Apple Pulls Anti-Virus Advice Due To Bad PR?

According to Computerworld, Apple yanked a “controversial” support document from its website Tuesday, after it began a heated debate among the Apple faithful. What was the controversial advice? Apple suggested its users run anti-virus software.

Computerworld says that some saw the document as a change of heart for Apple, which enjoys poking fun at Windows users for having to worry about viruses. Apple says that they pulled the document because it was outdated.

“We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate,” Apple spokesman Bill Evans said in an e-mail Wednesday.

“The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box,” he went on. “However, since no system can be 100% immune from every threat, running antivirus software may offer additional protection.”

Apple yanks antivirus advice from its Web site [Computerworld]
(Photo: strobist )

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  1. p322401 says:

    When i was a kid anytime i tried to backpedal like this it would use the brakes.

  2. Skybolt says:

    Any computer can get a virus. There is a small but growing list of known Mac OS malware. I run Intego Netbarrier on my Mac. It cost about $80. The alternative is to pretend the the Mac OS is magically secure and then feel dumb if I am the one who gets hit.

    • katylostherart says:

      @Skybolt: right, so if you’re generally careful with what you up/download, you’re pretty much ok.

      • SBR249 says:

        @katylostherart: not exactly, while I’m not very knowledgeable about specifics for macs. It is conceivable that you may become a victim of a click-through or drive by infection. Such infections do not require user-initiated downloads and once you are redirected to that website through a link, you become infected. These attacks are known to happen with increasing frequency and often target third party software that has nothing to do with Apple but are widely used such as Javascript, Flash, Microsoft Office (even for macs), etc. There are even instances where the malicious code is hidden in pictures displayed on websites.

        Saying that you are generally ok if you are careful with what you download is like saying you won’t catch a cold unless someone sick directly sneezes up your nose.

        • katylostherart says:

          @SBR249: well, i kind of think not randomly clicking on everything that pops up is a good idea. so i don’t. i know one woman i work with fell for some stupid fedex email virus but if she’d known just used a little common sense there were a lot of warning bells on that stupid little email she opened.

          i would see it more as you’re generally ok if you wash your hands and don’t share cups.

          • floraposte says:

            @katylostherart: Problem is, you’d also never be able to buy dinnerware or clothes from garage sales and never be able to go out to restaurants. Have a Google around, for instance, about Google’s “This site may harm your computer” warning and see how many site owners of perfectly legitimate sites that you may well want to see–like blogs, for instance–have had virulent material injected into their sites without their realizing it.

            • katylostherart says:

              @floraposte: this really just isn’t something i personally have to worry about. then again i’m one of those weirdos that still reads books and newspapers that are printed on PAPER.

              i get what you guys are saying, and i realize careful doesn’t mean 100%, but careful + mac is probably 99.999%

              • Sarcasmo - employed and online says:

                @katylostherart: I would actually shorten what you’re saying by removing the mac.. I have linux and several flavours of MS OS’s running at home and have not had a virus/malware infection in over 4 years. It’s just smart computer use with the right tools.

        • TechnoDestructo says:

          @SBR249:

          You have to download those web pages, and download those images, so yes…if you’re careful what you download, you will be fine. Avoid the seedy parts of the internet (and I’m not just talking about porn…in fact I’m mostly not talking about porn) and you avoid almost all opportunities for infection.

          I don’t expect grandma to be able to tell at a glace whether a site is legit or not, though. This isn’t the kind of care that everyone is capable of taking.

      • howie_in_az says:

        @katylostherart: If I know Mail.app uses libjpeg, and I know libjpeg has a flaw in it, I could potentially use that flaw to overflow a buffer and cause some code to be executed. That code could simply be a shell command — curl, for instance — to install malware. One could exploit the plugin architecture of OSX applications, installing a plugin for Mail.app. Said plugin would have access to anything Mail.app can do, including emailing everyone in the address book, thusly propagating the malicious JPEG image that started the whole thing.

        All because you opened an email from your mother with a JPEG image in it or brought up a web page in Safari. To make matters worse, if I installed a Mail.app plugin it could auto-delete any emails with the same/similar subject lines to keep you unaware that anything had happened.

