IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

Sophos: Apple users "soft targets" for malware threats

Security vendor hits out Mac users for not taking anti-virus more seriously.

attack

The dismissive attitude of Apple users to computer viruses needs to change, as research from security vendor Sophos shows that 20 per cent of Macs carry Windows malware.

The firm explained that, while Windows malware is unlikely to cause much disruption to Mac users, it can be easily passed on to other computers.

Moreover, Sophos also discovered that approximately 1 in 36 Apple computers contain Mac OS X malware.

Mac users need to be responsible members of the internet community or they're going to continue passing on viruses

Its findings, published at Infosecurity Europe in London today, are the result of an analysis by Sophos of 100,000 Mac computers.

Sophos claimed that some of the Windows malware its research uncovered dated back to 2007 and would have been easily detected, if Apple users were not so laid back in their approach to anti-virus.

Speaking to IT Pro, Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos, said the results, along with the discovery of the Mac-focused Flashback malware, should serve as a wake-up call for Apple users.

"For Mac users, the dream is over. They've been living in denial all this time. We've just found 600,000 users infected with Flashback. They are going to have to start running anti-virus," said Cluley.

"Mac users need to be responsible members of the internet community or they're going to continue passing on viruses to other people and contributing to the spam email problem."

He said part of the problem is that many Mac users consider their systems to be impervious to attack from viruses, making them a soft target for hackers and malware authors.

"If you're a bad guy writing malware, you wouldn't write it for computers that are constantly being updated with anti-virus signatures," said Cluley. "Why not write it for the platform where people are more laid-back about things like that?"

Featured Resources

The state of Salesforce: Future of business

Three articles that look forward into the changing state of Salesforce and the future of business

Free Download

The mighty struggle to migrate SAP to the cloud may be over

A simplified and unified approach to delivering Enterprise Transformation in the cloud

Free Download

The business value of the transformative mainframe

Modernising on the mainframe

Free Download

The Total Economic Impact™ Of IBM FlashSystem

Cost savings and business benefits enabled by FlashSystem

Free Download

Recommended

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2021: The year’s best hardware and software
Hardware

The IT Pro Products of the Year 2021: The year’s best hardware and software

31 Dec 2021
Sophos Intercept X Advanced review: AI-powered protection
endpoint security

Sophos Intercept X Advanced review: AI-powered protection

30 Nov 2021
Eight steps to fight ransomware
Whitepaper

Eight steps to fight ransomware

28 Sep 2021
The state of ransomware in retail 2021
Whitepaper

The state of ransomware in retail 2021

23 Aug 2021

Most Popular

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security
Sponsored

Why convenience is the biggest threat to your security

8 Aug 2022
How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
Microsoft Windows

How to boot Windows 11 in Safe Mode

29 Jul 2022
Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres
data centres

Microsoft successfully tests emission-free hydrogen fuel cell system for data centres

29 Jul 2022