Friday, December 12, 2008

Apple's Security Paradox

Even as Macs have multiplied, the number of viruses and Trojans targeting them has fallen.

As Apple's slice of the computer market grows, cyber security researchers have long warned that hackers would someday turn their attention away from PCs and toward innocent Macbooks and iPhones.

That day, it turns out, has yet to come. But virus-fearing Apple (nasdaq: AAPL - news - people ) fans could be forgiven for thinking it had.

On Monday, Washington Post blogger Brian Krebs wrote that Apple had "quietly published" a note on its technical support site recommending Apple users install antivirus software. In fact, the recommendation had been on Apple's site for more than a year. But other blogs and media outlets took the Post's story as evidence that Apple computers have finally lost the "immunity" to viruses and other malicious code that the company touts in its "Mac vs. PC" ads.

On Tuesday evening, Apple deleted the antivirus recommendation, writing in a statement to the press that it was "old and inaccurate," and reiterating the claim that Apple devices are safe "right out of the box."

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