying security fixes". Apple Software Update will provide both security fixes as well as product upgrades, therefore you may receive a new version of iTunes and security updates both at the same time.

Software update options are available from:

Apple menu > Software Update... > Software Update > Preferences

 

Apple Mac Software update menu 1

 

Followed by:

 

Apple Mac update menu screenshot 2

 

From the preferences dialogue box you can choose to set Software Update to check for updates automatically. It's recommended that you set it to check daily for new updates.

Apple Firewall

Apple provide a personal firewall as part of OS X. A personal firewall is a piece of software which controls communications to and from the computer, permitting or denying communications based on a Security Policy.

To activate the firewall go to:

System Preferences > Sharing > Firewall

Activating Firewall screenshot

Simply click Start to activate the firewall and Stop to de-activate the firewall.

By default all inbound communication is blocked, and all outbound is permitted. If you require remote login or provide services to others like file-sharing you can select these services from the services tab.

Disabling Automatic Log in

Automatic log in will automatically log the computer into your account allowing access to your files and services. To disable automatic log in, open:

System Preferences > Accounts > Login Options and un-check Automatically log in as:

 

Mac autologin screenshot

 

Anti-Virus software

Systems owned by the University 

...are licensed to run Sophos anti-virus software.

Download the software from the Macsoft server:

  • From the Finder application, Click the Go menu, Connect to Server
  • Enter the server address - macsoft.cf.ac.uk, click Connect
  • Use your standard Cardiff username and password to access the Macsoft server, click Connect
  • You will be prompted to mount the MacSoft Volume, click OK
  • The MacSoft volume should appear on the desktop.
  • Double click the 'Mac OS X' folder
  • Double click the 'Utilities' folder
  • Double click the 'Sophos Anti-Virus' folder
  • Please read and follow the instructions in the "Read Me First" document in the Sophos Anti-virus folder for detailed installation instructions
All other systems

i.e. those not purchased by Cardiff University, but used by University staff or students on or off campus (such as privately purchased home systems) should run an antivirus product.

Sophos Is a full featured antivirus product available to home users free of charge.

ClamXav is a free virus checker for Mac OS X.

Security suite products are designed specifically for home users, tend to be easier to use and include extra functionality. In addition to anti-virus protection, suite products often contain personal firewall, privacy control, anti-spam and parental control features. Staff considering such a purchase should consult their local computing retailer for advice or the IT Shop.

 

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Mac OS 10.5

Securing the system

Many Mac users believe that their computers are safe from viruses, spyware and other kinds of malware, however this is a dangerous assumption. Any Operating System is vulnerable, and if not maintained, the computer could soon be in serious risk of being hacked or compromised by a malicious program. It only takes one un-patched vulnerability to lead to a compromise. A vulnerability discovered in 2004 was soon exploited as the following extract demonstrates:

"The SH/Renepo worm (also known as Opener) can turn off the Mac OS X firewall and other security software; will download and install hacker tools for password-sniffing and cracking…"

http://www.sophos.com/virusinfo/articles/renepo.html 25 October 2004

Software Update

The first step in securing your computer is to make sure that your software is up-to-date. This is often referred to as "Patching your software" or "Applying security fixes". Apple Software Update will provide both security fixes as well as product upgrades, therefore you may receive a new version of iTunes and security updates both at the same time.

Software update options are available from:

Apple menu > Software Update... > Software Update > Preferences

 

Apple Mac Software update menu 1

 

Followed by:

 

Apple Mac update menu screenshot 2

 

From the preferences dialogue box you can choose to set Software Update to check for updates automatically. It's recommended that you set it to check daily for new updates.

Apple Firewall

Apple provide a personal firewall as part of OS X. A personal firewall is a piece of software which controls communications to and from the computer, permitting or denying communications based on a Security Policy.

To activate the firewall go to:

System Preferences > Security > Firewall

Security firewall screenshot

 

Check box “Require password to wake this computer from sleep or screen saver”

Select “Firewall” tab.

Firewall tab screenshot

 

Simply click “Allow only essential services” radio button.

 

By default all inbound communication is blocked, and all outbound is permitted. If you require remote login or provide services to others like file-sharing you can enables these services from System Preferences > Sharing.

Sharing screenshot

The above example shows enabling remote login.

 

Disabling Automatic Log in

Automatic log in will automatically log the computer into your account allowing access to your files and services. To disable automatic log in, open:

System Preferences > Accounts > Login Options and un-check Automatically log in as:

Mac autologin screenshot

 

Anti-Virus software

Systems owned by the University 

...are licensed to run Sophos anti-virus software.

Download the software from the Macsoft server:

  • From the Finder application, Click the Go menu, Connect to Server
  • Enter the server address - macsoft.cf.ac.uk, click Connect
  • Use your standard Cardiff username and password to access the Macsoft server, click Connect
  • You will be prompted to mount the MacSoft Volume, click OK
  • The MacSoft volume should appear on the desktop.
  • Double click the 'Mac OS X' folder
  • Double click the 'Utilities' folder
  • Double click the 'Sophos Anti-Virus' folder
  • Please read and follow the instructions in the "Read Me First" document in the Sophos Anti-virus folder for detailed installation instructions
All other systems

i.e. those not purchased by Cardiff University, but used by University staff or students on or off campus (such as privately purchased home systems) should run an antivirus product.

Sophos Is a full featured antivirus product available to home users free of charge.

ClamXav is a free virus checker for Mac OS X.

Security suite products are designed specifically for home users, tend to be easier to use and include extra functionality. In addition to anti-virus protection, suite products often contain personal firewall, privacy control, anti-spam and parental control features. Staff considering such a purchase should consult their local computing retailer for advice or the IT Shop.

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Mac OS 8 and 9  

Mac OS 9 was a great operating system years ago, but there's so much you can do in Mac OS X that you can't do in Mac OS 9. Check out the Mac OS X Overview website for more information about all the cool features you'll find in Mac OS X. Every new Mac comes with Mac OS X—or you can purchase it at the online Apple Store or your local retail Apple Store

 

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