Apple's "install antivirus on your Mac" page is gone, but the idea lives on

Apple's "install antivirus on your Mac" page is gone, but the idea lives on

Summary: The knowledge base article on Apple's support site which encouraged the widespread use of antivirus software on Mac systems has been removed, but the idea that Mac users might still benefit from protection still lives on.

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TOPICS: Security, Apple, Hardware
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The knowledge base article on Apple's support site which encouraged the widespread use of antivirus software on Mac systems has been removed, but the idea that Mac users might still benefit from protection still lives on.

The page (which was here) had the following to say on the subject:

Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult. Here are some available antivirus utilities:

- Intego VirusBarrier X5, available from the Apple Online Store License: commercial   - Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11 for Macintosh, available from the Apple Online Store License: commercial   - McAfee VirusScan for Mac License: commercial

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The page was edited on November 21st and December 2nd before being pulled down later in the day on the 2nd. Apple say that the page was removed "because it was old and inaccurate."

So, does this mean that Mac users can uninstall antivirus and live a carefree existence? Well, maybe not. According to an Apple spokesperson, antivirus software on the Mac might still offer benefits:

However, since no system can be 100% immune from every threat, running anti-virus software may offer additional protection.

Additionally, the Apple spokesperson had this to say:

The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. 

Maybe, but the Mac OS seems wide open to social engineering attacks as long as the system is being driven by the kind of person that clicks on everything

Also note that the Apple Store sells several antivirus solutions aimed at the consumer. 

My take is that antivirus software on a Mac is unnecessary unless you've got it hooked up to a mixed ecosystem network consisting of Windows systems or if you move files (specifically email) back and forth between a Mac and Windows systems (or you're the sort of person who is likely to fall for those "install this codec to see free porn" tricks).

Here's some more YouTube fun ...

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Topics: Security, Apple, Hardware

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6 comments
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  • CrApple will die

    Saying that would probably not draw ignorant Mac customers to buy iCrap so they removed it. I have been using Vista x64 for about 2 years w/o any anti virus and I enjoy using my computer by playing games like Crysis, GTA 4 etc, watch videos in media center and so on...Anyway Windows 7 will seize it's market share including CrApple's too
    shellcodes_coder
    • Macs can run the latest games too!

      Like Solitaire and Chess.
      What else would you want to play?

      hahahahha!


      BTW, stop it with GTA 4. It's not out yet.
      If only they made the DLC available for the PC too.... oh, to dream.
      tikigawd
      • no games on Linux

        Games? Who has time to play games? Computers are a productivity tool, right?

        If I want to "game" I'll pack the skis, grab the bike, the football or whatever and do it right... =)
        pgit
        • Aesop's Fox.

          {NT}
          Sleeper Service
  • So what's in the wild for Macs?

    Anything that is hitting Macs? What about the
    botnet (Download.a, Conflilcter, Downloadup?)
    that's going around? Are Macs at risk?

    The average Mac user isn't going to spend money
    on malware protection until something is in the
    wild.

    There will probably be something one day. Until
    then AV resellers will need to live off of Window
    users.
    Ken_z
  • Sad History of QuickTime Patches - Are Macs Infected Now?

    Last time I checked, QuickTime patches were for both platforms. If rigged QT files are only set up to infect Windows machines, and not Macs, it is clear proof of the "security in obscurity" theory. The day will come when that is not enough security.

    However, if they HAVE been used to infect Macs, let me ask: who would know? With no AV out there, a rooted Mac could run for a very long time w/o detection, especially if the malware programmer stuck to background tasks like sending out spam / DOS attacks, etc.

    (I suppose that the malware to infect a Mac would become public eventually, just because people like to boast. However, with the "professional" nature of the current malware industry, it's unclear to me as to whether Mac-infecting software, once developed, would not be a "proprietary solution" for a malware empire.)
    PMC-CON