Apple removes anti-virus software recommendation

Mac users may not have to bother with anti-virus software after all, according to Apple’s latest recommendation. Yesterday, several news sites reported on an Apple knowledge base entry that advised Mac users to run AV software. Some said the entry reflected a change in policy, while others said it wasn’t as new as everyone thought.

Apple has now deleted the knowledge base article and spoken to news sites to disavow the previous recommendation. Here’s what an Apple spokesman told CNet News:

"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," he said. "However, since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, running antivirus software may offer additional protection."

Admittedly, Mac OS X is likely the target of fewer viruses because of its smaller market share—and just like Windows Vista, it includes a built-in firewall and forces the default user to authorize system-level changes (albeit by entering a password). As with any modern, fully patched operating system, user caution may be the best deterrent against malware. Apple still recommends running AV software for "additional protection," though.

Comments closed
    • MadManOriginal
    • 11 years ago

    I think they should have blamed the recommendation on q[http://www.techreport.com/discussions.x/16002<]ยง

    • equivicus
    • 11 years ago

    This may be seen as an official challenge to virus creators. “Bring it on!”

    • blastdoor
    • 11 years ago

    On a somewhat related subject… shouldn’t antivirus software be the responsibility of the company that makes the OS? Why do we have anti-virus software from all these 3rd parties? Why don’t MS and Apple have anti-virus protection built-in to their operating systems? Wouldn’t that be vastly more secure than relying on 3rd parties?

      • ludi
      • 11 years ago

      Releasing viruses into the wild is simple vandalism. The guy who sold you the fence isn’t responsible to supply you with a security guard to go with it. If the fence itself is flawed, then sure, go to him and ask for a patch. For everything else, you need to determine if you even have a vandalism problem (not everyone does), and then pick the solution that works best for you.

        • Kharnellius
        • 11 years ago

        Nice analogy. I like it. ๐Ÿ™‚

        • blastdoor
        • 11 years ago

        I don’t think it’s a question of whether they are “obligated” to provide anti-virus software. It’s a question of who is best able to do this for the lowest price. The company that makes the OS knows the OS better than anyone. The OS vendor also operates at greater economies of scale than individual anti-virus makers. It just seems to me more efficient and effective to have Apple and MS build virus protection directly into the OS.

          • ludi
          • 11 years ago

          Perhaps, but they wouldn’t…or at least M$ wouldn’t. They’d go license the core of some third party application and then integrate it into the OS. That’s how Windows first obtained integrated file-zipping support (licensed from Winzip), integrated CD burning (licensed from Roxio), integrated NTFS-capable file defragging (licensed from DiskKeeper), and a whole wheelbarrow load of others.

          Edit: Actually, Microsoft has been getting very friendly with AVG, so if Vista SP2 and/or Windows 7 magically adds comprehensive integrated AntiVirus support, that’s what it will probably be.

            • crazybus
            • 11 years ago

            Haven’t heard of Windows OneCare? You’re not missing much in any event. It’s been such a success that it’s being discontinued next year. Apparently there’s a free replacement in the works codenamed “morro”. We’ll see how that works out.

            • Kurlon
            • 11 years ago

            MS actually shipped MS branded antivirus with Dos 6.2 back in the day…

      • no51
      • 11 years ago

      Because there would be companies crying “Anti-Competetive Behaviour”.

        • blastdoor
        • 11 years ago

        I guess MS has to worry about that, but it’s hardly something apple needs to worry about.

    • Alareth
    • 11 years ago

    Why should anyone believe anything Apple says?

    In response to a lawsuit over claimed 3G speeds for the iPhone in advertisements they stated:

    /[<"Plaintiff's claims, and those of the purported class, are barred by the fact that the alleged deceptive statements were such that <]/*[

    • Dirge
    • 11 years ago

    So why did they make the recommendation in the first place, and how could they have gotten it so wrong? I assume there is some sort of review process before Apple posts KnowledgeBase articles.

    Major back peddling on Apple’s part

    • A_Pickle
    • 11 years ago

    I immediately retract my statement in the earlier newspost about this:

    g[<_[

      • highlandr
      • 11 years ago

      Funny thing about these stories? My mom got a virus on her Mac a couple of months ago. In OFFICE!

      Apparently she didn’t read the macro warning that told her macros were a security issue, and didn’t bother researching on the internet how to remove macros.

