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Apple recognizes virus and malware threat to Mac OS X and once again recommends antivirus software?
As more details emerge about the upcoming Snow Leopard operating system (Mac OS X 10.6), Apple has posted information on the security page for Mac OS X Snow Leopard that potentially recognizes the threat of viruses and malware to the Mac OS X operating system and the applications that run on Mac OS X. Have Apple's most recent statements indicate they they are once again recommending the use of antivirus software?
"With virtually no effort on your part, Mac OS X offers a multilayered system of defenses against viruses and other dangerous malware. For example, it prevents hackers from harming your programs through a technique called "sandboxing" -- restricting what actions programs can perform on your Mac, what files they can access, and what other programs they can launch. Other automatic security features include Library Randomization, which prevents malicious commands from finding their targets, and Execute Disable, which protects the memory in your Mac from attacks."
Apple recommends antivirus software ... again?
It appears as though Apple has once again recommended the use of antivirus software. Prior recommendations by Apple have been removed or the company has backtracked on the statements. We find it interesting that Apple has made the following statement on the Snow Leopard security page under an area titled "Security Advice":
"The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, antivirus software may offer additional protection."You can view the Snow Leopard security page here.
As the related articles below indicate, Apple has flip-flopped on its antivirus stance. Apple has even highlighted the lack of viruses in their Get a Mac advertising campaign that Apple has utilized to encourage Windows users to make the switch to Mac. So one must ask why Apple has once again published a statement that could be inferred as a recommendation to use antivirus software on Mac OS X? Perhaps it's a realization that no operating system including Mac OS X is completely immune to threats. Perhaps its an attempt by Apple to ensure that Mac OS X users take measures to protect themselves in today's evolving security environment.
Mac OS X is a very modern operating system that was first released in 2001 and has since seen five major updates. The next version will be released in September 2009 under the name Snow Leopard. The solid UNIX foundation provides Mac OS X a more secure architecture that makes it less susceptible to unauthorized access and malicious attacks. This is in stark contrast to Microsoft Windows which is known to be susceptible to over 100,000 viruses. Now we'll have to wait and see if Apple updates the security page.