Apple has adjusted its website to withdraw the claim that Macs don’t get PC viruses.
Antivirus company Sophos highlighted the change to Apple’s “Why you’ll love a Mac” webpage, noting that the previous claim that Mac OS X doesn’t get PC viruses has been removed, replaced by the statement: “It’s built to be safe.”
Previously, the web page said: “It doesn’t get PC viruses. A Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. That’s thanks to built-in defences in Mac OS X that keep you safe without any work on your part.”
“With virtually no effort on your part, OS X defends against viruses and other malicious applications, or malware,” the Apple’s web page continued.
Now, though, the same web page has been changed to read: “It’s built to be safe. Built-in defences in OS X keep you sage from unknowingly downloading malicious software on your Mac.”
“OS X is designed with powerful, advanced technologies that work hard to keep your Mac safe,” the page now reads.
Sophos’ Graham Cluley wrote: “Clearly they’ve [Apple] decided that pointing out the size of the Windows malware problem isn’t going to look terribly convincing unless they are also open about that Mac malware also exists.”
Cluley points out that earlier this year, a Flashback Trojan infected more than 600,000 Macs worldwide. Shortly after, a second threat emerged known as SabPub.
Many saw the entire saga as a wakeup call that Macs are just as vulnerable as PCs to malware. Perhaps it also alerted Apple to the fact that Mac users don’t feel as safe as they did last year. Now that Mac malware is on the rise, and is more prominently in the news, Apple seems to have made the decision to alter its previous security claims that could be seen as misleading.
Sophos says that one in 36 of Macs that had its free anti-virus product installed were found to be infected by OS X malware in a recent analysis, highlighting that the problem is real.