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What about Mac Viruses?

MacSlash had a link to an article at the Mac Observer which covered one person’s hunt to find information on Mac Viruses. After searching Network Associates and Virex’s Database using a simple search for the word ‘Macintosh’ and subtracted out all of the viruses that were Word or Excel based Macros (ah the joys of scripting gone bad) he came up with a fat total of……. 26. Yep 26. Then he looked for OS X specific ones from that list and found a grand total of 0. That’s quite amusing.

However, being powered by many tools from UNIX land, Mac OS X must watch the security watches for many of the same exploits that are found in UNIX land but from what I’ve seen Apple has been very good at moving forward with those updates.

While that’s assuring, personally I expect to see more Mac specific viruses in the future if the platform starts picking up. Also, if we add back in the Office based viruses the number jumps up… dramatically. If we add back the Word and Excel based viruses we get around 579 which is quite a few. Just because they come from Word and Excel you can’t wave a hand and say ‘Gee that’s Microsoft’s problem’ since it affects the Mac as well which is bad. But at least 579 is a lot smaller than 71,000.

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