If there is one question that still surprises people, it is “do Apples get viruses”. This is one myth that has been successfully perpetuated for more than a decade. In short, any piece of software can be hacked, the Apple operating system included. There a number of different reasons that this myth is considered to be a fact by a lot of general users. Here is a closer look at how this myth keeps on living and some real life examples that prove that mac users should definitely have an anti-virus software installed on their computer.
It is important to note that the Mac is still considered to be far more secure than Windows, however Apples do get viruses. The Mac is built on the Unix kernel, which has long been known to be one of the most secure operating systems available, even though it is one of the oldest. To make things even more safe, most of the virus writers tend to be much more familiar with the IBM platform that is used by Windows. This means that when they do create a virus, it will only target Microsoft products. Along with personal knowledge, the scripts and other tools used by hackers to create viruses tend to be created to attack Microsoft Windows. When all of this is added together, the result is that the Mac is more secure, but Apples do still get viruses.
Some Examples of Recent Viruses Created For Apples
Before we get into specific viruses, it is important to note that if you running a virtual PC that emulates Windows, then you are susceptible to any virus that targets Microsoft. Here are a few of the better known viruses that attacks Apples in the past few years.
Foxit Reader Twin
In 2009, a malware program claimed to be a Foxit Reader (free PDF viewer) for Macintosh struck a lot of people. Foxit was only available for Windows, U3, and Linux at the time. The virus claimed to be the Foxit Reader program designed specifically for Apples. It was a variation of the JAHLAV DNS trojan that rerouted users to phishing sites.
This virus was considered to be the first major sign that viruses were starting to attack Macs with a greater frequency. At the time, it was considered to be a fairly small trojan and that some people would never even know that they had it. However, it was also a template that other more damaging Apple targeting viruses were built around. For example, there was one designed to disable all of the built in Mac security features, stole passwords, and could even take pictures with the built in camera.
If you are wondering how do Apples get viruses like this, it is normally downloaded within another program and the parent program is installed, so is the virus.
With more and more people turning to Apples instead of Windows, the number of viruses created specifically for Macs will continue to grow. In the past, nearly 90% of computer users relied on Windows, which didn’t make Macs an attractive target. However, as more people continue to switch from Microsoft to Apples, there is not doubt that the number of potential threats will grow.