Apple now "encourages" antivirus use for Mac OS X

Posted:
in macOS edited January 2014
After years of jabbing Microsoft for the seeming need to run antivirus software on Windows, Apple has quietly posted its own recommendation for similar security with its own operating system.



The knowledge base article, posted roughly a week and a half ago, doesn't go so far as to say the software is necessary but still advocates "widespread use" of more than one antivirus package to minimize security risks.



By using more than one piece of security software, virus writers can't assume that there will be a particular security suite to bypass, Apple says. In Windows, more advanced viruses already know to look for certain defense suites and will mask themselves or even disable the protection to make their tasks easier.



Apple currently recommends Intego's VirusBarrier X5, McAfee's VirusScan for Mac, and Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus 11.



The posting isn't necessarily a reversal of opinions for Apple, though it does reflect an overall softening of its opinions. While one of the first "Get a Mac" TV spots in 2006 made fun of Windows' susceptibility to viruses and portrayed the Mac as near-immune, the current campaign doesn't mention this point. The company's current FAQ for curious switchers also simply says that Mac OS X "resists most viruses" and doesn't make any blanket statements.



At present, there isn't any immediate cause for a change in Apple strategy. Outside of proofs of concept, few instances exist of widely propagated viruses or other malicious code for the Mac.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 115
    crebcreb Posts: 276member
    Oh no...the legions of younger Mac zealots will now start bludgeoning their skulls with this news! And from Apple no less.
  • Reply 2 of 115
    The other way of looking at it is that if you are going to use antivirus, you'd better use more than one, because none of them are proven to work at this point.
  • Reply 3 of 115
    mactelmactel Posts: 1,275member
    Microsoft provides a malicious software removal application that is manually ran and doesn't actively scan the system. At the same they sell OneCare (piece of junk) that does actively scan for viruses and other malware.



    Apple should mimic Microsoft's efforts and come out with their own malware detection and removal software. There are some viruses and malware out there for the Mac but maybe not spreading out in the wild like in the Windows world. At least Apple could proactively work with research team and develop their own research team to plug holes in the system quicker.
  • Reply 4 of 115
    The age of virus free Mac is coming to an end. And I cant believe that the workers at Apple store still tell potential customer that the Mac is virus free.



    Well one thing that I wish if there is an antivirus for Mac is that it has a VERY SMALL FOOTPRINT, I won't want it to be a big CPU hog. I think Apple need to address into Mac security in the future, maybe after SL. I like the idea of sandboxing though. Since most spyware/adware/virus came from the internet, I think they need to make like a special folder where all stuffs that came from the internet will be placed there (even video streaming), it will be locked (so that the files cannot go anyway unless it resides in that fixed folder). This will make it easier to detect and delete the virus.
  • Reply 5 of 115
    nasseraenasserae Posts: 3,152member
    I've been using Antivirus on my Mac for more than a year now for two reasons:



    1. After years of Windows it is hard not to install one even on a Mac



    2. Infected Windows machine on our university apartments network messing up my internet connection. Using AV helped me and our University IT department detect network attacks such as ARP poisoning.



    You have no idea how many Windows machine are infected and trying to spread viruses to other computers on the network. Most people don't even bother with AV even though the University is giving them for free.
  • Reply 6 of 115
    ktappektappe Posts: 751member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Apple currently recommends Intego's VirusBarrier X5, McAfee's VirusScan for Mac, and Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus 11.



    That's because that's about all there is for home use. Sophos is the only other I'm aware of and it's an Enterprise tool....
  • Reply 7 of 115
    It's interesting how Apple are advocating the use of more than one AntiVirus application. I am a native Windows and PC user, although I am writing this from my new MacBook White(!), and Windows users are advised to only use one virus scanner at a time as multiple ones installed can disable one another!



    Also, as a native Windows user, my PC, Windows Tablet, Mac mini, and MacBook all have virus scanning software - it gives me piece of mind that I am safe!
  • Reply 8 of 115
    So could this mean that Apple has started receiving $$$ from Mcafee/Norton to start F*cking with the Mac users now. The only people that benefit from these viruses are these scumbags selling virus scams
  • Reply 9 of 115
    zandroszandros Posts: 537member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by bwhazel View Post


    It's interesting how Apple are advocating the use of more than one AntiVirus application. I am a native Windows and PC user, although I am writing this from my new MacBook White(!), and Windows users are advised to only use one virus scanner at a time as multiple ones installed can disable one another!



