97,467 Microsoft Windows viruses vs. zero for Apple Mac’s OS X

“Most Mac users gaze on smugly as reports of each new Windows security crisis break. And they have good reason – research from Sophos PLC showed that 68 viruses have affected the Mac while 97,467 have affected Windows. Of those 68, most are a decade old or older and don’t directly affect OS X,” Digit Magazine reports.

“However, although it may seem that there’s no reason to worry about security on your Mac, you shouldn’t think you’re completely safe. Apple’s regular Security Update releases prove that there is cause for concern, and common sense suggests that you’re most vulnerable when you let your guard down,” Digit reports. “So how can you tell the difference between scaremongering and true dangers? We examined nine common beliefs about Mac security – and show you what you really need to worry about.”

MacDailyNews Note: We could only find six, not nine, common beliefs explored by Digit’s article:
• Mac users don’t need to worry about viruses: False
• You’re vulnerable to Windows viruses if you run emulation software: True
• Mac users don’t need to worry about spyware: True
• When I’m using a wireless network at home, I’m totally safe: False
• When I’m using a public hotspot, all of my passwords are being stolen: False
• The Mac’s default security settings are all you need to protect your computer from hacker attacks: False

The six points above are explored and explained in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Mac OS X users have 0 viruses vs. Windows 97,467 viruses. Yikes!

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Symantec details flaws in its antivirus software – March 30, 2005
Motley Fool writer: ‘I’d be surprised if Symantec ever sells a single product to a Mac user again’ – March 24, 2005
Symantec cries wolf with misplaced Mac OS X ‘security’ warning – March 23, 2005
Symantec’s Mac OS X claims dismissed as nonsense, FUD – March 22, 2005
Symantec warns about Mac OS X security threat – March 21, 2005
Apple’s Mac OS X is virus-free – March 18, 2005
68,736 Microsoft Windows viruses vs. zero for Apple Mac’s OS X – March 12, 2005
Microsoft tries to turn its own security flaw into commercial gain – February 25, 2005
Cybersecurity advisor Clarke questions why anybody would buy from Microsoft – February 18, 2005
Microsoft’s Gates espouses homogenous operating system environments for better security – February 07, 2005
Windows’ mounting security problems make some consumers eager to purchase Macs – January 03, 2005
Windows Media songs and videos found to carry Windows malware payloads – December 30, 2004
Anzae/Inzae worm affects all Windows versions after 3.1; Macintosh unaffected – December 28, 2004
Unlike Windows users, Mac OS X users surf the Internet without a care in the world – December 28, 2004
Multiple unpatched Windows holes crop up; Windows systems compromised within minutes in experiment – December 24, 2004
Windows spyware mess is out of control, get a Mac and surf with impunity – December 21, 2004
New Microsoft Internet Explorer exploit spoofs Web sites on fully patched Windows XP systems – December 17, 2004
Microsoft may charge extra for Windows spyware protection software – December 16, 2004
Detroit Free Press: Windows malware problem getting worse, it’s time to get a Mac instead – December 16, 2004
Sick of spyware, adware headaches? Get a Mac and surf the Internet freely – December 13, 2004
Mossberg: Windows PCs plagued with problems, Apple’s Mac is ‘rock solid, elegant and affordable’ – December 09, 2004
Security expert: Don’t use Microsoft Windows, Office, Outlook, Internet Explorer – December 09, 2004
Security test: Windows XP system easily compromised while Apple’s Mac OS X stands safe and secure – November 30, 2004
Sick of spyware, adware infecting your PC? Don’t fret, just get a Mac – November 01, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Spyware plagues Windows users while Mac users surf Net with impunity – November 01, 2004
Ballmer blames Windows users for not upgrading systems as Microsoft’s biggest security problem – October 22, 2004
Windows users line up to pay for spyware removal; Mac users surf Web with impunity – October 18, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Windows users’ security woes spark interest in Apple’s secure Mac OS X – October 06, 2004
Windows desktop monopoly threatened by secure, safe Apple Mac OS X – October 04, 2004
Even Bill Gates can’t avoid Windows malware; Mac users surf the Web freely – October 03, 2004
Cyber-security adviser uses Apple Macintosh to avoid Windows’ security woes – September 27, 2004
Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
Mossberg: Apple iMac G5 ‘powerful, affordable, virus-free with better, more modern OS than Windows XP’ – September 23, 2004
USA Today: people are switching from Windows to Mac because of security issues – September 21, 2004
Windows besieged by hackers; number of Windows viruses soars by more than 400% – September 20, 2004
USA Today columinst angry about Windows viruses, adware, spyware – September 15, 2004
University of Chicago recommends all students patch Windows at least once a day – September 14, 2004
Windows XP worm speaks to users as it deletes their files; Macintosh unaffected – September 13, 2004
Security is top priority in Apple’s Mac OS X – September 12, 2004
Millions of Windows PC’s hijacked by hackers, turned into zombies; Macintosh unaffected – September 08, 2004
Mossberg: Dump your Windows machine and get an Apple Macintosh to free yourself of spyware – August 25, 2004
Tired of patching patches to patch Windows patches? Writer suggests getting a Mac – August 03, 2004
Windows ‘Scob’ virus designed to steal financial data, passwords; Macintosh unaffected – June 26, 2004
Gartner: Worms jack up the total cost of Microsoft Windows – May 07, 2004
Spyware, adware plague Windows users online; Mac OS X users surf freely – April 19, 2004
SmartMoney: Long-suffering Windows users can only dare to dream of Mac’s ease-of-use – February 12, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Wall Street Journal’s Mossberg on making the switch from Windows to Mac – September 18, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
Chicago Sun-Times columnist: Windows ‘many holes in its security’ but ‘none of my Macs have ever been affected – August 26, 2003
Sick of worms and viruses? ‘Move to Mac OS X’ suggests Chicago Tribune columnist – August 25, 2003
Virus and worm problems not just due to market share; Windows inherently insecure vs. Mac OS X – August 24, 2003


