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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 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.

"My sex life is pretty good" -- Steve Jobs' random musings during the 2010 D8 conference

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