It’s almost impossible to unknowingly infect Apple Macs with a virus

“In January, four critical security vulnerabilities were discovered in the Apple QuickTime and iTunes applications, raising security concerns over the increasingly popular media player formats,” Thomas Zizzo writes for CRN. “Solution providers said customers need to be aware of the risks these applications might bring, but expressed faith that Mac OS X remains secure, at least for now. The Mac generally is called a platform that is secure from exploits and viruses in part because the user base of Macs is very small compared with that of the Windows PC, making the Mac community a less attractive target. Not everyone sees it that way, however. ‘I really think that is a misnomer,’ said Ian Blanton, director of consulting for Tech Superpowers, an Apple solution provider in Boston. Blanton said viruses can reach any system connected to the Internet, regardless of the operating system. And the fact that there has not been a known, live virus that has successfully propagated through the Mac OS X poses a challenge that could be too good for some hackers to pass up, he added. ‘That makes Macs an even bigger target,’ he said.”

“Apple’s VAR partners aren’t too concerned at this point about exploits, viruses or worms being spread on Macs, but they agree that security shouldn’t be ignored. ‘It’s always a concern,’ said Alberto Palacios, president of Create More, San Francisco. It’s easy to write a virus for the Mac; the difficult thing is making it propagate, Palacios said. Anytime an application is installed on a Mac, several pop-up windows will ask the user if they are sure they want to install and run the program. Unless a hacker physically has access to the computer, it’s almost impossible to unknowingly infect it with a virus, he said,” Zizzo writes. “Apple takes security very seriously, said George Swords, marketing manager for PowerMacPac, an Apple reseller in Portland, Ore. Mac users should always have the latest software updates installed, and antivirus security software should be used to guard against forwarding infected e-mails to friends that have PCs, he said.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Good Jobs, a writer got it right! Congratulations to Mr. Zizzo for presenting the facts about Mac security in a clear and balanced manner and to CRN for publishing it! Please click the full article link.

[UPDATE: 5:05pm EST: Fixed fixed double double.]

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27 Comments

  1. Excellent article, and yes, this writer GETS IT CORRECT! Way to do your research and interview people in the Know. THAT, folks, is what Journalism is all about.

  2. One thing for sure is there will be a virus on the Mac with everyone crowing how invincible OSX is. Someone will do it eventually and the transistion makes it all more likely. The OSX86 project didn’t waste anytime hacking the first Intel OSX to be released. There are some clever assholes out there…

  3. “…antivirus security software should be used to guard against forwarding infected e-mails to friends that have PCs, he said.”

    I continue adamant in my determination not to protect PC users from the consequences of their own folly. If I did protect them, I would just be an enabler of their bad habits.

  4. RE:”ne thing for sure is there will be a virus on the Mac with everyone crowing how invincible OSX is. Someone will do it eventually and the transistion makes it all more likely. The OSX86 project didn’t waste anytime hacking the first Intel OSX to be released. There are some clever assholes out there…”

    Ok, probably 20 million copies of OSX out there in 5 years

    Windows Vista Beta: 8500 copies out, and it took 5 hours for the first virus.

    Kind of blows the the security by obscurity argument out of the water, doesn’t it?

    And if anyone is really interested, I have copies of a two very long postings by a poster to this site by the name of seahawk who explains why the whole security by obscurity argument does not work.

    We don’t hear much from seahawk anymore. I know that he gets tired of rehashing the same argument over and over from IDIOTS WHO KEEP BRINGING UP OLD ARGUMENTS THAT WERE REFUTED YEARS AGO!

    The vast majority of Windows virus writers are just 15 year old kids who download virus writing kits off the net. That shows how easy it is to “write” or plagiarize a Windows virus, which gives you a good comparison to OSX.

    And from what I read, most new Windows viruses are actually versions of older viruses, which begs the question; Why can Windows supposedly closed ports be so easily re-opened by 15 year old kids, the most dysfunctional people on the face of the earth?

    …………just waiting for the next person to bring up the same argument, but I am getting tired of it. When an opponent is stupid, the smart thing to do is to step aside and let them do it. You can’t change their minds.

    Have a nice day!

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