  1. “So how can you tell the difference between scaremongering and true dangers?”

    it’s easy. Until there ACTUALLY IS a virus, everything is scaremongering.

    be smart and run virus protection software in the event something actually DOES happen, be smarter and realize there ISN’T any cause for concern as of right now…be SMARTEST and don’t make your virus protection anything by symantec!

  2. The real story is Mac OSX is more secure than windows; period. I am sick of all these people saying it is because the user base is so small. HOGWASH!


  3. MDN.. with all those links to articles.. it’s almost like…a full screen of links..

    like.. the

    blue screen of..

    yeah.. lol

    BTW.. the point of an article telling me that I’m not as safe as I think.. is quite enjoyable to read.. NOT.

    Tell you what.. why don’t you start doing some reporting when someone gets ‘busted’ for not spending a dime on securty software on a mac.. thanks.. spare me the heresay and rhetoric and FUD

  4. That’s because no one cares about the crApple OS. What iteration is coming next, WoodPussy? In related news, a Mac was sold in Belgium, worldwide marketshare is now up 100 percent!

  5. “97,467 Microsoft Windows viruses vs. zero for Apple Mac’s OS X”

    So thats, 97,467 Viruses, that I’ve never had before.

    And as far as crApples MarketShare goes. Well, Its pretty much common sense. If you’re going to do the most damage to the world body, how would you do it? Go after Windows Users or after Mac users. It is a valid point. If you really beleive your own rhetoric about that issue, well, thats your opinion. But If I were to write a virus, it would be for windows. Period.

    Furthermore, crApple’s Security through Obscurity allows them to enjoy what MS doesn’t. People post exploits to the web daily for Windows. If someone were to do the same to Apple, I can assure you that Apple’s legal team would be all over them. They say it on there own f’ing website. So its no myth.

    From apples security update site (Quote)

    “For the protection of our customers, Apple does not disclose, discuss or confirm security issues until a full investigation has occurred and any necessary patches or releases are available”

    Argue about it all you want. Read BS stories about it all you want, Its still the truth. It is true that OS X is more secure by design. However it isn’t immune to viruses. Its also not immune to scripts. I would say, that as the OSX user base grows, you will see more and more attacks. (If it grows at all) Most assholes (I say assholes because thats what they are, dishonest, disruptive people)target windows because of their dislike for MS. The point is that all of you will bitch at people stealing software or music. But you blame MS for other peoples madness. Typical of a Mac Bigot.

  6. Products and services are compelling when they address a need. I’m having a real problem with all these snake oil guys who write that we need to stay vigilant and buy anti-malware applications when there is no evidence that malware is likely, let alone honestly even possible. Would I have any luck offering a service offering to protect computers from aliens? I suppose, probably a lot greater once my neighbor’s machine gets screwed up by one.

  7. It upsets me every time an article mentions OSX as if it were new and rarely used. It is UNIX you dolts!! The largest of institutions utilize UNIX as their core operating system and, as such, it has had a very long history of attacks and infiltrations. THAT is why OSX is so safe; not because it is obscure, but because it is so widely used!!!

    When a program such as UNIX is open source, you have some of the best minds throughout the world working independently towards improving it. You aren’t limited to a building full of geeks on the MS payroll performing the minimum work required to receive a paycheck at the end of the day.

  8. Of that 97,000 I wonder how many of thos affect XP and the current versions of Explorer (since it’s still a part of the system)…..certainly NOT 97,000. The number just keeps getting bigger and bigger without regard to the latest OS (since MDN pointed out the 68 were for the OLD Mac OS basically they are not counted) and the latest Explorer or ANY Explorer that runs on XP.

    Just a thought.

    My family and I cannot wait for Tiger. It will be a nice upgrade.

  9. Slow news day…

    97,000 virues…yeah, sure.

    Like saying there are 1 bazillion human flu viruses….probably were, in the total history of humanity.

    This over negative hyping will just backfire on Apple.
    And—got to say it – got a Peecee (using it write now) never had a single of the 97,000 viruses MDN loves to hype.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.