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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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So why do I need Mac antivirus again?
By sapiens74 on 11/4/2010 1:19:51 PM , Rating: -1
How many known virus are out there for the Mac?

The only AV i need is for my Windows virtual machine and MS already provides that.

RE: So why do I need Mac antivirus again?
By Marlonsm on 11/4/2010 1:36:51 PM , Rating: 2
It only takes one virus to get you infected...

By spamreader1 on 11/4/2010 3:08:38 PM , Rating: 2
kinda like hookers eh?

By fsardis on 11/4/2010 1:47:36 PM , Rating: 3
By klutzInMotion on 11/4/2010 2:45:10 PM , Rating: 3
So why do I need Mac antivirus again?
To protect your Mac OS from the virus that sits between the keyboard and your chair.

By Helbore on 11/5/2010 10:37:02 AM , Rating: 1
I will never understand Mac fanboys. If you walk around with yuor hands over your eyes, going "lalalalala," eventually you're going to wlak over a cliff. The only person that hurts is you.

You're not benefitting yourself by pretending Macs have no viruses. It might massage your ego by making you believe you were smarter than everyone else for buying a Msc, but beyond that it doesn't help you at all.

Why do you need antivirus? Well because Apple recommends you do (even if they only whisper it like they're mentioning some taboo subject).

"Mac OS X is like living in a farmhouse in the country with no locks, and Windows is living in a house with bars on the windows in the bad part of town." -- Charlie Miller

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