Symantec report fails to mention any threat of ‘Mac OS X malware’

“The latest Internet Threat Survey from Symantec is a whopping 120 pages and unlike in its previous reports, the company has avoided any mention of malware for Apple’s OS X,” Munir Kotadia reports for ZDNet Australia in his piece titled, “Symantec quits beating the ‘OS X malware’ drum.”

“Around 18 months ago, Symantec’s seventh bi-annual Internet Security Threat Report warned Apple users that OS X was increasingly becoming a target for spyware,” Kotadia reports.

“At the time, Symantec said: ‘Out of the public eye for some time, it is now clear that the Mac OS is increasingly becoming a target for the malicious activity that is more commonly associated with Microsoft and various Unix-based operating systems.’ However, since then, apart from Leap-A or the Oompa-Loompa virus, Mac users,” Kotadia reports.

“So what happened to the threat of Mac spyware? Has it gone? Have we been infected without knowing about it? Or is it simply not worth mentioning this time around? It’s a surprise really — especially with MacBook and MacBook Pro sales booming, it would seem that Apple’s platform has never been such an attractive target,” Kotadia reports. “I have asked Symantec about the omission and am waiting for a response.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You know Munir is royally pissed off about this. He must have been salivating like a rabid dog for this report, so he could concoct yet another BS “Mac OS X security threat” piffle (see related articles below). Then the damned thing shows up and contains nothing at all about Mac OS X malware threats! (The geniuses at Symantec probably finally figured out that we’re not buying from the company that cries wolf so often.)

So, it’s extremely easy to believe that Munir got on the horn immediately to Symantec about this so-called “omission.” That Munir has penned this latest piece — in which he basically whines like a baby about the lack of Symantec’s usual Mac OS X security FUD for him to further twist — only highlights how painfully oblivious he is to the fact that his motives are so completely transparent to us Mac users. Too bad, Munir, no FUD for you this time. So, wipe the spittle off your chin, sit down, and shut up for once, you hack.

[UPDATE: 11:55pm EDT: Upon reflection, removed “talentless” preceding “hack” in our take as Kotadia does seem to have some demonstrable talent for spreading FUD regarding Mac OS X security.]

Related articles:
ZDNet’s Kotadia: Symantec’s Mac OS X spyware prediction in flames – September 28, 2006 (Munir Kotadia)
ZDNet Australia publishes yet another Mac OS X security FUD article – January 26, 2006 (Munir Kotadia)
ZDNet Australia publishes latest Mac OS X security FUD article – September 09, 2005 (Munir Kotadia)
Joke of the month: Gartner warns of Mac OS X ‘spyware infestation’ potential – March 30, 2005 (Munir Kotadia)
Symantec warns about Mac OS X security threat – March 21, 2005 (Munir Kotadia)

Symantec sees browser security bugs climb, Safari bugs double – September 25, 2006
Symantec researcher: At this time, there are no file-infecting viruses that can infect Mac OS X – July 13, 2006
Symantec CEO: We think more people ought to buy Apple Macs – May 15, 2006

Why Symantec’s ‘scare tactics’ don’t worry Mac users – September 28, 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


  1. There is MALWARE out for Mac OS X. No sh*t.

    The name of this malware is NAV.07

    This is how it works, a unsuspecting Mac noob aquires this NAV.07 malware from a bright yellow box or download through online scare tactics.

    The innocent Mac noob then doubleclicks on the NAV07 malware and gives it their administrative password.

    Once this occurs all sorts of alterations of Mac OS X occurs, the malware contacts the internet, downloads hostile files and opens ports which allows hackers to take over the machine.

    The user may notice hostile processes hogging CPU cycles and clogging up Activity Monitor, attempts to force quit these processes just makes them start all over again.

    The malware pretends to protect the user from other malware, but fails to mention that the protection rate is less than 80% as hackers specifically test their code against the NAV.07 malware to defeat it before release.

    So what the unsuspecting user has done is given the NAV.07 malware elevated security status which the flaws in this code give a exploit the same elevated status.

    The user would have been much better off not installing it in the first place.

    See this informative article (long link)

  2. I’ve never heard of this guy, but his bio says he has a keen interest in OS X, and the tone of the article suggests he could be sarcastic towards Symantic’s inconsistency, not disappointed that there wasn’t any additional slamming of OS X by them.

    Anyone have a handle on any negative OS X columns by this guy? If so, I’ll be convinced MDN has the correct take on this, otherwise I’m not there.

  3. Jay, when you see the advertisements you can not stop reading. You must continue searching for content on MDN. Otherwise, MDN is useless.

    MDN, like any good published media is 90% ads, 9% opinion and 1% content.

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