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Free Sophos Anti-virus Shows "Danger" Of Mac Popularity

SecurityNews
by Desire Athow
, 03 Nov 2010News

The release by security firm Sophos of the first free Mac anti-virus highlights the growing pangs of security on the Mac, an ecosystem that was once heralded as being safe compared to Microsoft's Windows.

However, the Apple Mac is fast becoming a popular platform with roughly one in every nine computers on the planet running on one version of the operating system, according to latest data from Hitslink.

This is what has motivated Sophos to release the product for consumers first because of the perception amongst Mac home users that they are quasi immune.

Indeed, Apple markets Mac OS X as one which doesn't get PC viruses and one which has built-in defenses that help the users stay safe from other malware.

However, the recent Java-based Trojan malware that exploited vulnerabilities on the Mac OS X platform showed that no platform is totally safe and that vulnerabilities can be amplified by lack of awareness.

It is likely that hackers start to target Apple computers even more because (a) they know that Apple users tend to care less about security (b) the Mac user base is steadily growing (c) Apple users tend to be more affluent than Windows ones.

The Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac Home Edition can be downloaded here and Sophos doesn't intend to charge for it for a foreseeable future.

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