Writer recants Macs ‘relatively’ immune to viruses, changes it to ‘exempt’ from Windows worries

“The silent minority has finally spoken. Yes, Mac users do know how to make some noise. I wrote last week about my foray into the world of Windows XP and virus protection, anti-spam programs, spyware, adware and every other type of protection that PC users must be aware of,” Al Gobes writes for The Las Vegas Review Journal. “What I didn’t explain clearly enough (in the eyes of many Apple devotees) is that Macintosh computers are exempt from these worries. I knew it, because I’ve been using Apple computers since before the Mac was born.”

Gibes writes: Here’s a bit of what the Mac fanatics said about their easy-operating machines:

“Shouldn’t you say that Macs are ‘virus free’ instead of ‘relatively free’ at least until someone actually does, if ever, develop a virus that attacks Macs through e-mails the way PCs are?” writes Don Wooley of Georgia. A reader named F.L. writes: “There are (more than) 20 million Mac users running Mac OS X, and not one virus in the whole bunch.” …Greg Thurman writes: “I have never been successfully attacked by a worm, virus, trojan horse, key logger or spyware since switching to OS X, and the issue is not one of market share. There are several sites offering rewards to anyone reporting malware for OS X, and the thrill of writing viruses is the knowledge that you can do something others have not. Being the first to crack OS X security would be a huge badge of honor.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: On Tuesday, January 31, 2006, we featured Gibes; article (see related article below), wrote that Gibes was “misleading his readership by not pointing out that there are zero, none, nada, zilch Mac OS X viruses,” and provided his email address. To all those who wrote him with level-headed, fact-based messages, good job! Kudos for Gibes for reading his email, taking the valid points to heart, and writing about it.

MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
iMac and MacBook Pro owners: Apple USB Modem. Easily connect to the Internet using dial-up service. Only $49.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.

Related MacDailyNews article:
Attempting to protect Windows PCs from viruses, worms while Mac users surf the Net with impunity – January 31, 2006


  1. I still don’t understand why those in the media (even the Mac friendly ones) find it so difficult to print the fact that Macs have zero viruses.

    It’s almost like they don’t want to print the full truth to avoid embarrassing their Windows readership or something. I’ve never been able to figure that out.

    If it’s true, why is it so hard for them to say it in the first place then without having MDN readers correct them?

  2. Let us gloat now, for the more we do so, the more attractive it will become for malware developers to work on something nasty. Maybe we know it will happen and simply enjoying the peace of mind while it lasts.

  3. It’s obvious when these writers put these things down that they are attempting to cover themselves with a margin of error as it were, however surely it would be as easier (and correct) to just say there are no viruses etc but of course that doesn’t rule it out entirely, albeit it’s really unlikely there will be one. If they really want to cover themselves at least tell the truth.

  4. “It’s almost like they don’t want to print the full truth to avoid embarrassing their Windows readership or something.”

    You’re on to something. This writer is a Mac user and wouldn’t be embarassing himself. Most other tech writers are part of the group of victims and are obviously embarrassed to write the truth. After all, the truth would make them look pretty incompetent.

    If Windows booted up by sticking a sharp stick in the user’s eye, they would claim that this is perfectly normal and EVERYONE has to endure this minor inconvenience.

  5. There is a sad reality here. When the major news media announces a new (Windows) virus, trojan, malware, etc. they make a blanket statement implying that this affects ALL computers. Should someone successfully deploy a genuine Macintosh OSX virus, the news media will have a field day and target the Mac exclusively.

  6. My tactic has been to email authors pretending to be a clueless Mac user who was under the impression that there were no viruses for macs. I ask them if they could tell me what the viruses are so I can be on the lookout for them and that I was very concerned. At the very least could they tell me the documentation or websites that list such vulnerabilities.

    I have yet to get an info from these guys. perhaps they are still looking.

    Remember, if you attack or insult these guys, all you are doing is hurting the platform and making the user base look like techno-jihadists.

  7. Hold on a minute here. I support over 35 OS X machines. I have VirusBarrier running on a number of them precisely because Word 2004 DOES get the WM97.shell virus. Yes it does NOT affect other programs or the system itself but IS a virus, and does create havoc with Word, requiring that it be removed.

    So..as a BIG proponent of the Mac…I can say honestly that OS X has no viruses..but to say that OS X machines don’t have any is not accurate.

  8. Yo Billy Boy! Shouting Steve!

    None – as in zero, zip, nada, not a one since MacOS X was introduced.

    Why isn’t there a class action suit against Miscrosoft for all of the lost data, lost hours, lost money, lost peace and calm, lost sense of security that has happened because of Micro$oft’s inability to plug holes and have revolving doors for the introduction of malware, viruses, infections, spyware, adware, trojan horses, and all other sorts of pernicious invasive software?

    How many millions, if not billions, of dollars are lost each year for this betrayal of public trust?

    Why? Because Gates wouldn’t pay a lawyer to sue himself like he is fronting the lawyer to sue Apple for not having a big enough warning label on th iPod.

    MDN: any, as in: There aren’t any – ever.

  9. I must respectfully disagree with you, Macromancer.

    By your own admission, your tactic of “pretending to be a clueless Mac user…” has yielded the same results as the OS X virus count. Zero, none, nada, zilch.

    The “techno-jihadists” who filled Al Gobes’ inbox got a public retraction and clarification. We should expect nothing less from people who are paid to get the facts right in the first place.

    So…what was your point, again?

Reader Feedback

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