Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Apple recommends multiple anti-virus packages

Today, Dec. 2, Apple posted a recommendation that its customers (using various versions of Mac OS) use more than one anti-virus protection package. Apple recommends Intego VirusBarrier X5, Symantec Norton Anti-Virus, and McAfee. The link (which has a survey interrupt) is here.

Information Week has a longer story by Thomas Claburn today, link here.

Claburn notes that Microsoft’s market share, at least with Linux thrown in, is not what it was, so it is not quite as attractive a “target”, relatively speaking, as it used to be. Furthermore most major Apple products (like iTunes) are available on Windows machines and more and more windows users find that they need them. Claburn seems to feel that the underlying BSD Unix foundation architecture for the Mac is less easily compromised. However, I know of cases (back to around 2001) where entrepreneurs running small ISP servers from Unix servers have been compromised and have had to rebuild their machines (to use their vernacular).

I'm not aware that "multiple packages" are recommended even for Windows, where they could interfere. Many people have both the Microsoft firewall and a regular (like Norton or McAfee) personal firewall.

I bought an iMac in February 2002, when it was new, and have not found it to be more stable than Windows as a whole. I've had trouble with Internet Explorer locking up and becoming unusable. I use it to watch DVD's right now. I may decide that I need a (much!) newer Mac if I get FinalCut.

Update: Dec. 3

Apple has reversed itself, with a Cnet download.com blog entry "Apple deletes Mac antivirus suggestion," by Elinor Mills, link here.

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