A few days ago we came across a link pointing to an Apple KnowledgeBase article recommending an antivirus to Mac users. We thought this was funny and even tweeted about it. Didn’t think it was worthy of a post by itself.
A week later, and almost all tech sites are seen carrying bold headlines stating “Apple pushes Antivirus for Mac“. Yes, that’s a link to an article on BBC UK! This is just plain madness.
First of all, the only reason Apple has put up that page, is because of legal reasons. Perhaps also to keep antivirus makers happy about developing for the Mac, should there be a virus outbreak in the future. There is no way this has anything to do with Apple cowering in fear or that Mac OS X has suddenly become a popular target by hackers.
From Mac Maintainance Assist Article: April 2008
6) Check for Viruses
Macs are far more less likely to get a computer virus like Windows PCs are prone to but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. If you don’t already have antivirus software, you may want to consider making a purchase. If you have the software installed, be sure to keep your virus definitions up to date—you can find the latest updates on your software manufacturer’s website.
I realise that there have been a few outbreaks of viruses in these past few months, but each and every one of them require an Admin and Password to be entered to do any damage at all. So all you need right now is common sense, not to install suspicious packages, and be careful when you enter your admin password.
Update: Apple has since removed the page from the database. CNET has a quote from Apple spokesperson Bill Evans.
“We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate,” Apple spokesperson Bill Evans said. “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, running antivirus software may offer additional protection.”