That latest Symantec anti-virus press release about Macs being infected by viruses sooner or later really ticked me off. It’s popular knowledge that the more popular Macs become, the more likely they will be attacked by hackers/virus-writers. But just check out this quote from Symantec: “The market penetration of Macintosh platforms will be accelerated by the much lower priced Mac mini, which may be purchased by less security-savvy users. As a result, the number of vulnerabilities can be expected to increase, as will malicious activity that targets them”. Come on… isn’t this just a lousy ploy to scare users into buying your $70 product or $150 security suite!?!
My biggest peeve was that the entire report was completely groundless. They even had the cheek to mention that in 2004, 37 security breaches were identified on the OS X. Hmm, isn’t that a really low figure compare to other operating systems we know of? Furthermore, all of them were quickly handled by Apple before anyone could do anything about it! Just read eWeek’s article “Mac Threats: Is Symantec Crying Wolf?” for more Symantec sillyness.
So now that you know how much I dislike Symantec, here’s something about their Norton Anti-virus for Mac product… What virus? OS X has yet to be infected for me to install it. The opportunity cost for Norton auto-protect is that it takes up precious system resources which could be better used by other more important applications. Still, taking David Coursey’s cue about spending too much on Mac security, I decided to find an alternative solution just in case viruses or exploits do spread to the Mac.
I found clamXav. clamXav is a free virus checker for Mac OS X. It uses the tried, tested and very popular ClamAV6 open source antivirus engine as a back end. I’ll be trying that out and saving my money for a Sony PSP or something more intelligent than the Symantec Anti-Virus for Mac B.S.