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Is it a myth? Are Apple Macs Immune from Viruses?

Apple Macs are Immune from Viruses


The Belief: Because Mac operating systems are built on a secure Unix foundation, and because Macs comprise such a relatively small percentage of PCs, they are not only immune to viruses, but hackers won’t even bother.

The Facts: Apple used to believe this as well. Up until last spring, Apple’s website declared Macs weren’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.” But last spring, Apple changed this wording to “OS X is designed with powerful, advanced technologies that work hard to keep your Mac safe.” According to anti-virus software-maker Sophos, based on a study of 100,000 of its users, one in every five Macs carry some sort of malware — these Macs aren’t infected, but they carry malware in much of the same way humans carry dormant viruses such as chicken pox. Apple also has had continuing problems dealing with a security hole in Mac OS X opened by Java, exposed by last year’s attack by the Flashback Trojan infestation. Cupertino went so far as to disable Javascript in Safari to avoid this problem.

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