Tag Archives: OS X

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!