One of Apple's better Mac vs PC ads features a strong message that Windows computers are a magnet for viruses (malware) but Macs are automatically protected. As PC "ah-choos" his way through an infection, Mac offers a tissue and smugly infers that he's immune to the 114,000 Windows viruses.
Away from the television screen, Apple's technical advice is different. Very different. Check out this recently updated technical note on Apple's Web site:
- 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.
The note goes on to list several commercial anti-virus utilities (two are available for sale at Apple's online store!) and sends the correct message that no operating system is really safe from malicious software attacks.
We already know that it can be trivially easy to exploit unpatched Mac OS X vulnerabilities and, as Adam O'Donnell and others have theorized, it's only a matter of market share before Apple's operating system becomes a real target for malware writers.