Enough with the “Invulnerable” BS, Okay?
Mac OS X invulnerability to malware is a myth, says security firm
Following it is an article which lays out how Macs are not “immune” to malware.
To quote two commenters: first, “Duh.” And second, “It’s a myth that there is a myth of invulnerability.”
Another commenter posts that “every single Mac owner” he has ever known claimed their Macs were “immune.” Something tells me that whatever number of people told him this said that their Macs were immune to PC malware, probably specific types that were the subject of conversation.
This is likely the source of the “Macs are invulnerable” myth. I have never heard a Mac user claim this, but people who dislike Macs and/or Mac users claim it all the time. It’s probably from just such cases–“Oh, you were hit by Conficker? Heh, my Mac is immune to that. I don’t even run antivirus software.” The Mac user does not mean “my Mac is perpetually invulnerable to any kind of attack,” but the annoyed PC user hears it that way, and starts spreading the claim.
However, articles like the one on Ars will be around as long as antivirus vendors are. And PC users will continue to perpetuate the “invulnerable” myth despite it’s lack of basis in fact, because it was never about facts, but about wanting to have something with which to attack their sources of annoyance.
So essentially, there’s no evidence that a wave of Mac viruses is headed for your computer. Not that it’s impossible, mind you–Mac OS X is very strong, but not completely impenetrable. It is assumed that at some point, a virus will break through. But it is also acknowledged that cracking OS X with any kind of substantial virus or worm is extraordinarily difficult.
Which remains true–there have been no viruses or worms that have had any success in infecting the Mac community–they are primarily trojans, which are more about tricking the user than they are about defeating the system’s security. That the Flashback trojan was able to infect without getting a password is troubling, however, and hopefully there will be re-thinking on Apple’s part toward eliminating that possibility.
Once again, the Mac is not invulnerable. It’s just safer.