        What are you going to do, not look at pictures?

        • katylostherart says:

          @howie_in_az: the only mail client i have is at work, i refuse to use them beyond that and i wouldn’t use it there if they didn’t make me. i use gmail/yahoo for my personal mail and firefox for my browser and restrictive settings on that.

          seriously i’m like paranoid sometimes.

      • TechnoDestructo says:

        @katylostherart:

        This is true in Windows, too.

        I’ve never run always-on antivirus software. My last (and only) virus incident was nine years ago.

        I run a firewall (sometimes a couple of them), occasionally run Spybot, I don’t use Internet Explorer unless I have to, and I’ve been fine.

        (And no, I am not going to run that program you got from your friend…I don’t care if it makes a cute little Christmas tree on my desktop. Drop it already.)

      • Illiterati says:

        @katylostherart: Not always. A Mac-using coworker sent a macro virus-infected Word doc to my Mac. The macro virus got in there from a PC-using writer who sent her the doc. Coworker and I didn’t even know it was there till I tried sending the doc back to her via Gmail, which wouldn’t send it because of this virus. It also infected all my subsequent Word docs. At that time I wasn’t using antivirus software because I figured I was safe on my Mac, but I had to repair this file so I could email it–and I also had to repair my copy of Word–so I had to install an antivirus. Once I did that, I could send the doc on its merry way. Since then I’ve had a few of these Word macro virus docs flung my way, but I’m able to repair them on the spot now.

        Moral of the story: PC or Mac, run an antivirus. It’s a small expense to avoid these little irritations and to prevent infecting your PC-using buddies’ machines.

    • BrianDaBrain says:

      @Skybolt: I’m a Mac loyalist, but I own both a Mac and Windows PC. I run anti-virus programs on the Windows but not the Mac. Mac’s got built in tools for that, but I also use Firefox with NoScript and other add-ons that prevent click through and other covert ways of getting infected. So much of not getting infected with viruses is simply practicing safe browsing habits, like not opening emails from people or companies that you don’t know, and avoid disreputable sites, etc, etc.

  3. Knippschild says:

    The Mac community needs to get over themselves.

    You know what they so about karma, right?

    What goes around.. comes around.

    • Knippschild says:

      @Knippschild: *say.

      We need an edit button :[

    • BrianDaBrain says:

      @Knippschild: The problem with being loyal to a smaller company or brand is that in being loyal to that company, you think that company is better than the bigger, more popular competition. Because people defending the smaller company are in the minority, the folks in the majority see those loyal to the smaller company as arrogant. Such is the case with those who like Apple better than Windows. I could call Windows fans arrogant, because those people who actually like Windows are just as bad about defending their choice of operating systems as the Mac folks are. The perception doesn’t really stick, though, because you are in the majority, and are therefore right, by typical societal standards anyway. As a person who likes my Mac far better than my Windows PC, I can give you any number of reasons why. That doesn’t make me arrogant, nor does it mean I need to get over myself. The Apple community believes that their Macs are better than your PC, and all of them will give you solid reasons why. That doesn’t make them arrogant either. It means they have an opinion, same as you.

      • liquidnumb says:

        @BrianDaBrain: I would have just called it sour grapes.

        • Knippschild says:

          @liquidnumb: Actually, I am a Mac user; I’m using one right now. I hate fanboyism regardless of how it’s spun. All my life I’ve used Windows OS, in fact, I prefer the Windows OS simply because it is more suited for programming than the mac OS.

          I’ve recently been switched to a Mac computer at work (iMac, Mac OS X Leopard). There are a lot of things in the mac universe that’s pretty damn cool, that the PC cannot/does not do. That said, elitest fanboys are annoying as hell.

          Seriously, Mac users are not immune to viruses. Simply because it is not profitable for virus authors to create viruses that WILL affect the operating system. This is mainly because at current most enterprises (ie the big targets) are running with Windows as their IT infrastructure.

          @shadydentist: hahaha, I will admit, that got a chuckle out of me.

