Security company gives Mac a boost

Security company gives Mac a boost

Summary: In the just released Sophos Security Threat Management Report (requires registration), the dominant cybersecurity threat is from Trojans, which the report said outnumber viruses and worms by 4:1, compared to 2:1 a year ago. In light of the Trojan horses and the dominance of Windows-based threats,  Sophos suggests that home users should consider purchasing a Mac if they haven't already.

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TOPICS: Security
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In the just released Sophos Security Threat Management Report (requires registration), the dominant cybersecurity threat is from Trojans, which the report said outnumber viruses and worms by 4:1, compared to 2:1 a year ago. In light of the Trojan horses and the dominance of Windows-based threats,  Sophos suggests that home users should consider purchasing a Mac if they haven't already.  "The vast majority of malware continues to be written for Windows, and while the first malware for Mac OS X was seen in February 2006, it has not spread in the wild and not heralded an avalanche of malicious code aimed at Macs," the report said. According to Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, "Hackers seem happy to primarily target Windows users and not spread their wings to other platforms. It seems likely that Macs will continue to be the safer place for computer users for some time to come--something that home users may wish to consider if they're deliberating about the next computer they should purchase." He doesn't go as far as to say the corporations should rethink PC purchases to improve security. Enterprises deeply invested in Windows aren't going to invest heavily in Apple systems, and they will continue to spend significant money buying security software from companies like Sophos to minimize threats. And, clearly the Vista delay isn't helping to alleviate anxiety among Microsoft customers about Windows security...

Topic: Security

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8 comments
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  • Damn! This is research?

    So since no-one wants to target the Mac as only a very small population uses them, then everyone should get a Mac. Let's ignore the fact that attacks have already taken place on the Mac and Apple has had to introduce fixes for vulnerabilities.

    Pardon me, but doesn't that then make them the target population.
    TonyMcS
    • That's the thing ....

      There are two types of attack:

      Attacks for the sheer hell of it (the script kiddies)

      Attacks made for profit.

      Now if someone is going to attack the Mac for fun, the first thing they need to do is ... buy a Mac. Chances are that someone planning an attack is not going to buy a Mac, just so he can do it. Nope. He'll either have a PC already, or he'll buy a PC so he can do other stuff (like play games).

      Attacks for profit? Well, there are more Windows machines and there are more folks who are Windows experts, so there you go ....

      From what I've seen, the report actually focusses on the amount of malware available, which is slightly different to the number of machines actually infected.

      Now, according to the MS removal widget figures, about 2% of the machines tested, had a virus or some sort of malware running. Now if Vista is (apparently) more secure and MS is launching its own security service, then Sophos is going to need new customers pretty soon.

      What would be best for them, is a Mac user base large enough to warrant interest from the virus writers. Then, they have a market to sell to.

      Why didn't they recommend Linux? It already has a larger deskop user base than MacOSX, so surely it deserves a mention. Well, it would have done, if they thought that Linux users would actually spend money on their software.
      fredsmith6
    • So what?

      The why's are irrelevant. If no one attacks the Mac because it's a small target, so what? It's still a safer platform. If, ten years from now, the Mac has a 20% market share, it wil STILL be a smaller market.

      This whole argument that Macs are secure because they're obscure is a red herring trying to distract and frighten people away from a Mac (or more likely, keep the user from looking foolish for NOT buying a Mac). The fact is, Macs are more secure. People who have been using Macs (like me) for the past 5 years have had a safer computing experience than Windows users over the same time period. People using Macs today have a safer computing experience than Windows users, and people who use Macs 5 years from now will have a safer computing experience than Windows users.

      That's a simple fact.
      baggins_z
    • Mac OSX is safer than Windows by a longshot.

      There are no worms and viruses in the wild attacking Macs. The
      attacks on Mac were laboratory malware which did nothing and
      basically were FUD. There are no viruses out there for Mac. Also,
      Apple fixes their bugs and most of anything you here about are
      exploits made after the Operating system has been updated
      which make it FUD as well. Apple has regular security fixes and
      OS updates which improve functionality as well as fix
      vulnerabilities, although to hear the news around here they are
      called bug fixes. The bottom line is that at this moment there
      are no Viruses for OSX in the wild and 250,000 or so for
      Windows. So, if you are used to running anti virus software,
      updating your definitons and all that you could be using those
      resources and time for getting work done on a Mac.
      MacGeek2121
  • why pay for the Mac ?

    i think that Linux is ready for desktop prime time. Depending on what you do with the box, but if this is not a PC games (and you are not Outlook fan) Linux will be just fine for most users.

    I personally find that OpenOffice is pretty good (OO Presentation will create Flash (!), HTML, PPT, XHTML, PDF (!) from the same master doc in one click).

    Choice of 10s of different windows managers allow Linux to run on any box weak and strong (Seleron 1GMHz is an excellent CPU for Linux).

    Experience of firefox and konqueror is overall better than file browser and IE in Win32. Firefox extensions is something which IE lacks the most. MultiTab support is nice, but extensions really do firefox different.

    Frankly, i do not see any reason to pay overblown prices for the Mac (yes, OSX is best OS in the world, clean GUI, everything work and you have to put $600 for a low end system). Buy a $500 laptop and run Linux there. Or buy a bare hardware box and ask for Linux installation disk.

    With distros like Ubuntu, DSL, etc. you will be up and running in minutes.
    ark01
    • fast!

      Choice of 10s of different windows managers allow Linux to run on any box weak and strong (Seleron 1GMHz is an excellent CPU for Linux).

      i would love to have a cpu capable of running 1Billion Megahertz!!

      but what is a Seleron??
      richvball44
    • It's fairly obvious

      Sophos aren't going to sell many AV products to the Linux community. However, they just might for OSX: http://www.sophos.com/products/es/endpoint/sav-mac.html

      Steve
      osaeris
    • Not everybody wants to run Linux on a crappy computer

      This is no rag on Linux. Celerons, $500 laptops, and lots of
      other really cheap hardware running Linux are not for everyone.
      There's a reason really other low end computers are cheap. It's
      called quality. If you are buying a Mac, likely you are looking for
      an above average computer and you would expect a lot from the
      computer. Not everybody wants to buy a Mac, either. Macs and
      Linux are for those of us who would prefer not to run Windows,
      but if you are out to flat out save money, my suggestion would
      be to buy a used computer and run Linux on it. If you are
      computer savy enough to run Linux, you should be able to find a
      bargain on quality used hardware.
      MacGeek2121