So I was reading this post last night about switching from XP to Mac which covers this entire blog in one post! (well, kinda :)
It is a really good overview post of almost every commonly encountered piece of Mac OS X and has some nice recommendations in it but he makes a bold claim which I have heard many times both before and after switching and I have been meaning to cover on this blog.
If you never want to worry about viruses infecting your computer again to delete all your vital information, then perhaps the switch to a Mac is more worth your time than you think!
Surely it is naive of us all to simply assume that because there hasn’t been a virus that has been successfully distributed on Mac OS yet, that there never will be and it is only something that Windows users have to worry about! Ok so the competition to write a virus for the Mac was cancelled, but that doesn’t mean that there are not people actively writing malicious code for this platform.
Security updates are posted all the time for Mac OS (there have even been several in even the few weeks since I have had my Mac) so it certainly isn’t that the operating system is invulnerable to exploits. More importantly, as the usage of Mac OS increases (via Intel Mac’s, Boot Camp, etc) so the surface area of the platform also increases as does the number of people working on developing sucessful malicious code. It is a ticking bomb.
I know there are virus checkers available (ClamXav, Norton Anti-Virus, etc, etc, etc) that currently scan for known (Windows) viruses so that Mac’s don’t act as a conduit for those viruses even though they can’t run them themselves but wouldn’t it be better for the Mac community to spread a different message than “You don’t need a virus checker!” because on Windows, it took years of education and even direct operating system changes to condition users into recognising the need for a virus checker and making sure it was updated regularly. When it happens for Mac OS, we will have this fight to win from square one.
I will end this with my own bold claim (why not!). There are at this very moment people working on malicious code for Mac OS X (no, it’s not me!) and I believe that it is inevitable that Mac OS will be hit by a successful malicious attack in the next couple of years and I believe we should be preparing for it.