      • snowburnt says:

        @BrianDaBrain: Actually, most of the mac users that I know cannot justify their using a mac other than “The kid on TV told me to, I don’t want to be a nerd in a suit”

    • Parting says:

      @theblackdog: At least Linux is FREE !!!

  4. theblackdog says:

    This is why I laugh at those who always say that because they run a Mac or Linux that they are protected and they don’t have to run anti-virus software. There are unix-based viruses out there.

    • howie_in_az says:

      @theblackdog:

      #!/bin/sh
      echo “I am a Unix virus.”
      echo “Please rm a bunch of files randomly and email me to your friends.”
      echo “Thanks.”

    • mike says:

      @theblackdog: While that may be true, the average IQ of a linux user tends to be higher, thus less likely to download an e-mail that says, “NAKED PIX OF ANNA KAURNIKOVA!!1!!”

      Windows gets more virus because a large population of Windows users are idiots. Microsoft panders to them because there’s money to be had.

      • woogychuck says:

        @mike:

        YEAH MIKE, we should just make it illegal for anybody without and computer related degree to get a computer. Windows viruses have nothing to do with the intelligence of it’s users. Hackers target Windows because most people use it. If you were going to write a virus would you target 90% of computers or 2% of computers?

      • snoop-blog says:

        @mike: I thought apple pretty much said that macs are toys for children while pc’s are for working and making serious money.

        Anyway, because you have know source to cite on your IQ fantasy, you are just as big of an idiot for pretending to actually know something that is a complete farse. Can you site any reputable source to support your claim?

        • snoop-blog says:

          @snoop-blog: *no… damn edit button.

          • shadydentist says:

            @snoop-blog: I probably wouldn’t bring IQ into this, but its true that Linux users are, on average, the most tech savvy users, if only because you typically have to install the OS yourself. Most of the people i know (both OSX and Windows users) don’t even know how to go about reformatting a computer.

  5. Canino says:

    Have none of the Apple faithful seen the movie Independence Day? If you can use an Apple to write a virus for an alien computer system that probably isn’t even using hexidecimal and is in an unknown language that integrates biologically with users, surely you can use an Apple to write a virus for another Apple.

  6. izzy9985 says:

    Oh my goodness…Heaven forbid a Mac user has to run any kind of anti-malware/spyware/virus software to keep their computer secure from the dangerous Internet! I think it’s very prudent of Apple to recommend its users do so.

    Besides, what’s the harm? If you don’t get any viruses ever, then it will just use a few more resources on your computer, and on the off chance that you do get some malware, chances are you’ll be thankful you had some sort of protection against it.

    • BeowulfRex says:

      @izzy9985: Macs need virus protection like folks who live on mountaintops need flood insurance.

      • izzy9985 says:

        @BeowulfRex: That’s not necessarily the issue here. Whether you feel the protection is necessary or not, I don’t see the harm in Apple telling its customers to err on the side of caution. Whether you choose to listen to that advice or not is completely up to you.

        If Apple were telling you that you needed to have THEIR specific anti-virus software for the low low cost of 19.99/month, then I could see your point. But they’re not selling you anything by telling you to run anti-malware software. And there are plenty of low-cost (read: free) software solutions out there that do a pretty darn good job of keeping crap of your Mac.

  7. Kishi says:

    “The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box”

    And do these technologies update constantly to new threats? Are they really just Mac anti-virus software? Or is it some sort of elven magic that will defend your hard drive from evil?

    So, he’s saying “You don’t need to, they’re protected when you unpack it. But you might need to.”

    • Graverobber says:

      @Kishi: It’s an elf. He also cobbles shoes while you sleep.

    • MonkeyMonk says:

      @Kishi: Actually it does update about once a month and sometimes more frequently if there’s an emergency security issues. There have been almost *zero* new threats though so it has been adequate protection so far.

