Exposing the myth that Macs don’t get viruses
One of the reasons that Mac users may have had much more of an air of satisfied smugness to them than PC users in recent times was that in addition to the better looks, performance, stability and all round coolness, historically, Mac computers just didn’t get viruses. The computer giant even stated on the website in the section “Why You’ll Love A Mac” that the OSX software that is used in Mac computers “doesn’t get PC viruses.” For many years it was considered a badge of honour that, whilst PC owners had to buy additional software protection against invading viruses, those smart enough to buy a Mac didn’t need any, as the machine was so invincible. However, all this changed last year when the “doesn’t get PC viruses” claim was removed from the Apple website and replaced with “It’s built to be safe.” Not quite the same thing.
So what’s happened to the impenetrable Mac? Well, it would seem that as the Mac market share has grown this has made the operating system much more of a target for hackers. Cyber criminals tend to want to inflict as much damage as possible and so will go for the biggest group of victims. Previously the most attractive target was without a doubt PC users, but whilst they are still in the majority, the numbers of Apple devotees has swelled quite considerably. And the more Mac users there are, the more the target grows and looks increasingly enticing. Build it and they will come!
However, although it might seem to be a new development, the Mac-virus situation is not one that we are facing for the first time – in 1982, a 15-year-old tec genius created the first ever Mac virus, called the Elk Cloner. Since then there have been numerous Mac viruses that have surfaced, including the Hong Kong virus, the INIT-29-B virus, and the Trojan horse AppleScript.THT, to name a few. Last year, the ‘Flashback’ or ‘Flashfake’ virus infected more than 600,000 Macs with malware, which was probably the first real shock for Mac users who had previously assumed that this would not be possible.
Whether you’re a Mac or PC user, there’s a lot to be said for investing in managed security services. A security consultancy like ITC Secure Networking can overview your system and provide information and guidance on the best way to make sure that you are protected, whatever type of system you use – for more details, see our website.