Apple admits malware defeat

Apple is one of the single software companies that hasn't really faced the problem of viruses, for years claiming their operating system is the most secure among all. Seemingly every Mac user claims that his or her computer is the safest and greatest -- they’re invincible!

But those claims collapse as Apple products grow in popularity. Back in April 2012, Flashback infected 670,000 Macs worldwide. The Mac maker responded so well it needed to do the job twice, as the first security patch wasn’t so good. In light of all this one has to wonder whether Apple needs to call it quits and just admit defeat.

Security Claims Change?

The Apple world, due to their irrelevance on the market -- around 10 percent PC share in the United States, less than 5 percent worldwide, according to Gartner and IDC -- hasn't gotten much attention from the bad guys. Well, until recently. Apple can put to rest their security needs and send the consultants and developers they have on vacation for the bigger part of the year, but when something happens it’s pretty bad, as Flashback demonstrates.

What does Apple do in light of all this? No apologies, as it’s too embarrassing. They quietly (like running through a room full of people thinking no one’s going to notice) change their security motto.

Apple used to claim that the Mac "doesn’t get PC viruses" or "a Mac isn’t susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers. That’s thanks to built-in defenses in Mac OS X that keep you safe, without any work on your part".

I especially like the last claim because it’s true that Mac users don't have to do any work to get infected. Apple is right about "thousands of viruses". It only takes one to infect 670,000 Macs worldwide and collect them into a botnet. What a market strategy. It only takes one to defeat our army, don’t bother sending all the guys.

Apple's modified marketing language about OS X: "It’s built to be safe" and "built-in defenses in OS X keep you safe from unknowingly downloading malicious software on your Mac". Now is Apple calling on the defensive card? Basically they’re saying that you’ll know when you get a virus, it will come straight forward at you, not stab you from behind.

Would Mac Users install Security Software?

Hasn't Apple admitted defeat, simply by backing off earlier security claims? Malware does infect Macs, and surely instances will rise with increased Apple product popularity. Look at how much emphasis Apple places on new security features coming in OS X Mountain Lion.

Is this news scary enough for OS X users as to get some sort of protection? Or is it just that 0.0001% percent when Apple is wrong? Or will Apple create greater false sense of security with Mountain Lion. Being cocky has its benefits, but when you go down people will remember.

In your opinion, do Macs need antimalware protection? Would you install Mac security software or you do you feel safe enough?

Photo Credit: Jirsak/Shutterstock

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