    • lpranal says:

      @Kishi: Actually OS X relies on security policies inherited from it’s unix foundations for protection. And there are security updates all the time. So far, it’s kept both my macs clean, but that’s not to say i’m not at least a little cautious about relying strictly on apple for my security (besides just good ‘ole common sense)

      Apple’s painted themselves into a bit of a corner on this one; so long as OSX’s security holds up, everything’s fine. But if GENUINE threats (rather than long-patched vulnerabilities) start popping up like I think they might, either they take a more proactive approach in supporting 3rd-party anti-malware apps and add a perceived chink in the armor, or just pretend it’s not a problem and keep issuing patches. Either way, some sacrifices are going to have to be made.

    • meske says:

      @Kishi: Don’t most mac users do a hardware refresh every 90 days? ;-)

    • Valhawk says:

      @Kishi: No it’s even better than that, its security through obscurity. They’re relying on the fact that mac has a minuscule install base compared to Windows to shield them from viruses.

      The problem is that the more people who buy macs, the more likely someone will start writing viruses for them.

      The irony is delicious.

      • airren says:

        @Valhawk: That’s actually a bunch of hooey. There were a bunch of viruses and worms for Mac OS 7 & 9. The client base then was even smaller than now.

  8. Ash78 ain't got time to bleed says:

    “So I figured ‘Why use a condom? When’s the next time I’m going to be in Haiti?'”

    BAD IDEA.

    /snl

  9. taney71 says:

    This reminds me of the time I thought I was invisible and went outside naked to get some fresh air. Boy did I feel stupid when people could actually see me.

    Oh, wait. I guess this story really has nothing to do with Apple and virus software. Oh, well. Going to go try to discover my real superpower.

  10. katylostherart says:

    well if you don’t run a windows platform and are pretty watchful about your public wireless internet use and password protect your own you don’t really have to worry about viruses.

    apple users only really have to worry about viruses when they run windows with a dual boot or something. really. no one can be bothered to program viruses for mac apparently.

    • SBR249 says:

      @katylostherart: False, a computer is only as secure as the individual software installed. Even if the Mac OS X is not targeted by viruses, there are a ton of other programs that are vulnerable and widely used, many of them across different platforms such as adobe software (acrobat, flash, photoshop), javascript, microsoft office, etc. A vulberability in any one of those programs could potentially lead to an infection. Unless of course, you don’t use anything but OS X and you have no third party apps in your applications folder…

      • katylostherart says:

        @SBR249: see there’s another thing, third party apps. i have three. they were installed via purchased disks. i went right into settings and made sure it doesn’t do automatic updates, doesn’t connect to the internet for any purpose and never connects to other applications as a default setting. maybe i’m just overly cautious, but i tend to turn off most default settings and isolate things because i HATE having random programs pop up during use. like if i wanted your opinion safari, I WOULD HAVE ASKED YOU.

        • quail says:

          @katylostherart: Actually the software updates are suppose to help with security. Turning off the update feature would make that 3rd party app more vulnerable later on when it’s eventually used.

        • snowburnt says:

          @katylostherart: So you turn of automatic updates…and you miss the one from adobe flash player that fixes the bug that allows a mac to be hacked faster than a Vista PC and a Linux PC. Just one example, but it brings me to my next point…most of the Mac users I’ve ever had to support know less about computing and their own computer than the average PC user. And that’s just sad when you think of how bad most pc users are.

          *Disclaimer: I have known some very smart Mac users that know their computers inside and out… Usually though…not the case.

      • howie_in_az says:

        @SBR249: Even if the user didn’t install any non-Apple software they could still be vulnerable to malware. Check out my other posts about exploiting the plugin architecture of OSX via flaws in libjpeg.

    • Parting says:

      @katylostherart: I can refer you to couple of websites, that already have Mac viruses for mischievous purposes. I’m sure, websites I’ve seen, are just a microscopic portion of viruses available for macs.

  11. randombob says:

    lol. I use a mac, have not run anti-virus except for WHEN I FIRST GOT IT.

    Reason? The ANTI-VIRUS causes system problems!

    Never had a virus nor a scare. I know it’s hard for you Windows folk to understand, but so far so good; really-truly, there’s very little I have to worry about, so long as the basics are covered. Malware CANNOT self-install on the system, it HAS to have some way to circumvent the admin name & password requirement.

