Symantec cries wolf with misplaced Mac OS X ‘security’ warning

“In a perfect would [sic], people might pay for security software based on the number of attacks prevented and the severity of those threats. The bigger the threat, the harder the software works and the more it protects, the more you pay. Seems fair enough,” David Coursey writes for eWeek. “In the case of Mac OS X, if you paid for what you got, the price for security software would be zero. The price would thus equal the number of virus and malware threats that target Apple’s Unix-based operating system.”

Coursey writes, “So why do Mac users pay so much—often as much at $70 for anti-virus alone and as much as $150 for a security ‘suite?’ Using the same math, Windows anti-virus software would probably cost $1,000 a desktop, yet it’s easy to find software for as little as $20 in the stores. Mac OS X users pay significantly more for protection than Windows users, protection so far they have needed only in theory or ‘just in case’ a big new threat appears. People are getting wise to this. So is it any wonder that Symantec, in the eternal search for the next dollar, is out with a report that seems to predict dire consequences for future Mac users? It’s like a teacher once told me, ‘Sell the sizzle, not the steak. Especially when you don’t have any steak.’

“Is it any surprise that Symantec would beat the drums of fear as loudly as possible? This is, after all, a company that has for years persuaded Mac users to pay $70 for software ‘necessary’ to protect their computers against nonexistent threats,” Coursey writes. “This makes me wonder whether the real threat that concerns Symantec isn’t from Mac OS X viruses and malware. Rather, it’s customers noticing that they’ve paid a lot of money for Norton anti-virus software that they didn’t really need.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Standing ovation for Mr. Coursey. If the world could magically dump Windows and instead run Apple’s Mac OS X, would Symantec be able to stay in business selling “security” software? And if Symantec thinks that we’re going to forget about their Mac OS X FUD report, they’re sadly mistaken.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Symantec’s Mac OS X claims dismissed as nonsense, FUD – March 22, 2005
Symantec warns about Mac OS X security threat – March 21, 2005
68,736 Microsoft Windows viruses vs. zero for Apple Mac’s OS X – March 12, 2005
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004


  1. We can’t be too surprised at Symatec’s fear based marketing approach. After all, our government has taught us it is acceptable by using the same ‘fear tactic’ to sell us the war in Iraq.

  2. Actually, that war in Iraq might turn out to be the start of one of the best things that ever happened to mankind. Now how can we spin it so that Bush doesn’t get credit for bringing peace to the Middle East and making the world a better, freer place?

  3. Be careful when speaking of kettles and pots, No Shock, for fear is perhaps the greatest of all motivators. People from the “tree-hugging” consortium (YOUR side, may I assume?) have been using precisely the same tactic ever since the end of the cold war to discourage the use of SUV’s and power lawn mowers. Read Michael Creighton’s latest novel for more insight into this type of “persuasion.”

  4. No Shock-
    You were afraid? Really? How did you modify your life based on that fear?

    I wasn’t afraid of Iraq, and thought after Afghanistan it was as good a
    place as any other to start the cleanup.

  5. Vinita Boy… Since when is Propaganda the banner of just one company, political party, or government? Fear is the best Medium in which to sell goods just look at history, its full of this…


  6. I’m with you, RePlay. This is what Apple says as they sell .Mac:

    “It’s a Jungle Out There
    Every time you save an email attachment or download a file from the web, you’re risking exposure to viruses and other types of dangerous programs. The second-most prevalent type of virus, Macro viruses, can attack both Macs and PCs. That’s why .Mac membership comes with full-strength virus protection (a US$50 value): Virex® from McAfee Security®, the first choice in anti-virus software for the Mac.”

    $50 value? My arse! How about this, Apple: Let me get .Mac without Virex for a $50 discount, then I’d sign up to this otherwise overpriced service.

  7. Get real, No Shock. I mean, I was disappointed when I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to take my next vacation at Lake Afghanistan. But hey, we decided instead to go in and clean it up the hard way and so . . . no lakeside resort. And with Iraq, the same thing. But Afghanistan is now a real society again (thanks to America doing in a few months what the assclown Soviets couldn’t do in a decade) and Iraq will become democratic and one by one her neighbors will fall — to democracy — as well.

    And then we’ll have resorts all over the friggin’ place!!!! Yeeee-HAWWwwwww!

  8. At least .Mac offers a lot more than just virus protection for it’s $99 per year charge. Symantec is charging $69 per year strictly for anti-virus protection for an OS that doesn’t have any viruses.

  9. Lemme get this straight:

    iWork, $79, useful.

    iLife 05, $79, DAMN useful!

    Virus software on the Mac, $50-70, near useless.

    Might pay $0.99 for OS X Virus protection if it came bundled with a song

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  10. You liberal queers need to take your politics and FUD elsewhere. Damn, this thread has absolutely nothing to do with politics you sore losing hypocrites! Stick to the damn subject at hand and quit trying to make everything a Bush bashing circus.

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