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Thread: [Review] Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac

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Sophos is a free Anti-Virus solution for Mac computers. The time has come. Mac users should really start joining the bandwagon and begin arming their computers with some kind of
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  1. #1
    MMi Staff Writer Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
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    Default [Review] Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac

    Sophos is a free Anti-Virus solution for Mac computers.

    The time has come. Mac users should really start joining the bandwagon and begin arming their computers with some kind of security against malicious threats online. Mac computers are gaining popularity at a stunning rate; going from mid single digits up to 23% as Apple CEO, Tim Cook explained at the iPhone 4S keynote. Here at ModMyi, we've reported on three consecutive trojan horse infections for Mac OS X. The first being Flashback.C, which was a trojan horse created to disable your Apple Anti-Malware defense system. This system is updated automatically by Apple every once in a while to provide to you malware protection on your Mac. Flashback.C was easily installed by accidentally installing a fake Adobe Flash player. It would then try to install more malware on your computer; the trojan would force quit the installation if you had LittleSnitch firewall installed. The only way it could be installed was if the user entered their administrator password. The second threat was OSX/Tsnunami.A (Troj/Kaiten), which was a trojan horse that could turn your Mac into a Web Site killing machine by having a remote control user send commands to the malware over IRC to send DDoS attacks to a specified address. It also attempts to install more malware on your computer after installed. Like the previous trojan, it could only be installed if the user entered the administrator password. Finally we reported on OSX/Miner-D (DevilRobber), this trojan horse was the worst of them all as it eats up your GPU and CPU performance to a sluggish crawl in order to make and steal Bitcoins. At the same time it key-logs your usernames and passwords and opens backdoors into your computer for more malware to be installed. This trojan could be contracted from downloading certain things via BitTorrent. Like the others, it could only be installed by entering your administrator password. But, it could do some serious damage to your machine by making it over-heat and over-process constantly.

    All of these trojans are recent. It seems like a new one is being set free every week. So why not take a moment to download a very good Anti-Virus program known as Sophos Anti-Virus? The program offers a very light-weight solution to protection. It doesn't eat up a lot of processing power and uses very little memory at that. The program is also very good looking, just like you would expect a Mac program to look. It comes with a variety of settings that you can choose to monitor your computer for infections. Scan time varies between two to four hours – but the scans are deep and thorough and will find almost anything. Aside from Intego, I would say that Sophos is one of the best security experts available for the Mac. They don't slack off with their information and they are often cited on the release of new Mac threats.


    Sophos Anti-Virus has an incredibly easy interface. All you need to do is let it know when to scan. The two round buttons are the main functions for scanning. The one that looks like a play button is the one that starts the scan, while the one with a pencil on it opens up the Sophos Anti-Virus settings. The quarantine manager is the vault where Sophos Anti-Virus keeps all of the infections that it finds. In the vault, they cannot harm your system as they are locked away with Sophos' advanced security.


    Sophos Anti-Virus, while simple, comes complete with some useful settings. When installed, the default protection method will log the threat. I recommend changing that to clean up threat so that Sophos Anti-Virus can remove it from your system. The second option means that if Sophos cannot remove the problem, it will just delete the entire problem altogether so that it cannot persist. In the second tab, labeled, "On-Access Scanning" you can choose which folders are scanned and which ones are not. By default, everything and anything is scanned. The third tab, labeled, "AutoUpdate" is pretty self-explanatory. You can set how often the system updates itself. By default it checks with Sophos' servers every hour to check. The fourth tab, labeled, "Logging" gives you the option to change where your infection logs are stored. The last tab is, "Messaging" which allows you to set up custom alerts for actions. For example if an error occurs, you can make a custom message like, "Sophos F41L3D D00D." (Not that it ever would.)


    Sophos Anti-Virus also puts a nice menu bar icon in your menu bar. It's black and white and pretty attractive if you're avid about keeping your icons looking Apple-like and hate having colored icons like Skype and DropBox. Clicking on the menu bar icon brings down a menu that let's you manually being an update to your definitions, open the Scanner or Preferences window, or even begin a custom scan. When Sophos Anti-Virus is updating, the icon becomes gray and the dotted part pulses in a descending motion.

    Sophos Anti-Virus is free and can be downloaded here. It's Mac OS X Lion compatible as well as backwards compatible with other versions of Mac OS X. It has excellent reviews from well-known sites such as CNET and Cult of Mac which can be read here. The best part is that Sophos offers support for anyone who uses their software for free.

    Writer's rating: / 4.5/5

    Minimum System Requirements:
    • Mac with Intel or PowerPC processor
    • 256 MB of memory
    • 150 MB of available disk space
    • Mac with OS X 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard), 10.6 (Snow Leopard) or 10.7 (Lion)
    • Supports all Apple Mac hardware including iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air

    Please, Mac users. Protect yourselves. Mac OS X isn't invincible. Even requiring user input, people make mistakes. If you plan to try Sophos Anti-Virus or you already use it, tell us what you think about it in the comments below!

