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01 December 2008, 15:02

Apple recommend anti-virus software [Update 2]

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Apple have for the first time publicly recommended anti virus software in a quietly released Tech Note. In this brief document Apple suggest users make widespread use of different anti-virus solutions to make life harder for virus writers.

The Tech Note then lists three different options, Intego VirusBarrier X5, Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11 for Macintosh and McAfee VirusScan for Mac as options. Missing from the list is ClamXav, the Mac OS X GUI port of the GPL licensed ClamAv, though as Apple qualifies, the list given is not a recommendation or an endorsement.

The recommendation may come as a shock to some Mac OS X users who have, to date, witnessed no viral infections on the Mac platform. For others, however, a better safe than sorry approach is best practice for security and a diverse culture of AV software installed on Mac systems would help manage a potential viral outbreak.

Update: It now appears the Tech Note was an update to a previously issued recommendation to run anti-virus software, which does reinforce the fact that no matter what platform you are running, good quality anti-virus protection is always recommended by everyone.

Update 2: Since writing this article, Apple has removed the tech note in question. Bill Evans, Apple spokesman said "We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate. The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box.". He also added "“Since no system can be 100% immune from every threat, running anti-virus software may offer additional protection".


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