Panda: Mac is less secure than Windows, here's an antivirus

By on October 22, 2010, 1:58 PM
The number of Mac OS vulnerabilities has quintupled in less than a year. In 2009, 34 vulnerabilities were detected for Mac OS. So far in 2010, this number has risen to 175 vulnerabilities. Furthermore, the platform can also be affected by 170,000 macro viruses for Windows and there are 5,000 classified strains of malware that specifically target Apple systems, according to Panda Security.

"We would even say that today, the Windows operating system is more secure than Mac, simply because Microsoft has been working proactively on security for many years," Ivan Fermon, SVP Product Management from Panda Security, said in a statement. "As the Apple system has yet to be seriously threatened, it may contain more vulnerabilities than those we are aware of, which could be exploited to launch zero-day attacks similar to those against Windows."

The increased focus of hackers on the Cupertino's products has led the security company to launch Panda Antivirus for Mac for $49.95 or 49.95 (one-year license with complete services). The software offers protection against all kinds of malware that can affect Mac OS, Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux, protecting Apple's operating system as well as preventing those using it from transmitting malware to other OSes. It includes two different scan engines: on-access scanning, for protecting the computer at all times, and on-demand scanning, which lets the user perform checks of the whole system, specific components, as well as Apple iPhone, iPad, and iPod devices.

"Mac security was something Panda had to address," Fermon said. "We believe this is the right time to launch a product like this, given that Apple is becoming globally more popular for various reasons (among others, due to the success of other devices, such as iPad) and could now start to be targeted by hackers."





User Comments: 37

Got something to say? Post a comment
princeton princeton said:

Why? Wouldn't it be more fun to see the apple users who say things like "Mac is better at photoshop than windows" and "Macs don't get viruses" get attacked by these viruses and then have apples sales go back down where they should be.

Leeky Leeky said:

No computer is completely safe from virus', even *nix based OS' like Linux and Unix. This includes OS X, and any other version of Mac's OS as well.

I've never been able to understand why anyone would *think* they're safe from virus infections. I personally use BitDefender on all my Linux and BSD installs for this reason. I'd rather have protection for the 0.01% of the time it's needed, than the 99.99% of the time I'd get away with not having it.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Viruses love to propagate in an environment with no immunity. All those Mac users who don't believe in Mac viruses will get burned sooner or later. No amount of AV software is going to stop you from clicking on a link and installing something willingly.

bakape said:

As with all businesses, there are viruses as long as there's a target ***** pool.

Staff
Jesse Jesse said:

That "track=53647" at the end of the URL isn't for a referral, is it?

Guest said:

Name ONE, just ONE virus on the Mac OS X.

I'll wait.....until then there is no need for this.

Emil said:

prismatics said:

That "track=53647" at the end of the URL isn't for a referral, is it?

I don't know but I've removed it in case it was.

danteoz said:

Guest said:

Name ONE, just ONE virus on the Mac OS X.

I'll wait.....until then there is no need for this.

HellRTS.D Backdoor

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

danteoz said:

Guest said:

Name ONE, just ONE virus on the Mac OS X.

I'll wait.....until then there is no need for this.

HellRTS.D Backdoor

No instances of it "in the wild".

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

Emil you really dig up those anti mac news. It's a shame you're so biased. It looks like you're obsessed with trashing Apple.

This week alone Apple has reported one of their most profitable quarters and they even had a keynote presenting a bunch of different products and there were no news from you about any of it.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

danteoz said:

Guest said:

Name ONE, just ONE virus on the Mac OS X.

I'll wait.....until then there is no need for this.

HellRTS.D Backdoor

to add:

~OSX/Inqtana.A

~Leap.A (aka Oompa-Loompa)

These may have been secured by now, but they make it obvious that Mac isn't perfect...that it is vulnerable. Whether it be a full fledged virus like HellRTS.D, or simple malware like the ones I listed, only the fool would believe Mac to be invincible. As Mac gets more and more popular, more hackers will look into writting viruses for it. Right now, there's no point. Why wright a virus for an operating system that only has something like 11% of the market, when you can target the biggest operating system used by most big businesses?

The other reason for so many Windows viruses is not only because Windows dominates the OS market, but also because it is easier to get control of. Even as a Windows user myself, I know how vulnerable the OS is...I don't deny it. But Mac is not invincible. I'm not looking forward to the day when us Windows users get to say "mm-hm...told you so" as I would never wish that upon anyone, but that day will come. Maybe it'll be soon, maybe it'll be years from now, but that day will come. Nothing is perfect.

Leeky Leeky said:

Any OS is vunerable, but that way Unix/Linux OS's run with permissions generally prevents them from causing any harm.

The worms (I think it was anyway) that were found to be included in certain torrent downloaded Adobe Photoshop and iWork '09 copies an example. Sure as long as you didnt "authenticate" when asked (which gave admin rights to install the nasties) you were safe. Plenty of people unwillingly did give permission though and consequently infected there OSX installs. You could argue it was well deserved for downloaing illegal software, but it still proves the point that infections are possible.

