In a study conducted by Sophos, it was discovered that 1 in 5 Mac computers contains malware. In the study, 100,000 Macs were tested using Sophos’s free Mac anti-virus software, which led to the discovery that 20% of Mac computers had one or more instances of Windows malware. On top of that discovery, 1 in 36 contained malware targeting Mac OS X which equals out to 2.7% of the Macs tested. While Mac users may feel safer knowing the malware on their machines are mostly Windows specific, it’s no excuse to not keep their computer running clean and virus free. After all, not everyone uses a Mac and that flash drive with your data could easily hide said malware that infects friend’s or loved one’s Windows PCs. What strikes me as most interesting is the fact that some of the Windows viruses detected on the Macs date back as far as 2007, that’s 5 years ago. It is still amazing that in today’s world Apple still stands by the claim their machines don’t get viruses and are safer then conventional Windows PCs. The only reason they are deemed safer is because of their minimal market share but considering Apple’s rising popularity they are more and more likely to become a target. Without anti-virus protection, the malware problems Windows users face could soon befall Mac users, as without any form of protection they are a softer target for cybercriminals.
Sadly, cybercriminals view Macs as a soft target, because their owners are less likely to be running anti-virus software. Bad guys may also believe that Mac users are likely to have a higher level of disposable income than the typical Windows user. So, they might believe the potential for return is much higher.