Mac malware not a big deal - yet

It makes for a great headline, doesn't it? And from such a credible new source, too.

It makes for a great headline, doesn't it? And from such a credible new source, too.

On CNN.com this week: "Experts: Malicious program targets Macs."

I can already see the Microsoft fans throwing around some "Take that, Mac fanboys!"

But wait, there's fine print buried about one-third of the way into that CNN story. The harmful program targeting Mac users - a trojan horse dubbed "iBotnet" - has actually been around since January and only affects users who have downloaded pirated versions of Apple's productivity software, called iWork.

Since I haven't installed iWork, let alone a pirated version, I'll sleep well tonight. But you won't hear me throwing any cries of "Ha! Back at ya!" at my Windows-using buddies.

Just the fact that bad guys out there are eyeing the Mac like this should be enough to spark some concern among Mac users. Macs have never really been immune to viruses, worms and other malware. And yes, there are some instances of malware for the Mac out there already.

But the Windows crowd has always been significantly greater in numbers. If you're a bad guy trying to build a botnet network or otherwise create havoc, why go after the small number of Mac users (currently about 7 percent of the market) when Windows is such a a bigger target?

Case in point: iBotnet has infected thousands of Macs. The Conficker worm, which got much more attention, has infected millions of PCs. Millions.

Breathe easy, Mac users - while you can.