      She has Norton for Mac, and I still shake my head every time I think about it…

      But thank goodness “The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box” or she would have REALLY been in trouble! </rolleyes>

        • adisor19
        • 11 years ago

        Wait, how can that be ?! Office 2008 doesn’t even support VB macros ! :O

        Adi

          • Usacomp2k3
          • 11 years ago

          And office 2004?

            • tesla120
            • 11 years ago

            Ooooooooo 04 is macro enabled….

            • adisor19
            • 11 years ago

            Indeed, 2004 DOES support VB macros.. ok that would explain it.

            Adi

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Awwwww what a cute little impersonation you got there.

      Seriously though, this whole thing is nothing but a storm in a glass of water. Apple had been reccomending users use some sort of AV software for a long time and mainly to back themselves up in case of lawsuits especially when it comes to that particular “i’m a mac, i’m a pc” add you’re referencing. Is it a good thing to pull the article now ? I don’t know… it could do them more harm in the long run..

      Adi

    • bthylafh
    • 11 years ago

    OSX does have a built-in firewall, but it’s turned off by default. Microsoft at least figured that out with XP SP2.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 11 years ago

    Man, I bet WaltC is pissed – he posted the same link and the same quote in the comments to the other article and you didn’t even have the decency to credit him. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • WaltC
      • 11 years ago

      Nah…This stuff is joyfully shared by all…;) It’s too funny–you can’t make up stuff like this. It’s rich!

    • ludi
    • 11 years ago

    Apple OSX: Now just as secure as Windows Vista!

      • derFunkenstein
      • 11 years ago

      The “Cancel or Allow” commercial never did totally make sense to me:

      1.) I’m a big fan of UAC. It’s the biggest security step that Microsoft has ever taken

      2.) UAC is a password-less version of what OS X has been doing since its inception.

        • Forge
        • 11 years ago

        Problem is, UAC is passwordless and FAR FAR FAR more common.

        I get authorization prompts from my Mac maybe once or twice in an average day. Generally I only see them when I’m making system-wide changes or installing/removing software (also system-wide).

        Vista on the other hand bangs me CONSTANTLY to authorize this little popup window or this minor change to settings, or that stupid file permission change. It’s FAR more common.

        Either of the weaknesses of UAC would be a problem, but together they get users into the routine of mindlessly clicking away the dialog long before they think about WHY it’s popping up. With the OSX version, if it pops up asking my password and I wasn’t expecting it, I generally STOP and wonder why for a few seconds before proceeding. It’s also rare enough for users to get a feel for what kind of things provoke it. UAC fails in that respect.

        Now I do know that a lot of problems with UAC nagging are due to bad programming practices being brought to light, but JEEZ, a lot of these ‘bad practices’ are being exposed in **MS SOFTWARE**.

        If UAC is the answer, the question was very poorly phrased.

          • Meadows
          • 11 years ago

          I can keep using my computer for days or even an entire week without seeing a single prompt – I don’t install something new every hour now, my system is pretty much finalized, the most common prompt is that of Rivatuner after booting (I have it start automatically) and yes, you’ve guessed it, I only see it when I reboot (and I don’t do that often, to say the least).
          So let’s just say I’m not bothered, and it’s comforting to know that nothing can install without my knowledge.

            • A_Pickle
            • 11 years ago

            I’d still say they need to tone down the UAC bullshit. I’ll be honest: I do NOT run with User Account Control enabled, because it’s downright obnoxious. I play around in _[

            • Firestarter
            • 11 years ago

            Creating a folder in the Program Files folder isn’t really up to you anyway, so at least one prompt is to be expected. It’s a shame that it doesn’t end with that one prompt, but that’s quite easy to fix: make sure that separate folder windows launch in separate processes. Then you can just right-click on the Explorer quick launch icon and run it as administrator.

            That’s something Microsoft should’ve fixed, I agree. But it doesn’t render the concept of UAC useless. It just makes it all too obvious how much we hate change.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            I gotta ask – why are you fooling around in a system folder so often?

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            Exactly.

            • no51
            • 11 years ago

            It’s the best place to hide porn.

            • tesla120
            • 11 years ago

            I hide my porn in a folder on my desktop labeled “Porn”

            • Meadows
            • 11 years ago

            I just lock my computer with a password. No family member may (and can) touch anything without my permission and personal presence, and I hardly have to hide anything now because they stopped asking to use my PC long ago. Now they hammer my brother instead.

            • tesla120
            • 11 years ago

            ya, i know what thats like… 256 AES hard drives are nice….

