Let's say I have a Mac which I believe is infected with virus. I understand the best course of action is to scan the drive from a bootable DVD. However, will this work if my DVD is a Linux distro? In other words, will the Linux antivirus download the definitions for Mac viruses and look for those?

I'm thinking that they might, to prevent using other OSes as a virus vector, but I'd like to know for certain one way or the other.

Also, I suppose that this is probably vendor-specific, but I'm wondering what the industry standard is.


It's certainly possible - Sophos' free Mac Anti-Virus contains definitions for Windows viruses, but the emphasis is slightly different there. Not only is the aim to prevent the Mac passing on the Windows virus, the prevalence of Windows emulators and not-emulators (Crossover, Cider etc.) on the Mac means that there's a good chance the virus might actually be able to do some damage. I doubt very much that a normal Windows anti-virus product would pick up Mac viruses.

As you say, this is probably vendor-specific. You'd just need to look around the website of the product and ask on any support forums. One thing to try is a scanner such as Clam AntiVirus that's designed for use on a mail server - that increases the chance that it'll have definitions for multiple operating systems. The only caveat with that is that while it may be able to find the initial infection, it might not be as good at cleaning up any nasties that that has installed, so don't rely on it alone - after it thinks it's clean and you go back to using your Mac, run a Mac-specific virus scanner just to be sure.

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