NEWS FROM THE LAB - Friday, December 5, 2008

Macs are totally secure out of the box? Posted by Patrik @ 17:11 GMT

There has been a lot of talk (link 1, link 2, link 3) during the last few days about a support article that seemingly appeared on Apple's website. In the article, Apple advised users to install an anti-virus software to make sure their computers are safe. The reason it took people by surprise is that Apple has previously said that Mac users doesn't have to worry about antivirus software.

Turns out the support article was from 2007 and now has been pulled from Apple's site. Apple also issued a statement saying that the article was outdated and that Macs really don't need antivirus because they are so secure. Quoting a spokesperson from Apple:

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

That's just silly.

While there is much less malware out there for Macs, they definitely exist, and Mac users are as likely to fall victim for traditional email based phishing attacks as PC users. Not to mention all the security vulnerabilities that Apple has fixed this year that fortunately weren't exploited but easily could have been.

Apple Security

The fact is that yes, Mac users are much less likely to get hit by malware but that doesn't mean that they can be totally careless and ignore potential threats all together. Use common sense and if they want to be extra safe, do install an antivirus software.