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Do you have anti-virus software installed on your Mac?

  • Yes

    Votes: 1 3.8%
  • No

    Votes: 25 96.2%
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BitDefender, makers of security software Windows computers, today announced the release antivirus software for Mac OS X users.

Similar to its Window's products, BitDefender Antivirus for Mac has been developed to secure Mac computer systems from viruses and other malware threats.

The company says that while Apple systems have traditionally remained sheltered from virus's and other forms of malware, hackers are increasingly creating threats to exploit the vulnerabilities in Mac OS X and popular Mac applications. Bitdefender claims there are currently more than 270 different know threats targeting Mac OS X operating systems.

"Although there are fewer threats targeted towards Mac users, it only takes one threat to lose sensitive information, valuable data or an identity." said Catalin Cosoi, BitDefender senior researcher.

One year subscriptions for Antivirus for Mac and Antivirus for Mac and PC are $39.95 and $49.95 U.S. respectively.
 

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I can't imagine myself wasting money on this. Not that I don't take security seriously. But when I visit their site they don't even know I'm on a Mac. It's easy to detect which platform I'm using at the web server and they should bring up the Mac product page when I go to their website. So I wouldn't trust them to protect me from the remote possibility I could get a virus.



Perception is everything.
 

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OTA Forum Moderator
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Reasons for and against it, depending...

Against

The PR blurb from BitDefender's site tries to scare people into believing that there is a surge of OS X virus/worm/trojan developers just waiting to perfect their evil attacks, and when they come you'd better be ready... well, we've been waiting for decades for Unix (OS X's basis) to suffer that fate, but it never happens. OS X security patches are fairly regular and are easy to automate. Again, no viruses/worms/trojans for OS X. There is no credibility to any belief that a company like BitDefender has some sort of insider knowledge that OS X is about to be broken open in the same way that Windows has been all along.

So, I do not see any rationale for putting this on the 2 Macs in my home. I do not run any Microsoft OSes, just Linux and OS X, so this product is of zero interest to me.

For

OTOH, a rationale for using this product would be In a mixed corporate environment of Macs and PCs in which the users routinely insert USB drives and other such gear while also receiving lots of random email and external data. An IT department responsible for PCs has to try to eliminate any vectors for direct injection of virus/worm/trojan-laden files into their system, so while the PCs would of course be running their AV software the Macs in such a system would be triaging any files they come across from external sources.

Summary

Home users can pass on the expense of this silly product, while IT sysadmins in mixed shops should give it some thought. AV scanning software is available for Linux, Unix, mainframes, and OS X for just such reasons - not that they need it, but the Windows machines sure do! :eek:
 

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There may some merit in the product if it can actually protect users against social-engineered types of malware, like phishing, etc. Perhaps third-party add-on vulverabilites like Adobe Acrobat could be protected as well.

If they are trying to promote the idea that OS X needs operating-system level protection of the same magnitude as Windows, then they won't have much of a value proposition.
 

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On their website they use the term "malware" without saying what they actually mean, until you get to this statement that says it all:
BitDefender Antivirus for Mac addresses both sides of this issue in that it keeps Mac computers free from Mac viruses while stopping threats that target other platforms, but which may pass through the Mac environment.
So there you have it - they want to protect your OS X machines from imaginary Mac Viruses, your Unix machines from imaginary Unix Viruses, and your Linux machines from imaginary Linux viruses. Oh yeah, and all those Windows machines from all those real Windows viruses too.

On OS X the mail clients and all the browsers (including Safari) have anti-phishing built in now anyways, so there's no value-added from that perspective even if BitDefender did do that.
 

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Also keep in mind that AV products can do more damage than the "malware" they supposedly protect a system against. BitDefender recently released a virus update that trashed thousands of PCs before a fix was issued. It took me hours to repair the OS after BitDefender deleted hundreds of application and system files that registered as false positives. It's not the first time I've seen systems trashed by AV products either.
 
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