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."