Should You Have AntiVirus Software On Your Mac

Should You Have Antivirus Software On Your Mac?


This is an age-old question. I have a household with 7 computers. About half are MAC OS X based. All are running Time-Machine backups, one of my favorite features under MAC OS X.

On the Windows XP side the answer is a clear yes. I don?t think I would last a week, without having a virus attack. On windows XP in my opinion antivirus is a must have. You need antivirus especially if you have High School age children or College age children.

The Windows Vista side of the house the answer is not so clear you might be able to do without it, if you had too. With 2 kids in college, the minute they touch a computer, it?s under attack.  Yet the Windows Vista operating system by design is much more secure.

On the MAC OS X side, I have avoided putting antivirus on the computers. I have done it for two reasons:

  • I don?t want it slowing down my computer
  • I hate paying the 40-60 dollars a year.

On top of that its not just antivirus, they want you give you SPAM filters, firewalls, etc. Not only does it all not slow down your computer, but also one day you try to do something only to find out the firewall is preventing it from happening.  So for over two years, I have avoided buying, installing antivirus software for all my machines running the MAC OS X operating systems and I have had no problems.  Yes two of those computers are with college age children. So my natural bias is you don?t need it.

Given the state of the world, lets get back to the question at hand. Should you have antivirus software on your mac ?

This Article recently appeared in ZDNET….

Mac OS X targeted by Trojan and backdoor tool

By Matthew Broersma
Posted on ZDNet News: Nov 21, 2008 4:38:55 AM

Two pieces of malicious software affecting Apple’s Mac OS X appeared this week: a Trojan horse with the ability to download and install malicious code of an attacker’s choice, and a hacker tool for creating backdoors, according to security vendors.

The Trojan ? called ‘OSX.RSPlug.D’ by Intego, the Mac security specialist that discovered the threat ? is a variant on an older piece of malicious code but with a new installer, Intego said.

“It is a downloader, and it contacts a remote server to download the files it installs,” Intego said in an advisory. “This means that, in the future, the downloader may be able to install payloads [other] than the one it currently installs.”

In other respects the Trojan is similar to previous versions of RSPlug, which first surfaced in October 2007, Intego said. It installs a piece of malicious code known as DNSChanger, which routes the user’s internet traffic through a malicious DNS server, leading users to phishing websites or pages displaying advertisements.

The Trojan is found on porn websites posing as a codec needed to play video files, a technique used to trick the user into downloading and installing it.

Intego said OSX.RSPlug.D has been widely confused with a separate threat publicized this week by several security firms. That threat is called OSX.TrojanKit.Malez by Intego and OSX.Lamzev.A by other vendors, including Symantec and Trend Micro.

OSX.Lamzev.A is a hacker tool designed primarily to allow attackers to install backdoors in a user’s system, according to Intego. However, the company dismissed the tool as a serious threat because a potential hacker has to have physical access to a system to install the backdoor.

“Unlike true malware and Trojan horses, OSX.TrojanKit.Malez requires that a hacker already have access to a Mac in order to install the code,” Intego stated.

To read the remainder of the story….

Mac OS X targeted by Trojan and backdoor tool

So back to the original question.

Given the state of the world, lets get back to the question at hand. Should you have antivirus software on your mac ?

Given the popularity the Mac has had of late. We will see more Viruses targeted at the Mac OS. You need to think about how you use the computer, the type of sites you visit. The types of emails, your firends send you. As much as I have enjoyed saving the money for not having purchased antivirus for my MAC the past few years, it might be time to re-think having it. 

 To Quote Apple Corporation on This


“The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box.”

I found this quote in an article on . The article was titled 

Apple Removes Antivirus Support Note, Reiterates OS X’s Built-In Protection

Apple’s Security Paradox

Posted Michael Corey,

Founder & CEO, Ntirety









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