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2005/07/07 ClamXav (Mac Virus Scanning)


Some material is very old and may be incorrect today

© July 2005 Tony Lawrence

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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Sat Jul 9 10:24:15 2005: 768   drag


That sort of thing is nice to have if your moving files around or like to resend email with attatchments to your friends and such. Just so you don't accidently send a file or something with a virus in it you got from one Windows user to another one. For the same reason it's nice if your using your mac as a file sharing computer and whatnot.

I just use clamav to help me protect Windows users from other Windows users.

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