ClamXav is a native Mac OS X port of the free Clam AntiVirus scanner. It's not a "live" virus blocker; this is strictly a hard drive scanner. Actually, it's not even that: because it blindly follows symbolic links, you can't set it to scan your startup disk: it will find a symlink pointing it back to the root and keep looping on that forever. Apparently you can avoid that by manually selecting folders under the root; makes no sense to me but this is what the FAQ says. This is just a Mac OS X graphical front to the ClamAV, which you could obviously build yourself. If you have Tiger Server, you already have ClamAV, as Apple includes it.
And what's the point? The ClamXav page says:
Back in the days before OS X, the number of viruses which attacked Macintosh users totalled somewhere between about 60 and 80. Today, the number of viruses attacking OS X users is...NONE! However, this doesn't mean we should get complacent about checking incoming email attachments or web downloads, for two reasons. Firstly, there's no guarantee that we Mac users will continue to enjoy the status quo, but more importantly, the majority of the computing world use machines running MS Windows, for which an enormous quantity of viruses exist, so we must be vigilant in checking the files we pass on to our friends and colleagues etc.
I suppose so. Sooner or later, there will be Mac OS X Trojans, though I expect you'd know about their existence before Clam has code to spot them. Still, all you waste is time. Your scans aren't going to find anything except in email you've surely junked anyway, but maybe that makes you feel better. At least it's free.
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More Articles by Tony Lawrence © 2012-07-20 Tony Lawrence
If debugging is the process of removing bugs, then programming must be the process of putting them in. (Edsger W. Dijkstra)