Macs don’t get viruses, right? Not so fast, says anti-virus firm Sophos; the company released their free anti-virus scanner at the start of the month, and currently have around 150,000 users. They’ve just released the first batch of stats regarding malware, virus and exploit activity reported back to their servers, and the figures are already prompting controversy.
The stats above are based on 50,000 reports from Mac users – not all of whom had found any malware with the Sophos tool – and several of the entries are Windows-specific. So, a Mac user could have signs of Conficker on their machine, but since it only affects Windows that’s no great problem. Several others are Java-based attacks, which trigger downloads and could, Sophos says, be tweaked to download a Mac-specific payload.
It’s a fair point, but not enough to convince many users who suspect Sophos may be more interested in promoting their software than accurately representing the actual spread of Mac-specific malware. Sophos suggests that by burying “their heads in the sand” OS X users are making themselves easy targets for future malware authors.