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Apple pulls anti-virus support page

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.

by MacNN Staff



  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969



    the company removed the document saying it the Mac already has technologies to protect users from viruses: "The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box."

    Oh, please. It's better written. That's not a built-in technology. It's just a better technology. (Oh, I guess they have to make it sound good for the Windows users who don't know what that would mean?).

    Although the OS only protects against system-wide threats. Viruses aren't relevant as the distribution system isn't there (and that whole 'better written' stuff again). But there's very little a system can do to protect against malware and trojans, which are mostly social attacks, not programmaical.

  1. JuanGuapo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    This is news?

    Must be a slow day..

  1. mytdave

    Joined: Dec 1969


    missed opportunity

    Again, Apple PR blunder. They're missing an opportunity here. Instead of pulling the document, they should have updated it with some useful information, something along the lines of "while there is currently almost no malware that affects Macs, the compatible nature of file systems allows the storage of files from all types of sources. Mac systems could store files that are infected with Windows viruses, which in turn could be passed on to friends or associates with Windows based computers." "We suggest users become educated about computer security issues. Here are a few resources to get you started..." Something like that...

    Then they could throw in a few links to anti-virus resources and/or wikipedia to give users places to go to start learning about options.

    It would show a "proactive" approach on their part, and with very little effort. I think Apple needs to Think Different and just think. Use your brains here folks, you could turn this into good PR.

  1. jmourato

    Joined: Dec 1969


    sometimes you justneed it

    We deploy AV software for mac os 10.4/5 and Linux boxes that host PC files and/or host mail servers.

    Yes and I'm really happy we have those apps around, as they do their work.

    Sometimes you just need a good AV software

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