    There’s the social engineering trick “You’ve just won a free copy of photoshop! click here to download and then install by supplying your admin name & password at the promt.”). But if you use common sense and avoid things you don’t know and can’t trust…

    Well, you’re safe. Without anti-virus.

    • SBR249 says:

      @randombob: “Malware CANNOT self-install on the system”

      False, 5 years ago this might still be true but not today. Search for drive-by download on wikipedia.

    • ionerox says:

      @randombob: One single bad anti-virus software doesn’t represent all of them.

      You can be fairly safe if you don’t use your Mac as the admin user and never download anything or save anything to your machine from a third party (including photos, pdfs, word documents etc.) But most people don’t use computers in this way, so you are much better off finding a good anti-virus software and running that.

    • LandruBek says:

      @randombob: What makes you think you don’t have a virus right now?

      Lots of ‘puters are zombified without even knowing it. I’m not saying you are, but you might want to cultivate some healthy skepticism. Rootkits can be extremely difficult to detect.

      It’s like an old Stephen Wright joke: “Only the female mosquito bites, and only the male mosquito goes buzz, so if you hear a buzz, you know it’s not a mosquito trying to bite you. But . . . what if you hear SILENCE?”

    • Parting says:

      @randombob: I have Windows, and never had a virus.

      Stop living in denial, mac fan.

      I guess, cheering worshiping users like you, is the thing that keeps me away from Macs.

      (I work with tech supports companies, believe me, there is a lot of problems with macs, too. It is a better system than Windows, but not that much.)

    • dextrone says:

      @randombob:
      What do you mean you windows folk….
      I haven’t had a single piece of malware in the last 4 years! Windows may be slow, but that’s because of the garbage that may run on top of it…. if you install too many things…..
      For the price Mac users pay, we can have a faster (but not nicer looking) computer….

  12. legwork says:

    Speaking as an IT geek who spends most of his time in an XP session running on MacOS…

    Whether or not you think Macs are vulnerable, whether or not that’s because of market share or inherent OS security or a combination of the two, no matter how much we whine about those hoity-toity, latte-sipping, fruit-logo’d arses, it’s a world less common for a Mac user to encounter malware. This may very well change with time and their increased popularity, but for now them’s the facts.

    Many Windows users choose to run without AV protection, either because they “know better” or they’re just tired of the crap overload. The same practice is a whole lot easier on a Mac.

    //Possibly influenced by multiple calls this morning from a crying XP user fighting another notavirus variant.

    • SBR249 says:

      @legwork: I agree that the threat is minimum atm. But with macintosh market shares tripling to almost 10% in the past 4-5 years, I can’t see that trend continuing for much longer. So I guess mac users should enjoy their AV-free computing freedom while they still can before those russian hackers figure out that 10% of new computers generally don’t have AV protection.

      • Parting says:

        @SBR249: Too late man, Russian hackers already figured this out. Only attacks are mostly on business networks in Europe (there were some events to steal business infos). It just didn’t hit average, everyday users yet. As soon as an ass will wake up with desire to reak havoc, then all tech support will have a lot of business into months to come.

    • snowburnt says:

      @legwork: Vista makes it real easy to operate as a user and elevate privileges to install. People need to adjust their paradigm

  13. exconsumer9 says:

    You know what? That’s right, they’re immune.

    No need to run anything. It seems intuitive that a computer is only a series of programs, and that there’s no real way to keep the system open to input and still stay 100% secure. But in the case of the Mac it’s just not true. They are magic, and, thus, not vulnerable to the laws of cause and effect.

  14. i_love_life says:

    I don’t care what kind of computer it is and whether it was made to be protected against all kinds of viruses. There is always somebody out there figuring out how to get around it, and I would never risk it.

  15. PixelProphet says:

    People just don’t care to create exploits / virii for macs because most computer systems for major buisness do not run mac software. period.

    its either windows or linux based.

  16. dialing_wand says:

    The KB article was far older than the ridiculous “posts” that championed its “new” status.

    Apple pulling it? Equally ridiculous.

