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Apple doesn't offer its customers free security protections like Microsoft, so Sophos is offering them instead.  (Source: YouTube/Apple)

Sophos' antivirus protects Mac users from many common threats.  (Source: Sophos/YouTube)
AV company steps up to the plate when Apple refuses to provide its users equivalent protections to Microsoft's

Sophos is offering Mac users a great deal.  As Apple has thus far refused to protect its users with free antivirus software, Sophos is stepping up to the plate, launching Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Macs which will protect Mac users against "today’s and tomorrow’s Mac threats".

For all Apple's years of "Get a Mac" ads belittle the "virus"-plagued PC, it is Macs today that are relatively unguarded.  While their tiny market share has protected them in the past, a growing number of cross platform attacks are letting Mac users get infected, just like your average PC.

But the key difference is where Microsoft is very keen on protecting its users, offering free antivirus software (Microsoft Security Essentials) for Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7; one of the internet's best online vulnerability databases (Knowledge Base); and a wealth of malware removal tools.

Apple, by contrast, doesn't seem very concerned at all about safeguarding its loyal customers.  It has a glacial patching time and has basically pretended that Mac viruses don't exist, which has led many of its loyal fans to do likewise. 

But Mac viruses do indeed exist in the wild as some users can attest, and they are growing in number.  After all coding for the Mac is not inherently different from coding Windows apps -- and many security researchers argue that Apple's OS-level security is actually weaker than Windows'.

Apple has quietly advised its users to get an antivirus program, but has declined to offer them one for free like Microsoft does.

Chris Kraft, product management vice president at Sophos, comments to EWeek, "While most businesses recognize the importance of protecting their Mac computers from malware threats, most home users do not."

Sophos security expert Richard Wang adds, "Mac users must remember that less targeted is not the same as invulnerable."

The new suite will protect against the new trojan-worm Mac-Koobface variant, among other malicious programs.

The company sells a number of packages for businesses with Macs.  The cheapest is a 3-user, one year license priced at $136.50 USD.  That product competes with similar offerings from Norton and AVG.  It also competes with smaller third party offerings like iAntiVirus.

Any Mac users who commonly use OS X are strongly advised to grab Sophos' new freeware, if you don't already have antivirus protection.  The install will take approximately 150 MB of disk space.

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RE: not surprised by apple
By Luticus on 11/4/2010 12:48:58 PM , Rating: 4
if you have Windows and you have a virus you "ARE" using your computer wrong :)... anyone with half a brain, who doesn't go downloading porn/cracks/hacks/etc. will tell you that it's pretty uncommon to get a virus. Just practice safe browsing habits and actually use the security settings your computer provides you and you *should* be fine.

RE: not surprised by apple
By Spivonious on 11/4/2010 12:50:59 PM , Rating: 5
I totally agree. But it seems that Windows users are scared by viruses enough that when a popup shows that says "You're infected with 53 viruses! Click here to quarantine your computer", they click on it and install some of the nastiest malware out there.

RE: not surprised by apple
By Luticus on 11/4/2010 1:44:30 PM , Rating: 5
lol, unfortunately there's not much in the "cure department" for gullible... :)


RE: not surprised by apple
By borismkv on 11/5/2010 7:12:34 PM , Rating: 2
Social Engineering. Gotta love it.

RE: not surprised by apple
By Azure Sky on 11/6/2010 8:40:32 PM , Rating: 3
"you cant fix stupid"

ron white is correct there....

RE: not surprised by apple
By MrBlastman on 11/4/2010 1:36:21 PM , Rating: 3 in your hosts file is your friend. Then you can browse to wherever you want and as long as MVPs is on your side, you'll constantly have an updated hosts file to block out most of those unwanted pests. :)

Oh, I almost forgot...

Apple computers don't get free virus protection because they don't get viruses!


RE: not surprised by apple
By PorreKaj on 11/4/2010 1:39:47 PM , Rating: 2
Someone care to explain this "trick" ?

RE: not surprised by apple
By klutzInMotion on 11/4/2010 2:35:14 PM , Rating: 3
Basically you put known bad sites in your hosts file and force them to to localhost, essentially disabling the url. Using black list has its own problems (where do u get latest update?) Beside, people can always use direct ip as url to bypass this.

RE: not surprised by apple
By Spivonious on 11/4/2010 2:29:22 PM , Rating: 2
Isn't that just the localhost IP? I don't see how that would make any difference.

RE: not surprised by apple
By MrBlastman on 11/4/2010 3:04:02 PM , Rating: 5
Exactly. If you put in the hosts table next to an entry say for bypasses DNS lookup as the hosts file gets first priority and when the computer tries and resolves the URL, it takes the hosts entry and tries to send you to thus blocking your computer from being able to access the site.

In practice, you would use this for malicious websites or advertisers so you don't see ads or say a script on a site tries to pop up a malware site, it instead pops up localhost (i.e. nothing), preventing you from being hurt.

Go to for more info.

RE: not surprised by apple
By AstroGuardian on 11/5/2010 4:31:24 AM , Rating: 3
This free software SpyBOT gets an update and the Immunization option sets malicious website's URL to localhost in hosts. Use this it's awesome.

RE: not surprised by apple
By putergeek00 on 11/4/2010 3:57:52 PM , Rating: 2
Why not just use IE7 or IE8 which already has a built in real-time blacklist of infected or malware installing websites?

RE: not surprised by apple
By inighthawki on 11/4/10, Rating: 0
RE: not surprised by apple
By piroroadkill on 11/5/2010 4:47:11 AM , Rating: 2
Because it will only block the sites within the browser. The hosts file trick will screw up any connection made on the system using DNS.

RE: not surprised by apple
By jonmcc33 on 11/4/10, Rating: -1
RE: not surprised by apple
By PrezWeezy on 11/4/2010 4:52:02 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, that's completely and totally wrong today. The "Fake A/V" has infected sites like MSN, CNN, Seattle PI, and many other sites which are completely reputable sites. They are buying ad space from Google with fake companies and infecting the ads. So all you have to do is open the page and it will try to install. If you have XP you don't even have to click yes. Vista and 7 are more protected, but they still can get infected. It's not as hard as it was 2 years ago to get a virus now.

RE: not surprised by apple
By Lerianis on 11/6/2010 4:16:31 PM , Rating: 2
I have to disagree. With UAC in Windows Vista and 7 (and those are the ONLY two operating systems for consumers that you should be running today), it's pretty near impossible to get infected unless you are a real idiot.

Protected mode in IE7/8/9 also prevents most attackers from being able to 'automatically' install stuff on your system as well.

With Windows XP, yes, drive by downloads ARE a real danger, but that is the reason why IT IS GODDAMNED WELL TIME TO STOP USING IT!
It's ten year old tech, unable to be fixed easily or at all without a total rewrite, which they have already done in Windows Vista and 7.

RE: not surprised by apple
By Lerianis on 11/6/2010 4:12:57 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, I download all those things and I have very rarely gotten hit by a virus. In fact, the ONLY virus alerts I have gotten on my system are for codec things (which I FINALLY 3 years ago realized were not necessary to download and were most likely viruses) and mistaken alerts for game trainers/cracks that are totally virus free.

RE: not surprised by apple
By Buz on 11/7/2010 6:05:02 PM , Rating: 2
I've only seen one virus in the last 3 years and it came from a friend's Ipod. Filthy things.

Of course he blamed me for giving him the virus because there's no way he could have ever got it.

"If they're going to pirate somebody, we want it to be us rather than somebody else." -- Microsoft Business Group President Jeff Raikes

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