“As the latest Microsoft Windows infection spread across the Internet last week, knocking out thousands of PCs in homes and businesses, Macintosh users did what they usually do during a computer virus outbreak — they continued working,” writes David Zeiler for The Baltimore Sun.
Zeiler writes, “That’s because the ‘Blaster’ worm, also known as LovSan and MSBlast, cannot harm a Mac. The worm exploits a vulnerability present only in certain versions of Windows. So a computer running a non-Windows operating system, such as Linux or the Mac OS, is immune… more than two years after its introduction, not a single Mac OS X-specific virus has yet appeared.”
“According to Security Focus, a computer security information Web site owned by Symantec Corp., the Cupertino, Calif.-based maker of the Norton brand of anti-virus products, the number of viruses written for the classic Mac OS is about 50. By comparison, security experts estimate the number of Windows-specific viruses at about 70,000, though the exact count depends upon how you classify all the variations of a single virus or worm,” Zeiler reports.
“Mac users clearly have it much easier than their Windows counterparts when it comes to security. The profound lack of Mac viruses and weak nature of the few existing threats means that even neglectful Mac users who ignore all computing safety advice probably will never experience a security problem,” writes Zeiler.
Zeiler warns, “Nevertheless, this is not an occasion for gloating, as the attack caused widespread inconvenience — ask anyone who visited any of Maryland’s Motor Vehicle Administration offices last Tuesday — and surely cost the nation’s businesses millions of dollars in lost productivity.”
Full article here.