Symantec's OS X spyware prediction in flames

Symantec's Mac spyware prediction in flames
Written by Munir Kotadia, Contributor

Symantec published its 10th Internet Threat Report this week and quietly admitted a few days later that its predictions of increasing Mac-targeted spyware threats have not been realised.

Unsurprisingly, Symantec didn't make any mention of its inaccurate prediction in the latest report, so I thought I would ask about the omission.

It seems Mac spyware was not mentioned this time around because there were no new dangerous Mac-related threats in the first six months of the year.

"Symantec didn't include the top 10 attackers or the top 10 malicious codes for this report. What they chose to do instead was to focus on the top 10 new attacks with malicious code and there were no threats that registered in the top 10 category that pertained to Mac OS X," according to a Symantec spokesperson.

"[Symantec] just focused on new attacks and Mac OS X wasn't [the target] of any of them," the spokesperson said.

Fanboy reaction
My previous blog entry seems to have stirred up some emotions at a certain Mac-focused Web site.

Unfortunately, the anonymous writer has misinterpreted my question to Symantec as disappointment that there was no mention of OS X malware.

Actually, I was pointing out that the company's predictions 18 months ago have been as accurate as Bill Gates' predictions about spam.

But the important point is this, regardless of how much people shove their head in the sand and scream "I must be safe because I have a Mac, I must be safe because I have a Mac", OS X does have security vulnerabilities. If it didn't, why would Apple release regular security patches? Luckily the system has been designed with security in mind, so vulnerabilities are very difficult to exploit and most require socially engineered user interaction.

Instead of publishing religious fanboy rants, maybe their time would be better spent reading about how Norton Anti-virus makes OS X less secure or why Bootcamp is an expensive downgrade for the Mac.

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