    Sources: Sophos
    Last edited by Anthony Bouchard; 11-01-2011 at 01:41 PM.

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    A+ it caught all 3.

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    iPhoneaholic gthugballin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbpell View Post
    A+ it caught all 3.


    u had all 3? lol i wonder how many u would have on a PC rofl
    When the police want to know where someone is, they ask apple.

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    Quote Originally Posted by gthugballin View Post
    u had all 3? lol i wonder how many u would have on a PC rofl
    yea, I'd be worried lol
    anyways, I'll give it a shot and see..

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    Livin the iPhone Life sziklassy's Avatar
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    Apple needs to just start providing their own free antivirus IMO...

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    iPhoneaholic
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    haha oo how well sarcasim transcribes online. Anyway I'll update my grade after reviewing myself I give it a C. Locked up on the last 100,000 files, and crashed another program I had open. Gave a memory warning. If 4gb isn't enough to do a simple system scan some programmar has failed their job. Not an F becuase the system log did find a curropted iphone.ipsw that I moved to trash becuase it was a bad file and not working proporly.

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    MMi Staff Writer Anthony Bouchard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by robbpell View Post
    haha oo how well sarcasim transcribes online. Anyway I'll update my grade after reviewing myself I give it a C. Locked up on the last 100,000 files, and crashed another program I had open. Gave a memory warning. If 4gb isn't enough to do a simple system scan some programmar has failed their job. Not an F becuase the system log did find a curropted iphone.ipsw that I moved to trash becuase it was a bad file and not working proporly.
    Mine finished all the way through, what machine/operating system are you using, year and model?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anthony Bouchard View Post
    Mine finished all the way through, what machine/operating system are you using, year and model?
    Late 2011 Macbook Air 10.7.2
    I'm running it again same thing. Starts at around 600,000 files left to scan. Does fine up until the 200,00 mark by 150k it becomes very slow. Haven't gotten an error yet this time though.
    Yeah, you'll be the coolest person in the room when you pull one out and show it around, but that gets old fast when three other people have them and one person somehow has one that glows in the dark.
    John C. Dvorak
    The American columnist and broadcaster in article 'Rethinking the iPhone' in PC Magazine.

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone ohthatguyagain's Avatar
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    Ohhh MacBook AIR... That's why...

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    iPhone? More like MyPhone
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    I haven't had antivirus on XP while i was winnows user, i won't have antivirus on a mac.
    Waste of resources and money.
    Common sense and a few precautions and you're okay.
    It's a same bandwagon as it always was... Antivirus won't help someone who clicks on everything and has blank admin pwd.

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    My iPhone is a Part of Me hogcia's Avatar
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    Mac OS with a virus? After all the years of Mac fans screaming "we don't get viruses!" ha ha, duh!

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    Livin the iPhone Life BenderRodriguez's Avatar
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    It caught stuff for me that wasn't a virus just my zip files for my website business

    Don't run this test while your doing something as the computer starts to like to freeze
    Last edited by BenderRodriguez; 11-01-2011 at 06:05 AM.

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    What's Jailbreak? k9patrol's Avatar
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    don't like it, it uses 2 much memory...

    got 8 Gb but when the program is running it goes down between 57 - 100 mb, so i can't do anything anymore on my MBP (mid 2010, 2.4 GHz)

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    Green Apple
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    I'm having the same problems as k9patrol and robbpell. I also have 8gb of ram installed but running this drains it down to about 100mb too. I'm using the latest i5 mac mini upgraded to 8gb of ram.

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    What's Jailbreak? no1stunna2k's Avatar
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    I've used this software since lion was released. It's pretty good

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    Ugh.

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    iPhoneaholic spazturtle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dennder View Post
    I haven't had antivirus on XP while i was winnows user, i won't have antivirus on a mac.
    Waste of resources and money.
    Common sense and a few precautions and you're okay.
    It's a same bandwagon as it always was... Antivirus won't help someone who clicks on everything and has blank admin pwd.
    Just being connected to the Internet is enough top get viruses, you don't have to go on dodgy site or download file these days to get viruses, they will find you.

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    Livin the iPhone Life exNavy's Avatar
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    From the Sophos forums on the program being a resource hog: memory hog - SophosFreeTalk community

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    iPhoneaholic NSXrebel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hogcia View Post
    Mac OS with a virus? After all the years of Mac fans screaming "we don't get viruses!" ha ha, duh!
    Are you really that ignorant? None of these are viruses.
    I'm not running any antivirus on my Mac.

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    The Dude Abides mr117's Avatar
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    No problems on my 3-year-old iMac 24". Took a few hours to scan 800,000+ files, I just left it alone, it finished, nothing found. I wouldn't run anything on my computer while scanning or backing up or downloading an Apple update. Just common sense. Leave it alone, all apps off, come back when done.

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