Saturday, January 3, 2009

Analysis: Fear of infection

Apple shouldn't lead us to believe that the Mac is impervious to viruses, as Mac OS X could be compromised at any time...

Column by Kenny Hemphill of MacUser

"The thorny and almost decade-old question of whether Mac OS X is immune from malware cropped up again recently when bloggers including the BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones reported that Apple had posted advice in a Knowledge Base article on its support site that read: 'Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one program to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult.' The article then listed companies such as Symantec and Intego as publishers of anti-virus software

This story, had it been true, would have been big news. Apple, after all, has been running adverts comparing the security nightmare that is Windows with what it claims is an infection-immune Mac OS X. For it to suddenly start recommending running not just one anti-virus application but 'multiple antivirus utilities' would have been a remarkable volte face. Perhaps that alone should have been enough to alert, if not bloggers, then certainly journalists that there was more to the 'story' than met the eye. As Cellan-Jones and others admitted in follow-up posts, the Knowledge Base article in question wasn't new. In fact, it hadn't even been updated since June 2007. Analyses of the thread number and the numerical sequence of Knowledge Base articles, dates the original post around 1992, and archive.org has a record of a page at the URL of the article from 2001, according to The Unofficial Apple Weblog. In other words, this is an ancient article whose origins pre-date Mac OS X by nearly a decade."

Continue Reading...

1 comment:

Greg said...

I agree with many of the points he makes however that being said OS X was built with security in mind and Windows never was until Vista 64-bit edition (and few users actually fun that one).

Really has anyone even heard of one user who lost his hard disk to a Macintosh virus? I know Windows users who have lost all their data and that's no fun...