FreakoutITGeek's Blog

Random IT postings from Freakz

Viruses and malicious content

There has been an increasing amount of press recently about malicious applications appearing for the Apple OS X operating system.

To be honest I don’t use any security software in the two OS X computers I use at home, which are connected to the home broadband Internet connection.

I would never consider doing the same for a Windows OS machine, before any PC is connected to the Internet I always advise to patch it to the latest service pack, install Norton Internet Security (or McAfee), download any updates to NIS using a machine that is already protected before connecting and running windows update.

I have seen a Windows OS machine become infected using a dial up connection in seconds with McAfee Installed from CD but not patched. The machine in question was being connected to pull down McAfee updates and Windows Updates so was open to attack.

By comparison I believe that the few risks found to target OS X machines require the users to provide authentication details before the software can be installed on these systems. I have yet to hear of a virus getting on an OS X machine through a security flaw on an Unpatched OS X machine, installing itself, spreading itself and the user not being aware of any of this happening.

I believe that the risk to OS X users from scareware such as MacDefender (which is just the Windows Defender, also known as fakeAV, setup so that it detects Safari browser) and the other scare mongering press stories, is so small as not to worth worrying about at the moment.

If you believe there is a risk then the solution is as simple as it is for Windows machines. Install a reputable security package like Norton Internet Security Dual ( which protects up to two OS X machines running OS X and windows under bootcamp or similar).

As the press try to create a false sense that OS X is at threat, more Anti-virus and security companies are jumping on the bandwagon to provide software for those that want it. I believe that Norton, McAfee, Sophos and other organisations currently provide some form of AV for OS X.

As I have stated, if you feel that there us a risk, protect yourself, otherwise OS X is safe from all the current threats as long as you don’t install software that you don’t know what it is, what it dies or where it came from.


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