    How this suddenly shines a lot on all Mac users (see comments above)? Stretching a limited grasp on reality even further.

    Time for old Homy again: “It’s because they’re stupid. That’s why everyone does everything.”

    (Including this comment.)

  17. dialing_wand says:

    oops:

    The KB article was far older than the ridiculous “posts” that championed its “new” status would lead people to believe. See this: [www.tuaw.com]

  18. scott5834 says:

    There are no current Mac OS X viruses/worms in the wild. Don’t waste your money on snake oil AV software.

    • SBR249 says:

      @scott5834: However, vigilance is always warranted, not matter what platform one uses. Even those with macs can still screw things up if they do not exercises caution when surfing the web.

      • scott5834 says:

        @SBR249: Vigilance? Why would one install AV software that’s been documented to occasionally harm systems in hopes of countering an imaginary threat? If that kind of logic makes sense to everyone, I’ve got some tinfoil hats to sell…

    • howie_in_az says:

      @scott5834: Any exploit that compromises the services of a stock OSX box can be used to root the machine. This would include services that Apple did not write, for example ‘sshd’.

      One need not compromise an individual service — witness the Linux ‘teardrop’ exploit from a few years ago, wherein an internal kernel buffer overflowed and caused a hang, mandating a reboot. Surely things like this exist in the Darwin kernel as well, or possibly even at the Mach layer.

      Additionally, there’s little stopping a malicious software author from adding, say, a QuickTime plugin to your ~/Library/Quicktime directory. Said plugin could email the contents of video to somewhere else every time you played a file via quicktime, zero out the file, etc etc. Any OSX application that uses plugins is vulnerable to these sorts of shenanigans. One need not compromise root to wreak havoc on a machine.

      • scott5834 says:

        @howie_in_az: None of these have been exploited in the wild on OSX. Furthermore, all of these attacks are best fixed through patches. Heuristic based AV software (which is nearly all of it) wouldn’t be able to block any of these vectors. Again, AV software on OS X is a waste of money.

        • howie_in_az says:

          @scott5834: So because it hasn’t happened yet it will never happen?

          Are you by chance a banking regulator?

          • scott5834 says:

            @howie_in_az: People have been saying this about Macs for 8 years. When you can point to one (1) virus/worm in the wild on OS X, we’ll revisit this conversation.

            • LandruBek says:

              @scott5834: I agree that AV software out now is probably worthless. If I had a Mac I wouldn’t buy it. But also I note you have changed the assertion from “there are no viruses or worms out there” to “there are none that you can point to.” Not the same. To state the obvious, ‘sploits always are discovered after (not before) they are written. And malware is much less overt now than it was in the fun old days. All I’m saying is cultivate some healthy skepticism: we don’t know if there is any live Mac malware.

              I think you are both right: I join howie_in_az in counseling a less hubris from those claiming Macs are naturally invulnerable. History disagreees with that kind of confidence.

            • howie_in_az says:
  19. Krrose27 says:

    Consumerist,
    I like the blog that you do on a day to day basis; however, Recently you and many other blogs alike have become half skilled at research. This story came about when some IDIOT bloged that apple had posted a NEW tech article encouraging anti-virus on the mac. Which was completely incorrect. Apple had updated an old article about the subject with new and current anti-virus programs. That original article was from 2002. Apple has now pulled the article saying that this may have been true in 2002 but it isn’t now and move along. Due to the misinterpretation they decided it would be best just to kill the article.

  20. GuinevereRucker says:

    I’ve been a Mac user for years, so I’m biased. But I have never heard of a fellow user getting a virus. Wether that’s because no one writes them or because OSX/UNIX is a rock-solid OS known for its security, or because it’s NOT Winbloze, I don’t know. Maybe a combination of all three?

    In any case, I agree with the previous post – don’t buy anti-virus software unless you’re stupid enough to buy Windows too.

  21. NOPULSE says:

    So much FUD in this thread it’s hard to actually wade through it all.

    When a ‘real’ virus comes along, maybe i’ll look into AV. At this point the only thing that’s happened has been ‘trojans’ and not viruses.

