Posted on | November 2, 2010 | add a comment
This should humbleÃ‚Â Apple fans fond of bragging about how safe their Macs are: Antivirus supplier Sophos today made their enterprise-class Mac AV product free to consumers.
The free consumer version, called Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Mac, is completely free, forever, no strings attached, says Chris Kraft, product management vice president at Sophos.
It is exactly the same as the paid version currently protecting over 100 million business users worldwide. Sophos sells security services exclusively to businesses and large organizations.
The software protects Mac users against both Mac and Windows-specific threats including Trojan horses, viruses, worms and spyware, and is being released in response to growing concern about Mac malware.
“While most businesses recognize the importance of protecting their Mac computers from malware threats, most home users do not,” says Kraft. “By offering free industrial-strength security to home users, we aim to protect Mac users against today’s and tomorrow’s Mac threats. Everyone knows that Macs are beautiful computers – Sophos wants to lend a hand to keep them that way.”
A recent Sophos survey of 640 people revealed 95% of respondents expect Macs to be increasingly targeted by malware. Although malware is more common on Windows than it is on Mac, Apple’s growing market share makes Mac an increasingly attractive platform for malware authors and hackers to target.
Cybercriminals who specialize in Mac hacks already have:
- Tainted legitimate-looking vendors’ sites with download of Mac malicious code.
- Planted Mac malware disguised as pirated software available for download on P2P file-sharing sites.
- Dispersed links to sexy online videos that lure Mac users into installing a plug-in to view the content that actually silently downloads a Mac Trojan horse.
- Sent out tainted Twitter Tweets carrying links to websites designed to infect Mac computers.
- Relayed Windows viruses, arriving via email, social network messaging or a tainted USB thumb drive, from Mac users onto their Windows-using friends and colleagues.
- Infected virtual installations of Windows installed on a Mac.
“Most people don’t know that Apple acknowledged the malware problem by integrating rudimentary protection against a handful of Mac Trojans in Snow Leopard. But 95% of those surveyed are convinced that more is on the way,” says Graham Cluley, Sophos senior technology consultant. “Wise Mac users will secure their computers now, outwitting malware authors Ã¢â‚¬â€œ if we make their jobs of infecting Macs damn difficult, they will go elsewhere to make a quick buck.”
Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition provides automatic on-access detection that runs in the background, which means Mac users donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to run any manual scans to be protected against the millions of viruses, worms, spyware and Trojans in existence. Furthermore, strong disinfection capabilities make it easy to clean-up an infection should malware already be in place.
Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Mac is backed by SophosLabs, the global network of highly skilled researchers and analysts at Sophos, protecting businesses from known and emerging malware.
Sophos has also launched this dedicated Mac support forum to allow users to interact with others in their community and get any questions answered about the product or Mac security.
Welcome to the Wild Wild Web Mac fans!
By Byron Acohido