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Is Additional Anti-Virus Software Necessary


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I have used Malwarebytes Premium for a couple of years now and it appears to work just fine.  I also have been running Intego VirusBarrier for about ten years now.  They have worked together just fine.  About a month ago, the Intego program stopped scanning.  It would start and then go on forever not scanning, all other functions of the program appear to keep working, including download antivirus updates.  I asked Intego about it and they said to uninstall Malwarebytes and try it again. That made no difference.  Daily for two weeks I have been working with Intego and still nothing works.  Now they don't respond to my questions.  Which brings me to my question, is additional anti-virus software necessary?  Does Malwarebytes have an antivirus capability?  Intego's package includes malware detection in addition to their antivirus software but don't know if that is just for show or not.

 

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Malwarebytes detects all macOS threats. As a matter of business philosophy, Malwarebytes products do not detect threats related to other operating systems. (This concept has been repeated several times by @treed here on the forum and not only)

Having said that, as long as you are not subject to particular obligations in the work area, Malwarebytes is more than sufficient (I added 1blocker, always on @treed's advice, and I tested Malwarebytes Browser Guard, available for all major browsers - I don't currently use the one for Safari because, at least on Big Sur and Mac M1, it was giving problems - but I will come back to use it as soon as it is fixed). With this configuration I feel more than protected. 

The other products say they also detect non-macOS threats. For me it's all to prove because it's been years since I've run this risk: surely my method of using the MAC (and sometimes the PC) paying attention to the web sites visited gives a big hand in being protected.

In conclusion: for me no, there is no need for an additional product.

Translated from Italian with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

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Technically, all viruses are malware and malware is an umbrella term that stands for a variety of malicious software, including Trojans, spyware, worms, adware, ransomware and viruses. Also, the technical definition of a virus is "a piece of code that is capable of copying itself in order to do damage to your computer, including corrupting your system or destroying data." There haven't been any macOS viruses for decades now, but many utilities have stuck with the "antivirus" nomenclature rather than switch to a more descriptive anti-malware name.

So from a purely technical standpoint, Malwarebytes does not have an antivirus capability at this time since there are no known macOS viri, but should one show up some day I'm confident that it would be added rapidly. I suspect there are a few utilities out there that still include the ability to catch ancient macOS viruses, but that really shouldn't be a consideration. Malwarebytes is able to maintain it's speed advantage over other products by removing the ability to catch malware that are extinct and no longer a threat for a variety of reasons.

I have no idea what your Intego problem might be as I haven't used it for a very long time now, but I do have half a dozen or so other anti-malware/virus software installed on my Mac for testing purposes without issues. The only advise here is to make sure that only one of them is configured to have real-time/on-access capability as that can slow things down as they fight over who gets to scan a new/modified file first.

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Well, I stopped my subscription to the Intego VirusBarrier program package, since it wasn't working anyway.  Then later I was on the App Store and saw Intego VirusBarrier.  It was free so I downloaded it and it worked.  I have 12 malware programs in Quarantine now.  They all appear to be windows based apps since they are mostly .exe and .sys programs with one .msi and a .zip program.  That's a little unsettling.  I send emails to people who use Windows and would hate to pass those along.

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Without being able to examine those quarantined files, I'd have to guess most, if not all were email attachments. That's an area that most anti-malware utilities stay away from since it's often difficult to remove specific files from an email database without corrupting it. I'm fairly certain that Malwarebytes doesn't touch email at all, but should be able to find any Mac malware that manages to get installed by the user and possibly even prevent installation should you double-click an email attachment. You are right to be concerned about forwarding such emails to windows users.

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I checked the 12 files (some duplicates) and found that they are all windows installation programs of some sort like: migwiz.exe, i2omp.sys, key find.zip, 1ad367.msi....   So I don't understand how those programs would end up on my iMac, but I got rid of them.

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As indicated, most probably arrived as email attachments which could well have been routed to your junk/spam folders. Another possibility is that you clicked a link somewhere on the Internet or in an email that resulted in your downloading one or more. The most common one is getting a notification that Flash Player is out of date and offering to send you an update, but that doesn't appear to be the case with any of the file names you mentioned. Since the email sender (spammer) doesn't really know what OS you are using and Windows is much more vulnerable with many many more malware exploiters, Windows malware is more likely to be sent.

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Please be very cautious allowing any antivirus software to remove e-mail attachments if you're using the Mail app. Doing so can cause mailbox corruption, and potentially lost data. After this has happened, I'd recommend going through all your mailboxes in Mail and rebuilding each of them. (Select each mailbox, one at a time, and choose Rebuild from the Mailbox menu.)

Other mail clients may suffer from similar issues, but I don't know the correct methods to fix this for other clients.

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Just an observation on my part, but I have removed e-mail attachments using both a competitive anti-malware product as well as routinely deleting all the "Attachments" folder from the Apple Mail database without ever causing an issue. Admittedly that is different from any attempt to remove a MIME section from the original email message that is the source of such attachments. Items found in the Attachment folders are the result of either displaying the attachment within the email being read or extracting it/double-clicking it. At the time I chose to mass delete these folders it was because of limited space in my iCloud account which had caused my email accounts to take up twice the space needed for the email messages alone.

The problem with email clients other than Apple Mail is that most of them rely on monolithic databases which cannot be easily broken up resulting in having the entire database moved to quarantine for a single malware detection and losing all email in that account. For that reason, most anti-virus/malware packages avoid scanning such databases altogether.

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I suppose it's possible to safely remove attachments, but you can never be entirely sure if what's being removed is an attachment or something else, and I've definitely seen mailbox corruption caused by this sort of activity. I prefer to play it safe and not mess with Mail's data in any way via a third-party app.

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