    My oldest mac (5 years old now) has never had a virus nor has it ever had to have a ‘system reset’ OR had to reformat or reinstall the OS. Heck, the machine has only been off for maybe a combined total of two weeks since I bought it.

    SBR249 sounds like an MS employee just out looking to spread the FUD around. I doubt he understands half of what he’s claiming to know.

  22. lalaland13 says:

    This may be true, but ladies, you should still ignore Justin Long when he says it’s impossible to get an STD by sleeping with him, so don’t worry about that condom.

  23. mike says:

    If you know what you’re doing, you don’t need anti-virus software. As long as you aren’t file sharing, downloading strange attachments, and use common sense, anti-virus isn’t necessary.

  24. Cankles says:

    Just wait, the more people that fall for the Mac is safe bit, the more attention Mac will get from those that write Viruses. Although, I guess it is still pretty much useless to hack a mac considering their owned by a bunch of hippies and artfags. I mean, what kind of money can you get off of them?

  25. azntg says:

    The question is not “if it’ll happen,” but rather “when it will happen.”

    I really feel that Mac users will find themselves in a situation similar to New Orleans in 2005. The levee and pump system may have worked reasonably well all this time, with a few hiccups every now and then, but when it happens, the results will be catastrophic.

  26. Bladefist says:

    A virus is just a program. If Mac can run programs, it can run viruses.

    • legwork says:

      @Bladefist:

      People don’t care if it’s possible. They care if it happens. It doesn’t.

      It’ll take more than theory to scare mac users into installing the crap most of us deal with in Windows. Tell me you wouldn’t rather do without the overhead of even the best AV. Meanwhile, the bulk of users use crap and their machines show it.

      //I’m looking at you, Symantec, McAfee, Trend, MS.

      Have you ever seen an infected Mac? I have, but not in the wild for years.

  27. Anonymous says:

    I switched to a mac around a year ago. I don’t run antivirus software, the reason is that no viruses currently exist for it, except for some test viruses that were never released. Any software exploits that are discovered have been patched quickly enough by apple’s own software update that they have not become an issue either.

    I will start running an antivirus if things change and viruses start infecting macintosh computers, but right now that is not currently the case.

  28. Anonymous says:

    I’m really surprised that the vast majority of people have never run anti-virus software. I always assume people have the software and just run it every once in a while. I use ClamXAV when I want to scan a file I’ve downloaded or received via email, but I don’t have it set up to continually scan. I read a post today at Mac Guru Lounge on the Top 5 Mac Security Tips for the Holidays, which also talked about running AV software.

  29. Anonymous says:

    @scott5834

    “SecureMac has discovered multiple variants of a new Trojan horse in the wild that affects Mac OS X 10.4 and 10.5. The Trojan horse is currently being distributed from a hacker website, where discussion has taken place on distributing the Trojan horse through iChat and Limewire.”

    http://lowendmac.com/newsrev/08mnr/0626.html#1

    That was the first hit on google QED.

  30. coren says:

    Everyone knows there are no viruses for Mac. The people who make them already feel sorry enough for you cuz you use a Mac.

  31. Rectilinear Propagation says:

    What I don’t get is why the advice is so horrifying. If you don’t think the Mac needs anti-virus software fine, but why get mad that someone suggests using it? It’s not like the article said that Apple was going to force you to download AV software.

  32. grizzman says:

    I’ve been using a Mac exclusively since 1997 both at home and at work. I’ve downloaded plenty of files that would probably render a PC useless. The only issue I’ve ever had was a trojan horse on my work computer in 1998.

  33. grizzman says:

    I should also add that I’ve never had problems in those 11 years with any malware, spyware, or any other kind of ware that my friends with PCs worry about.

  34. Buri says:

    Not to start a flame war or anything, but… Stuck up much? The Mac zealots need to get off their high horses.. or rather… their tricycles.

  35. Upsilon says:

    WHAT? But… But I thought the Apple was made out of magic and love, and that it used the power of the Crucifix to rid its intertubes of those unholy viruses!

    Next thing you know they’ll tell me to stop pouring orange juice into my Hybrid!

    ~Y