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Sophos study finds that one fifth of Macs carry malware

Windows threats are most common
Tue Apr 24 2012, 14:18

SECURITY FIRM Sophos has revealed that one fifth of all Macs are harbouring some kind of malware, further damaging the reputation of Apple computers.

Following the recent Flashback Trojan story, Sophos examined 100,000 Macs and found that one in five, or 20 per cent, had some sort of malware onboard. Most of the threats were for Windows PCs, which although not harmful to a Mac can be spread to other computers.

Sophos also found that one in every 36 Macs was carrying Mac OS X malware, which can be spread via "USB drives, email attachments, website download, or even a silent drive-by installation", Sophos explained.

Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos said, "Some Mac users may be relieved that they are seven times more likely to have Windows viruses, spyware and Trojans on their Macs than Mac OS X-specific malware, but Mac malware is being surprisingly commonly encountered. Mac users need a loud wake-up call about the growing malware problem."

To make sure your Mac isn't under threat, Sophos advises running an anti-virus program, keeping security patches up-to-date, and exercising caution about the programs you install, the links you click on and the attachments you open.

Apple was not available for comment at the time of writing. µ


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