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.

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


  1. Relatively few and Zero.

    Just ask them if they would prefer relatively few diseases or zero. Relatively few IRS audits or none. Relatively few bullet wounds or zero wounds. Relatively few spider eggs hatching in their brain or none at all. It’s not so hard after all.

  2. With MS lawyers sueing apple over ipods that are “too loud” is it that far of a stretch to think that they have a group of evil programers working night and day trying to write some sort of virus for OSX?

  3. By the way, I just sent the following to Giles:

    Dear Al,

    Thank you for your recent article clarifying the virus free status of the Apple operating system. It is well known that system 9 and previous operating systems were prone to many of the ‘problems’ that afflict the Microsoft Windows world.

    It is also well known, among MacOS 10 users, that virus protection software snake oil salemen for the Mac try their best to keep their market alive by using inaccurate statistics to instill FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) into a ever new and growing Mac user base. They warn former Windows users that they may be just as prone to all the ills that they experienced on a Windows machine on their new Mac.

    What gave me a clue was that Apple no longer offered any type of virus protection software to its .mac customers. Reason: not needed.

    That is pretty confident. …

    Anywho, thanks for your article. It took courage to tell the truth in a Windows world.


    MDN: moving as in: Now, wasn’t that just moving? Maes you want to tear up.

  4. Trojans are possible. My brother-in-law is a PC user, but his tech support guy is a long time Mac user, who downloaded some software a while back and it included a Trojan – which caused a lot of problems. It was the first Trojan I know of, and it was a very nasty one.

  5. YankinOZ,

    You letter reads like it’s written by a 14 year old — it’s awkward a bit hard to understand. Try to make it more concise next time, and leave out any FUD crap. thx.

  6. are we not inviting people to develope a OSX virus here, sure its gonna be very hard but these people can be quite devoted, so shhhhh, stop picking fights with crackers lol, let us run safari in peace

  7. My main problem I have is the writer Mac user or not saying “Here’s a bit of what the Mac fanatics said about their easy-operating machines”.

    I love my computer, but Steve is not my god, and I’m no fanatic. Just a educated computer user who knows not to buy a computer with a POS OS like windows.

  8. Yet still manages to get one last swipe in by calling those who took the time to email him fanatics.
    An a-hole by any other name is still an a-hole and you Mr Gibes top the list

  9. >pr
    >”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.<

    I noticed that no one wanted to reply to your post. Hmmmmmm I wonder why?

    They just don’t want to believe or even see REAL PROOF that something CAN compromise their Mac. And I’m sure there are a lot of Mac users out there who are using Word 2004 – so take this persons advice seriously. Don’t get too complacent and use common sense.

    And yes, I too am a BIG proponent of the Mac.

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