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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 3:28:57 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I don't think the image of the Mac as being safer will change and I don't think the sales of Macs will decrease, Mac sales have outgrown the market for 18 quarters in a row so there is a bit of a trend there :)


Windows has had 90+% of the pc market for years and years.... so there's a bit of a trend there...

quote:
All in all these "oh my god Macs get viruses" stories make some folks get very over excited but in the real world the impact is zero.
The worst part is that you're probably right here... That's the bad thing. Idiots will continue believing they are invulnerable and apple will continue doing very little because they want to maintain their "image" and so much of their user-base will be highly screwed when $hit does inevitably hit the fan.

quote:
Much of Apple's focus has been on the new mobile market where they appear to be doing rather well.
true, they have done rather well here, even in the face of large competition. while i think this is great i do hope someone steps up and offers some "more capable" devices because i hate how locked down apples are and i'm not touching android ever.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007














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