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Think Your Mac is Virus and Malware Free? Think Again?

As far as market share goes in the desk and laptop computer world, Apple is still a long way behind. It currently holds a 6.45% share of the global market, compared to Microsoft who still dominate with around 92%. However, they have seen a slow but constant rise since the launch of the original iMac; in 2009 it was under 5.5% and before that hovering around 3%. So what does all of this mean, apart from the fact that more people have better looking computers with pin sharp screens?

Well, sadly it now means it’s a lot more worthwhile for people to create viruses and malware for the Mac OS, and this is currently being played out. Over the past year the number of reports of trojans, malware and other nasties has shot up, and included some high profile cases like the Flashback Trojan, masquerading as an Adobe Flash Player update, that infected over 600,000 computers around the world.

Thankfully, a lot of these viruses affected people running Windows on their Mac (a silly thing to do really…) so you’ll be a lot safer if you stick to Mac OS, but not totally safe. A new study by antivirus company Sophos has revealed around 20% of Macs suffer from some kind of divisive programming, be that virus, malware, trojan or other. The majority of them are from users running Windows on their Mac, but around 3% of these were found to be Mac specific. This is a worrying new development, as historically there have always been very, very few of these.  Below is the range of most common infections found on Macs tested:

In a bid to quash these attacks, Apple purportedly contracted Russian antivirus company Kasperskey to beef up security on OS X, although this has been recently denied. There are lots of reports floating around about the results of this study (that may or may not have happened), and a lot of people coming to the conclusion that the Mac OS is not as invulnerable as many thought.

So, if you’re smugly sat thinking that because you have a Mac you’re immune to viruses and attacks, think again, then go and get some antivirus software!

Image courtesy of Sophos


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