Apple: Mac users should run anti-virus software

— 12:37 PM on December 2, 2008

Don't be surprised if Apple quietly removes some of those "Get a Mac" ads from its website.'s Brian Krebs has noticed that the iPod maker now recommends that Mac users run anti-virus software just like their Windows-using counterparts. Here's the word straight from the company's knowledge base:

Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult. Here are some available antivirus utilities:
  • Intego VirusBarrier X5, available from the Apple Online Store
    License: commercial
  • Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11 for Macintosh, available from the Apple Online Store
    License: commercial
  • McAfee VirusScan for Mac
    License: commercial

This knowledge base entry might signal a change of policy. Krebs says an Apple Store staffer told him less than three months ago "not to bother" with anti-virus software because "it was not necessary." Of course, if the latest market share numbers for OS X are any indication, malware writers may have a growing interest in Apple's operating system. Krebs writes that Mac malware generally "tricks the user into agreeing to download and install it," however, something anti-virus software could have a hard time preventing.

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