            • A_Pickle
            • 11 years ago

            TrueCrypt?

            • tesla120
            • 11 years ago

            ya, keeps out the honest people and ones who like to tinker… I doubt it would hold up to any real agencies who want to get in… but its not as easy as going to command prompt and removing a standard windows password

            • konig
            • 11 years ago

            apple lies is no wonder , the only way they can sell, if the looks are important for you no matter if it works or not ,,apple is the way..many if not all mac maniacs lies themselves while they are in havoc

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            WTF was that? Certainly not English. Get out of here, spammer!

            • A_Pickle
            • 11 years ago

            Pfft. Best place is in a directory in your _[

            • A_Pickle
            • 11 years ago

            Most of the time, it involves tweaking a config file for a game or something.. but also, dropping addons for Garry’s Mod into the _[

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            Putting things in Program Files is only useful if the Start menu was more like a docked Applications folder in OS X – a true representation of the files located there, rather than an abstracted list that has to be either created manually or as part of an installer. Because you have the abstracted list, you can create a Program Files folder either in your home folder (C:\Users\A_Pickle) or the public users folder (C:\Users\Public) and put those apps there, and add shortcuts to your desktop/Start menu that point there instead.

            • A_Pickle
            • 11 years ago

            But I don’t want to. My Public folder is for quickly sharing stuff over the network, and most all of my C:\Users\A_Pickle folder is pretty clearly labeled: Documents is for office documents. Pictures is for pictures. Videos is for videos. I already have a folder for programs, and that’s C:\Program Files — and I’m sorry, I’m not going to excuse FOUR user account control prompts for pasting a bloody folder.

            I can live with one — because that’s all I ought to have to give. I’m not ignorant of the importance of protecting the Program Files folder, I’m just saying: It’s ridiculous to prompt me FOUR times.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 11 years ago

            eh, maybe. But from an “official” (as what I’ve pointed out is Microsoft’s answer) point of view, you’re doing it wrong.

          • StashTheVampede
          • 11 years ago

          Most of the problem with UAC lies with the fact that applications install to the default system folder of %systemroot%\Program Files\XXX.

          This folder has now be designated as a location where OS files go and if you want to go there: you have to ask permission. Combine this with the fact that many applications aren’t completely self contained — they need additional applications/libraries with their own installer (pidgin is a simple example).

          UAC tweaks are coming in additional SPs and Windows 7.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 11 years ago

          if you’re logged in as the user that installed OS X, the Applications folder won’t prompt you for installing an app unless it’s the installer process. So maybe I should rephrase it – “installing” an app via drag-and-drop won’t prompt you if you’re the original user. Apps that require running as admin on either platform are not Microsoft or Apple’s fault, but the fault of the vendor.

            • ludi
            • 11 years ago

            True, although to be fair, Microsoft /[

          • tesla120
          • 11 years ago

          go work in computer services for macs… then go run updates on all your mac computers… ill take a more frequent OK button over a password any day

      • Meadows
      • 11 years ago

      Progress is necessary.

    • Hattig
    • 11 years ago

    I wondered why so many sites got so hot under the collar over such non-news.

    • Meadows
    • 11 years ago

    Apple makes me laugh. Often.

      • Kulith
      • 11 years ago

      Because Apple’s a joke.

        • Meadows
        • 11 years ago

        A joke a day, keeps the… wait a moment.

    • Jigar
    • 11 years ago

    Adi, are you happy now ?

      • adisor19
      • 11 years ago

      Yes. Yes i am. TR has posted an article pointing out how this was a non news in the first place. At the same time Apple pulled the article probably to cool down the blogosphere.

      Adi

        • WaltC
        • 11 years ago

        Problem is, though–and I really have no more stomach muscles free for chuckling at this point so I don’t want to discuss it much further–is that you initially said it was “non news” because “everybody knew” that Apple had had such advice posted for a long time. Now, Apple has retracted all of that long-offered advice as “old news” which no longer applies. That pretty much directly contradicts your earlier comments. Apple marketing is nothing if not blissfully funny…;) The odd thing to me is that anyone takes what they say with anything other than a huge grain of salt.

          • A_Pickle
          • 11 years ago

          You mean a really, very, tiny grain of salt.

        • tesla120
        • 11 years ago

        Maybe Cyril read through the 150 comments yesterday….

        • eitje
        • 11 years ago

        What article? There was no article.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This