Why Symantec’s ‘scare tactics’ don’t worry Mac users

“Security vendor Symantec has once again pointed the knife at Apple Macintosh users,” Fran Foo reports for ZDNet Australia. “Symantec’s latest Internet Security Threat Report continues to voice concern for the security and stability of the Mac operating system, OS X in particular. The publication covered findings for the first half of 2005.”

“‘An ever-increasing number of users are adopting OS X. Many of these users believe that this operating system and the applications that run on it are immune to traditional security concerns. However, as evidence suggests, increasingly they may be operating under a false sense of security,’ the report stated,” Foo reports. “What exactly was the supporting and undisputed evidence? A SecurityFocus page that aggregates 78 entries of OS X flaws starting from version 10 (circa 2001) onwards. Compare this to Windows … well, where would you start? OK, I hear your … it’s not an apples to apples comparison.”

Foo reports, “SecurityFocus describes itself as a vendor-neutral site that provides objective, timely and comprehensive security information to all members of the security community. Oh, and by the way, SecurityFocus was acquired by Symantec in 2002.”

“There’s not doubt that Mac users believe they operate on a superior platform — when you pay for a BMW, you expect a luxury car, not a scooter — but to allude that OS X customers are living in a world of fantasy is fancy on any vendors’ part. If Symantec or anyone else hopes to ‘educate’ Mac users on security, here’s a word of advice: don’t go it alone; speak to Apple and let the voices at Apple carry the message,” Foo writes. “Antivirus makers like Sophos and Symantec have thrived under the auspices of Microsoft — the vulnerability of Windows and related products have helped create and sustain these companies. Isn’t it blindingly obvious why Mac users are immune to the ‘advice’ from these players?”

Full article here.

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

$500 bounty offered for proof of first Apple Mac OS X virus – September 27, 2005
Symantec: 10,866 new Microsoft Windows virus and worm variants in first half 2005 – September 19, 2005
Cargo magazine describes Apple’s Mac OS X’s immunity to viruses, spyware as ‘relative’ – September 10, 2005
ZDNet Australia publishes latest Mac OS X security FUD article – September 9, 2005
Hackers already targeting viruses for Microsoft’s Windows Vista – August 04, 2005
16-percent of computer users are unaffected by viruses, malware because they use Apple Macs – June 15, 2005
ZDNet: How many Mac OS X users affected by the last 100 viruses? None, zero, not one, not ever – August 18, 2005
Intel CEO Otellini: If you want security now, buy a Macintosh instead of a Wintel PC – May 25, 2005
Apple touts Mac OS X security advantages over Windows – April 13, 2005
97,467 Microsoft Windows viruses vs. zero for Apple Mac’s OS X – April 05, 2005
Joke of the month: Gartner warns of Mac OS X ‘spyware infestation’ potential – March 30, 2005
Apple’s Mac OS X is virus-free – March 18, 2005
Cybersecurity advisor Clarke questions why anybody would buy from Microsoft – February 18, 2005
Security test: Windows XP system easily compromised while Apple’s Mac OS X stands safe and secure – November 30, 2004
Apple: ‘Opener’ is not a virus, Trojan horse, or worm – November 02, 2004
Microsoft: The safest way to run Windows is on your Mac – October 08, 2004
Information Security Investigator says switch from Windows to Mac OS X for security – September 24, 2004
Defending Windows over Mac a sign of mental illness – December 21, 2003
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
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
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  1. My take. Too long to post:

    Without the mechanisms for malware to perpetuate by itself without interaction from the user, these industries will die out. No software that anyone could ever write will save a dummy from being helped into screwing up their machine-Mac or Windows. It’s time for people to realize that if you spend a few more bux in the beginning on a Mac you will see better value over the life of the machine.

  2. Guys! Guys! You don’t understand!! This is serious!! It’s just a matter of time before we are hit with viruses, spyware, malware, etc. Let’s thank Symantec for saving the day!! I wish the programmers at Apple would have been more on the ball when writing the OS.

  3. Let me get this straight…

    First, a couple of years ago, Symantec decides not to develop Mac products anymore (hence the Vrex with .Mac accounts).
    But wait…. marketshare is increasing. Even John Dvorak (via TWiT podcast) states that Mac marketshare will go up to 10%…then 20%.

    Now all the sudden there are vulnerabilities?


  4. zupchuck, you racist pig – Did you even read the linked article? You would have seen that the author, Fran Foo, had her picture at the top of the article, and she has a distinctly Asian appearance.

    What kind of name is zupchuck? It suggest to me that your father mated with a groundhog, as no human female was attracted to him and you were the result!

  5. To “zupchuck is a racist”,

    Stuff it where the sun don’t shine. The last name “Foo” was apt because Symantec is pretty foobar on OS X virus positions.

    To call me racist when you have no idea of my racial background shows complete ignorace akin to racism itself.

  6. I really need to ditch my Mac OSx NOW before the worst happens…

    Let’s see here… I can take that old Dell laptop out of the closet and take it down to Future Shop. They have a $100 service where they will clean the old viruses out of it and check it for spyware. For only an extra $75, they will re-install Windows – but they won’t do all the security updates unless I pay them another $75….

    So… for only $250 Canadian, they will re-work the Dell’s operating system for me. They will have to because the darn thing imploded just before I purchased my last Mac.

    Oh yeah, I forgot. Then I’ll have to purchase and install a new copy of Norton. Yup, about $375 Canadian should do the whole thing.

    Whew! Glad I’m going to get rid of the Mac…. It’s only a matter of time before it gets a virus!

    So far – it’s been 3 years and 2 months without a virus, data loss or even an unplanned re-boot, but I’ve just been lucky. Glad to be getting rid of that doggy Mac and back into a real Windows computer.

    Remember – ANYONE can use an Apple Mac, but it takes a real man to use Windows!

  7. Guys, they are warning us because symantec is busy writing viruses for the Mac system. First they warn, then Symantec themselves releases some Mac virus into the wild and before you know it, you’re buyin’ their software to fight against the very viruses Symantec writes. It’s a racket man!

  8. Ok, let’s admit it’s only a matter of time before we get a virus on Mac OS X and let’s also ignore the possibility that it may be a VERY long time.

    When the dreaded event occurs, who will we be looking to to fix it ?

    I, for one, will expect Apple to fix the problem not Norton. After all, it’s not a “feature” it’s a bug and I expect Apple will recognize that re responsibility is entirely theirs.

    Relying on third party products to fix one’s own operating system’s vulnerabilities and exploits is a concept introduced by Microsoft (not Apple).

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