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Sophos launches free Mac anti-virus

Security specialist Sophos has announced that, contrary to popular belief, Mac users do need anti-virus protection - and it's releasing a free package to help keep the cool crowd safe.

In what Graham Cluley, Sophos's senior technology consultant, describes as "a pretty exciting move," the company is launching a Mac OS X version of its Sophos Anti-Virus package completely free of charge, providing you're a home rather than a business user.

The offer, which Cluley details in a blog post entitled "Yes, you need anti-virus on your Mac... and now it's free," will see all home Mac users given the protection of Sophos Anti-Virus software without having to spend a penny - but is it really required?

Cluley, who it must be said is somewhat less than impartial in this matter, certainly believes so: "Many Mac users may have been too blasé about securing their computers, making the growing Apple userbase an attractive one to target," he explains. "Don't believe me? Well, it's already started."

Detailing numerous web-borne threats that have targeted Mac users, including drive-by downloads from malicious websites, Mac-compatible malware disguised as pirated software on P2P file sharing services, and streaming video services that attempt to fool users into installing Trojans, Cluley indicates that the days of Mac immunity to malware are long gone.

"Wise Mac users will secure their computers now," Cluley opines. "If we make their jobs of infecting Macs damn difficult, they will go elsewhere to make a quick buck."

The Sophos Anti-Virus for Mac package is available for free download now from the Sophos website.