OS X and Apple immune to viruses and malware! Not quite…

Doesn’t need anti-virus software?  This is a lie.

This is just flat out false.  Every operating system is susceptible to viruses, Mac OSX simply does not have enough of the market share for virus writers to bother targeting it.  While its UNIX underpinnings do make it more secure than Windows per se, even if you are using UNIX, if it is not implemented correctly and if users are unaware of security related messages from the operating system, then it will fail and be infected just like Windows.

This is a real issue because there is a lack of quality anti-virus software for the Mac.  There seem to be no Open Source or free alternatives as there are for Windows (AVG-Free being my favorite) and even the commerical ones such as symantic anti-virus have received not so stellar reviews.  This has the potential to be a REAL problem as Apple’s computers grow in popularity and market share.

As Macs move into the hands of more the population you will see a proliferation of viruses, malware and general “I thought this stuff only existed on Windows” type of harmful applications.  The question is whether Apple, the community and software firms will head off the storm before it starts.

While researching the topic I found a comment that is right on the spot.

Don’t fool yourself. ALL operating systems can be compromised and need extra security.

Mac OSX is not immune to viruses, trojans, and spyware.

And as the popularity of Mac OSX increases, the number of malware writers focusing on things to exploit on that operating system will increase as well. Many claimed Firefox to be the more secure browser that couldn’t be exploited, but as more used that browser, more malware writers went out of their way to exploit it…and it was compromised…many more times than once.

Apple has already proven they can’t write software that can’t be exploited.

Remember the release of Safari for Windows was compromised in less than 24 hours. It was a flaw in their software and not Windows that was the problem. Not to mention the security issues that have plagued iTunes and Quicktime.

It is not if, but when a major virus or trojan infects Macs on a grand scale.  As more apps go online as Web based applications you better believe some websites will host applications pretending to do one thing, but actually doing another much more sinister process in the background as you play a game, use a website, or simply “waiting for it to load”.

If you have any stories of Mac security problems please post them in the comments!


13 responses to “OS X and Apple immune to viruses and malware! Not quite…

  1. ClamX is out for OS X and is free…

    • This is true except for one glaring oversight, ClamX does not detect any OS X specific viruses. So while it may protect you from passing Windows based viruses to your friends, it won’t protect your system itself. Their virus database simply does not contain definitions for OS X viruses.

  2. I use a windows. I think apple should be sued for this (its even in the argos book) I dont think it is right. Steve Jobs is just trying to run microsoft out of buisness.

  3. Everything is possible in theory, but let’s be practical: Name 10 Mac viruses (or is that viruii):
    1. ??
    2. ??
    I rest my case.

    • I’m sorry but i don’t really get what you are saying, can you explain more thoroughly?

    • OSX/Tored-A
      OSX/Inqtana.A Worm
      OSX/Leap.A aka Oompa-Loompa virus
      OSX/Mac.Simpson Worm

  4. TZ,

    What is the point of proliferating these falsities? There are plenty of OS X machines out there to infect – the obscurity theory is pure FUD. There are ZERO viruses on OS X – all Mac viruses in existence operate on the previous versions of the OS back when there were ever fewer Macs – and even then they were “mostly harmless.”

    OS X is secure because it is Unix, and Unix was designed to exist in a hostile environment with multiple users and multiple machines. This is why the modern Macintosh is secure. These are the things you may want to research when writing about exploits.

    @ Jordan
    So what do you think should be done with Redmond where you have hundreds of thousands of viruses rampant on the OS regularly performing nefarious activities? Hmm? Perspective dude – get some it tastes good.

    None of those are viruses.


  5. @Thor
    There are some people here trying to have a serious objective discussion about security issues. If you’re not going to provide helpful information and back it up with facts, STFU. You can get into the symantics of the word “virus”, and you can argue that there have been no widespread attacks on Os X so far, but that doesn’t negate the fact that there are still vulnerabilities that need to be addressed.

    Read here for some specifics about the hows and whys of Os X vulnerabilities:

    I’m so sick of the Apple cult. You people are almost as bad as religious fanatics.

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  7. hello.I am not surprised of this news.viruses are a real threat.I had to pick up a strong antivirus from top ten best antiviruses http://www.best-antivirus.co/
    in order to get ride of them.In this top i have found also a review of the best antiviruses
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