Consumer Reports does their readership a disservice, says viruses target Apple Macs

“More home and entertainment software is available for Windows computers than for Macs. Apple’s computers, however, have attractions of their own. The brand repeatedly scores at or near the top in tech support and has been reliable. Our most recent survey of desktop computer users, in fact, rated Apple more than 20 points ahead of all the other computer manufacturers for technical support. Viruses and spyware are also far less likely to target Macs than Windows PCs, judging by the number of viruses estimated to target each computing platform–a ratio of about 1,000-to-1,” Consumer Reports erroneously reports.

MacDailyNews Note: The ratio is more like 100,000 (and growing)-to-0. There are no viruses for Apple’s Mac OS X. Zero.

Consumer Reports continues, “Viruses and spyware are far more likely to target Windows PCs than Macs. It’s too soon, to know, however, whether new Macs will be more vulnerable to attack once Apple begins its switch to Intel processors, the type used in Windows PCs, next year.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Poppycock. It’s the operating system, not the processor that’s responsible for Windows’ morass of virus and malware infections and security breaches. Are Consumer Reports really helping their readers choose a personal computer with this nonsense? And now all of the TV stations and other Consumer Reports syndication outlets will repeat this load of rubbish, too. For more about why Consumer Reports is reporting absurdities about Apple Macs due to their flawed methodology, please see this related article:
Consumer Reports dubiously finds 20-percent of Mac users ‘detected’ virus in last two years -UPDATED – August 10, 2005

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Related MacDailyNews articles:
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
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
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
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
Virus and worm problems not just due to market share; Windows inherently insecure vs. Mac OS X – August 24, 2003


  1. Sure I got a virus’s on my Mac

    But it was a Windows virus, a Javascript virus, and a Office virus. Not a Mac OS X virus.

    ClamXav got rid of it.

    There is spyware for the Mac too, Spectorsoft, keystroke loggers and even rootkits (Opener)

    There has been trojans for Mac OS X as well, so don’t run a app off P2P networks. Don’t give anything you admin password that you don’t 100% trust. Don’t trust apps on music cds. (fsck U SONY)

    Security through obscurity is a myth propogated by M$ because they had no answer yet for Mac OS X, but now they do (Vista).

    I only got one virus in 21 years of using Mac’s and that was 16 years ago.

    Mac’s are about 99% of the time 100% secure which is a lot better than ‘Doze.

    Want to hardne Mac OS X even further? READ!

    Clone your boot drive and keep it disconnected, c boot from Mac OS X install disk and select Disk utility erase w/zero any contaminated drives. Hook up your clone and reverse clone.

  2. Does Consumer Reports actually believe that it is the processor that is the target of viruses?…

    Consumer Reports writes some odd things, but this one is really out there! They’re either ignorant in the extreme or using FUD to sway people away from Macs by loosly associating the Intel-based Macs with the vulnerabilities of Windows PCs.

  3. Ignorance is a common affliction, the Knowledge of OSX is growing, “what you’ve never had a virus, how?” I answer, abnegation from “Smallflacid (Microsoft)” operating systems and loving OSX…

  4. Consumer Reports is sloppy with its use of the word “target”. Viruses target every computer on the web probing for openings. The word they should have used is “breach”.

  5. I’m pretty sure they meant that once people start emulating windows on their Macintels, which as you all know Apple said they won’t prevent, mac users may become more susceptible to viruses. And also, if more people buy the macintels more viruses will show up.

    I mean, hey, I’m all for the idea that Mac OSX is inherently more secure, but only an idiot would assume it’s invulnerable.

  6. I ran ClamXav again and discovered a couple of Phishing Emails that contained Worms and a couple more Spam Emails that also contained virusses that affect Non-Mac machines. So I can say that indeed I did find malware on my Mac (reference Consumer Reports). But did they directly affect my systems? No. They were hidden attachments in Emails designed for Windows machines.

    And this thread is topical regarding CR.

    What it boils down to is that at least 20% of Mac folks use some kind of anti-malware app and sure enough, they found malware on their machines. Ergo according to CR, 20% of Mac systems had malware on board.

    Okay, now come up with some flippant analogy so we can laugh?

  7. “Are Consumer Reports really helping their readers choose…with this nonsense?”

    CR is irrelevant. Supermarket tabloids are more credible.

    “It’s too soon, to know, however, whether new Macs will be more vulnerable to attack once Apple begins its switch to Intel processors”

    Heh. Both FUD and a technical impossibility in the same sentence. Who writes this stuff, Microsoft??

    MW: poor. As in how CR should be ranked.

  8. “Okay, now come up with some flippant analogy so we can laugh?”

    Try this: Using CR’s logic, testers of Brand X of a car should lower their ratings because Brand X got dirty from oil that leaked from a Brand Y. Never mind that Brand Y is a Valdez, Brand X must somehow be vulnerable for getting dirty! OK maybe this analogy isn’t the funniest, but it’s just as absurd. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    Windows malware is the oil slick of the Internet. It’s poison to PCs (which help add to the pool), and harmless road grime to Macs.

    Consumer Reports is a good publication, for fiction anyway.

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