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Apple Encourages Mac Users To Employ Anti-Virus Software

December 2, 2008

Apple is encouraging all Mac users to purchase anti-virus software in order to protect their products while browsing the Web.

In November, Apple posted a note to its support site telling customers they should use one or more of three anti-virus software products.

“Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult.”

Up until now, Apple has always touted their machines as being immune to many of the security breaches that commonly affect machines using Microsoft’s Windows operating system. The vast majority of malicious programs circulating online are aimed at Microsoft’s Windows, because it is the most commonly used platform among PC users.

The note comes in light of a new trend among cyber criminals that aims to trap Mac users on the Web. A handful of viruses have been written that targets Mac’s OSX, but most have been demonstration versions only and few have had any significant impact on Apple users.

Many hi-tech criminals seek to steal valuable information such as login names, passwords or game accounts instead of trying to install themselves on a machine.

One virus, known as AppleScript.THT, could take control of a Mac and grab screenshots or keystrokes.

The three products recommended by Apple were McAfee VirusScan, Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11, or Intego VirusBarrier X5.

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