    Exactly.



    Anyway, what the hell? I've not seen any news of new Mac viruses. Which means, there are still none.
  • Reply 10 of 115
    Right at the end, Apple uses this stock caveat:



    Important: Information about products not manufactured by Apple is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute Apple?s recommendation or endorsement. Please contact the vendor for additional information.



    I would guess that this is all lawyer-instigated since even an implicit claim of invincibility might be used in the courts. This is mostly a legal CYA action IMHO.
  • Reply 11 of 115
    That's it, I'm done with Apple, I'm going to switch to Mapple.
  • Reply 12 of 115
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by flowney View Post


    Right at the end, Apple uses this stock caveat:



    I would guess that this is all lawyer-instigated since even an implicit claim of invincibility might be used in the courts. This is mostly a legal CYA action IMHO.



    I agree.



    There are no shortages of bottom feeding trial lawyers looking for a meal at Apple's treasury.



    Think of the liability, if Apple wasn't cautioning users about security and the steps they should consider, when someone finally cracks OSX, and OSX malware finally breaks into the wild.



    This is just smart business.
  • Reply 13 of 115
    Before people start talking about viruses on a Mac I think it's important for somebody to explain what a virus actually is. Wikipedia says, "a computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user."



    There are different types of malware out there for OS X, but to the best of my knowledge it all uses some type of social engineering to get a user to actually type in their password and install it. That's not a virus, because viruses install and spread themselves without any sort of authentication. As far as I know there still is not one real Mac OS X virus.



    I realize that when push comes to shove I'm just mincing words; any type of malicious software poses a threat to the average user. I also won't use the argument that Windows apologists use when they say it's the end user's fault for not being more tech savvy. Software should protect the user, not the other way around. However, it's not being honest to say there are Mac viruses out there. Yet.
  • Reply 14 of 115
    All that matters to me is that they're hundreds of thousands of Viruses/malware/spyware all made for PCs which makes them not compatible with OS X, right now if your on a mac you have a better chance of getting hit by lightning that catching a virus, even if they where to come up with 10 thousand viruses for macs it will be nothing compare to all the crap that is out there
  • Reply 15 of 115
    Quote:

    By using more than one piece of security software, virus writers can't assume that there will be a particular security suite to bypass, Apple says.



    So apple thinks it is a good idea for more than one security package to install kexts and screw with the kernel whenever i do something on the system?



    Yea, i've cleaned up too many windows systems where people installed 2 or 3 AV packages, and they became non-functional.



    One suite that isn't incompetent is enough. So that leaves.....zero options.
  • Reply 16 of 115
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,558member
    Why can't we deal with this as a network problem first and a PC problem second. If the network can track down rogue PCs then you troubleshoot the PC.



    Bought an Acer Aspire One since Apple doesn't care about that "nascent" market; first thing I had to do to make it usuable is remove the virus protection. Insane, I know... but proper network habits are the best protection. Second is being able to scan the system from a thumbdrive if you suspect a problem...
  • Reply 17 of 115
    cameronjcameronj Posts: 2,357member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by maverick18x View Post


    Before people start talking about viruses on a Mac I think it's important for somebody to explain what a virus actually is. Wikipedia says, "a computer virus is a computer program that can copy itself and infect a computer without permission or knowledge of the user.".



    Not that I disagree with that definition, but can we all stop using wikipedia as a source? I mean, there's absolutely no way to verify that the content was written by someone with any knowledge!
  • Reply 18 of 115
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by razorpit View Post


    That's it, I'm done with Apple, I'm going to switch to Mapple.



    haha, just watched it on DVR. Too funny



    Funny, there's the Green-Apple commercial during the show as well.
  • Reply 19 of 115
    bdkennedy1bdkennedy1 Posts: 1,459member
    Until viruses start being confirmed as going around, I'm not going to drop a dime on antivirus software which I think is a conspiracy.
  • Reply 20 of 115
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by razorpit View Post


    That's it, I'm done with Apple, I'm going to switch to Mapple.



    LOL, totally agree! Don't forget to pick up your myPhonies while you're there as well!
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