updated 02:25 am EST, Wed December 3, 2008
Anti-virus page removed
Apple has removed a support document that "encouraged" users to install anti-virus software on their Macs, saying that it was old and an inaccurate. After new reports revealed that the document had been around for at least two years, the company removed the document saying it the Mac already has technologies to protect users from viruses: "We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate," Apple spokesman Bill Evans, told Macworld. "The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box." The representative, however, did say that running anti-virus software may offer additional protection.
Recent reports highlighted the irony in Apple's recommendation, as previous marketing had indicated that the company prided itself on a secure system -- Apple even had taken jabs at Microsoft for its virus and security protection. In 2006, the company ran a television advertisement poking fun at Windows' virus protection.
The document recommended users choose from Intego's VirusBarrier X5, McAfee's VirusScan for Mac, and Symantec's Norton Anti-Virus 11, thus indicating that the company had recently updated the document to recommend the latest versions of each product. [updated]
While it appeared to be updated within last few weeks, a new report reveals that the document has been available since last year, despite headlines from the BBC, CNET, and The Washington Post that assumed that the document was new and was the result of new threats and/or a change in the company's official position on virus software.
However, it appears that the reports pointed to an older document that Apple feels is no longer needed. While the company removed the document, it offers very little information about viruses. In its current FAQ for switchers, the company simply says that Mac OS X "resists most viruses".
"Since no system can be 100% immune from every threat, running anti-virus software may offer additional protection," Apple said in its statement to Macworld.