Sophos today announced the availability of a free Mac anti-virus product for consumers, available to download at no charge, with no time limit, and requiring no registration. Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Mac is available free to Mac home users worldwide, protecting them against all known malware, including both Mac- and Windows-specific threats including Trojan horses, viruses, worms and spyware.
Based on Sophos’s flagship security software, Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Mac has been released in response to growing concern about Mac malware. A recent Sophos investigation into attitudes about Mac security surveyed 640 people, which revealed that 95% expect Macs to be increasingly targeted by malware in the future (September-October 2010). Although malware is far more common on Windows than it is on Mac, Sophos says that Apple’s growing market share makes Mac an increasingly attractive platform for malware authors and hackers to target.
“While most businesses recognize the importance of protecting their Mac computers from malware threats, most home users do not,” said Chris Kraft, product management vice president at Sophos, in the press release. “By offering free industrial-strength security to home users, we aim to protect Mac users against today’s and tomorrow’s Mac threats. Everyone knows that Macs are beautiful computers – Sophos wants to lend a hand to keep them that way.”
Past threats to Mac users have included:
• Websites that pose as legitimate-looking software vendor sites, but whose downloads are really Mac malicious code.
• Malware disguised as pirated software available for download from P2P file-sharing networks.
• Online video links that urge users to install a plug-in to view the content, but contain a Mac Trojan horse.
• Popular Twitter accounts, such as that belonging to former Apple evangelist Guy Kawasaki, who have tweeted out links to websites designed to infect Mac computers.
• Windows viruses, which come in via email, web or USB drive, either being passed on to Windows-using friends or colleagues, or infecting virtual installations of Windows installed on a Mac.
“Most people don’t know that Apple acknowledged the malware problem by integrating rudimentary protection against a handful of Mac Trojans in Snow Leopard. But 95% of those surveyed are convinced that more is on the way,” explained Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, in the press release. “Wise Mac users will secure their computers now, outwitting malware authors – if we make their jobs of infecting Macs difficult, they will go elsewhere to make a quick buck.”
Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Mac provides automatic on-access detection that runs in the background, which means Mac users don’t need to run any manual scans to be protected against the millions of viruses, worms, spyware and Trojans in existence. Furthermore, strong disinfection capabilities make it easy to clean-up an infection should malware already be in place.
• Mac with Intel or PowerPC processor
• 256 MB of memory
• 150 MB of available disk space
• Mac with OSX 10.4 (Tiger), 10.5 (Leopard) or 10.6 (Snow Leopard)
More info and download link here.
MacDailyNews Take: The first hit (to your CPU cycles) is free.