I would be surprised if less than 50% of those using a computer today hadn't at some point given admin rights without actually understanding why. It only takes this to happen once at the wrong time and you then have an infected computer, with no antivirus to warn you of the infection.

It is a known fact that worms, and malware have been found for MacIntosh OS computers - Viruses themselves have also been found in the past - I don't know of any for OSX but previous OS versions had some.

Ultimately no system can remain virus free without protection, and while it might only be a 0.01% threat, its still one none-the-less. That's without the simple fact you could also be passing Windows based viruses to people you communicate with using Windows OS'. It might not affect your computer, but would you act with the same negligence if you knowingly passed a virus to a Windows user and caused major damage?

matrix86 matrix86 said:

sngx1275 said:

danteoz said:

Guest said:

Name ONE, just ONE virus on the Mac OS X.

I'll wait.....until then there is no need for this.

HellRTS.D Backdoor

No instances of it "in the wild".

Doesn't matter. The point is that it existed. The mere fact that it existed is proof that Mac is indeed vulnerable to attacks, whether big or small. I'm not trying to trash Apple here, just using the little thing called "common sense." Like I said before, the more popular it becomes, the more viruses will be written for it. After-all, if you were a hacker, wouldn't you go for the more popular, more vulnerable OS? Once Mac gets popular, and hackers begin to finds back doors, we'll see Macs getting attacked more often. For now, Windows is just too easy...hackers are just that lazy, lol.

Staff
Rick Rick, TechSpot Staff, said:

Panda: Mac is less secure than Windows
Of course, because Panda wants to sell you their software...

Relic Relic, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

I never understood why Mac users think they're invincible. All operating systems are vulnerable to some extent and can be exploited. While they may have been protected by small numbers, their growth & popularity over the years will make them a target, especially in the mobile area.

Guest said:

http://store.apple.com/us/search?find=antivirus

Even Steve Jobs thinks you need antivirus on your mac, or he would not sell it.

bakape said:

Guest said:

http://store.apple.com/us/search?find=antivirus

Even Steve Jobs thinks you need antivirus on your mac, or he would not sell it.

/bump, definetly!

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

Maybe there are no viruses on Mac because it's like UAC and doesn't let you do anything.

Wendig0 Wendig0, TechSpot Paladin, said:

st1ckm4n said:

Maybe there are no viruses on Mac because it's like UAC and doesn't let you do anything.

LOL! I love it!

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

Doesn't matter. The point is that it existed. The mere fact that it existed is proof that Mac is indeed vulnerable to attacks, whether big or small. I'm not trying to trash Apple here, just using the little thing called "common sense." Like I said before, the more popular it becomes, the more viruses will be written for it. After-all, if you were a hacker, wouldn't you go for the more popular, more vulnerable OS? Once Mac gets popular, and hackers begin to finds back doors, we'll see Macs getting attacked more often. For now, Windows is just too easy...hackers are just that lazy, lol.

My point in posting that was to note that it was merely a 'proof of concept'. The one dude asked for someone to name one, and the other dude posted just the name of one with no explanation, probably just googled for it. So I made a almost equally short post just noting that it wasn't something that was floating around on a ton of Macs. I wasn't trying to make any arguments for either side, just giving additional information so all the Mac bashers on this site didn't just see one listed and get the wrong impression.

Guest said:

i dont understand why are so many viruses, endless. the OS is for us or for viruses?

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

Well, I suppose that viruses for Mac exist. I don't suppose they're too prevalent. I really don't think that a majority of average Mac owners, would either know that they had one, or believe that they could get one.

With that said, Panda is culpable for a applying a copious amount of scare tactics, in its pursuit of penetrating the Apple market segment.

The logical next step in this development, is for Norton to come along and claim they have a better AV for Mac.

fullmetalvegan fullmetalvegan said:

I don't believe virus' are that prevalent on PC's either - been using them for over a decade and never once gotten a virus. Most of the time when people I know said they had a virus and needed me to fix it, it was actually that they'd just stuffed the PC up on their own and then blamed their stupidity on a phantom virus.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

I agree fullmetal - until MSE I have been running all of my PCs (and I have several) without AV. I run everything behind NAT, and I utilize common sense. Sure that doesn't make me 100% immune, but find an AV that is 100% immune. So I think I do a pretty good job of keeping myself safe.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

As several of the forum members already covered Windows / Mac strengths or lack of it in this area above, I don't want to dwell in it. But I'll add one thing, most of my time on PC in last two decades has been spent on Windows OS, and I have absolutely no infection of any kind in last 18 years (I am only talking about actual 'infections' not OS vulnerabilities, which get fixed in due course of time anyway), so basically it is the 'organic' bit at the keyboard which plays a huge part in undermining whichever OS you are using.

