Security Corner

Dec 2 2008   9:00PM GMT

Own a Mac? Get Anti-virus, says Apple

Ken Harthun Ken Harthun Profile: Ken Harthun

The Mac vs. PC ads are always funny, but this one’s even more of a hoot, especially since Apple quietly snuck out an advisory on November 21 that Mac users should use multiple antivirus programs:

“Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult.”

Needless to say, this is getting a lot of play in the media.

From The Register:

“Long something of a phantom menace, strains of malware capable of infecting Mac machines have gradually been increasing in prevalence over recent months. In addition, VXers are making more use of web-based attack and applications specific vulnerabilities to infect PCs whatever their underlying operating system might be.”

From the Washington Post:

“This is news to me. Just under three months ago, I asked an employee at our local Apple store whether I needed anti-virus for my MacBook, and was told not to bother, that it was not necessary. I wonder if this means Apple will stop running television ads saying Mac users don’t have to worry about malicious software?”

It had to happen sooner or later. The Mac user base may be much smaller than the PC’s, but it’s still significant and enjoyed a 38 percent market share growth, going from 6.4 percent of the market in 2007 to 8.5 percent during the second quarter of 2008. Even more significant is the little known fact that Apple’s market share of the so-called “premium” computer market — machines that cost more than $1,000– hit a whopping 66% in the first quarter of 2008. Maybe, just maybe, people who buy “premium” stuff have more money which can mean a bigger payday for the Internet criminals.

Just my opinion, but if you could steal a Jaguar with no more effort than it takes to steal a Chevy, which would you take?

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