Baltimore Sun Extols Virtues Of Relatively Virus-Free Mac Life, But Urges Caution

In light of all of the viral weirdness going on in the Windows world, and coincidental to the discussion on this very issue in our own forums, the Baltimore Sun has taken a look at the Mac side of things, noting that despite the Mac platform having seven ten thousandths of a percent the number of viruses that the Windows platform has, users should always be prepared. While no Windows virus can harm a computer running either the classic Mac OS or Mac OS X, some viruses can be spread by Macs, and according to the article, thatis reason enough for Mac users to keep a virus checking app around.

Also covered in the article are such things as the reason why Windows is such a popular virus target, why OS X may be less susceptible, why Unix is targeted so little, and more. From The Baltimore Sun:

As the latest Microsoft Windows infection spread across the Internet last week, knocking out thousands of PCs in homes and businesses, Macintosh users did what they usually do during a computer virus outbreak -- they continued working.

Thatis because the "Blaster" worm, also known as LovSan and MSBlast, cannot harm a Mac. The worm exploits a vulnerability present only in certain versions of Windows. So a computer running a non-Windows operating system, such as Linux or the Mac OS, is immune.


"Itis perfectly possible to write viruses for Apple Macs," Cluley said. "Indeed, a Mac has no more inherent security than a PC, but virus writers appear motivated by a desire to cause widespread havoc and so have concentrated on the market leader."

By "market leader," he means, of course, Microsoft Windows.

Sophos, nevertheless, advises Mac users to have anti-virus software and to keep it updated, if for no other reason that to prevent a Mac from spreading Windows viruses. Last month, the company released a version of its antivirus software for Mac OS X, which joins Norton AntiVirus and McAfeeis Virex as OS X weapons to fight malware.

You can read the full article at The Baltimore Sunis Web site.