Guest said:

hahaha....I'll wait!

jobeard jobeard, TS Ambassador, said:

Emil you really dig up those anti mac news. It's a shame you're so biased. It looks like you're obsessed with trashing Apple.

This week alone Apple has reported one of their most profitable quarters and they even had a keynote presenting a bunch of different products and there were no news from you about any of it.

On the whole, Techspot is a great site, but like any collection of people, some are limited in their view or experience and that imples to them that everything else just must be trash(ed). It's too bad as imo it drives others away.

Citing news without adding slurs is fair game.

Frankly, I joke with my friends the B.G. is the 666 of the pc world (OMG! I just did it too, didn't I ) :giggle:

captaincranky captaincranky, TechSpot Addict, said:

On the whole, Techspot is a great site, but like any collection of people, some are limited in their view or experience and that imples to them that everything else just must be trash(ed). It's too bad as imo it drives others away.

Citing news without adding slurs is fair game.

Frankly, I joke with my friends the B.G. is the 666 of the pc world (OMG! I just did it too, didn't I ) :giggle:

At Adobe Forums, Windows is trashed constantly. The constant is this, "I'm going to, (or just bought) a Mac, because now I won't get viruses. So the answer here is, that most of this doesn't apply to experienced Windows users. Mac user think the "I'm a PC" ads were cute, I personally think they were offensive. Funny, but offensive nonetheless.

That said, an ***** with a Mac, is probably safer than an ***** with Windows, but still an ***** nonetheless.

I don't understand how I can download porn all day without getting as much as a tracking cookie, yet these people visit an "innocent sites" such as "Smugmug" and get their computers all jacked up with God knows what. Oh wait, yes I do, I know what I'm doing, and understand security. It certainly couldn't have anything to do with their "visits" to "Limewire", or the half dozen toolbars they have installed, now could it?

All of that notwithstanding, the "Aphole Corp" is usually here, posting illiterate, inarticulate rants, under the "nom de plume", "Guest", that mostly seem to have been generated by third world, third graders, who have English as a 3rd or 4th language, who are erstwhile busily commenting on what a "P***k" I am.

Personally, I'm going to plead stupidity, since I really didn't get that joke, Jobeard.

After this rant, I'll think I'll spend some alone, quality time, trying to divine how much of the "Apple Mystique" is warranted, and how much of it is mass hypnosis, induced in the feeble of mind by Steve Jobs. Don't ever say I'm not an expert at wasting precious time.

You're right though, this is all a turn off, that's why the hit and reply count on these "Apple bashing threads", is so high. Just like a train wreck, nobody seems to be able to look away, even you....

Guest said:

I've had macs for over 20 years and not seen any viruses hitting any of them, but I do think there should be some research into the program "Growl" that is bundled with some software like "Dropbox". I found it working its way through my email box and I had not made any attempt to download it with knowledge but loaded itself with protection through Dropbox. There's defenders of the program and detractors, but when it is loaded without warning and even trying to find mention of it on the Dropbox site takes some delving. There is a seemingly unattractive way this program is installing itself.

Just saying.

Guest said:

What a sham message! $50? Why? There has been free Mac antiviruses for ages, one namely CLAMXAV, http://www.clamxav.com/. So don't panic yet a keep your hard-earned cash.

Guest said:

As an administrator, I have come across multiple infections on mac's brought onto my network. Even worse, is when because the mac user thinks there invincible, comes onto our network and like a pariah, unleashes a bunch of files onto our network which go crazy on our windows boxes.

Think what you want; but its time to be responsible, run yourself a damn AV, protect yourself, and protect the users that you interact with.

(offnote) god I can't wait till the AV neccesity for Internet access law comes into effect in australia next year

Guest said:

this is a sales pitch for panda .... don't fall for it people!

no one seriously thinks any OS is completely secure .. but panda and others like to say that most mac users do, which is not true but makes a better pitch ;)

panda ain't the only anti-virus vendor for osx ;)

Guest said:

here are some other av products for osx, just to balance out this sales pitch a bit :P

http://antivirus.about.com/od/antivirussoftwarereviews/tp/aa
acvir.htm

I'd like to see panda and others compare their products with each other.

Panda does not pick up as much as norton in my experience

ruzveh said:

It can also be the other way round. Probably windows must be hiring these part time hackers or script writers to target these apple systems. Its all part of a corporate gaming.

oasis789 said:

somehow the name panda antivirus does not inspire much confidence.

matrix86 matrix86 said:

And now, ladies and gentlemen...introducing the new virus for both Windows AND Mac..." trojan.osx.boonana.a" Read it on the homepage. And just to point out exactly what i've been saying that was stated in the article:

"This is a sobering reminder that hackers are turning their efforts toward Mac OS X as Apple's marketshare grows..."

Guest said:

Mac users sure are snippy. I had to comment on this little flame war:

http://bit.ly/aAVFPm

It's a good read...

Load all comments...

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.