Mac Vulnerabilities Increase Five-Fold in 2010

Dennis Faas's picture

With the Windows family still allowing Microsoft to enjoy the lion's share of the OS market, rival companies are forever left to jockey for second place.

While the goal for these companies is to one day surpass Windows in popularity, there has always been one benefit in playing "second fiddle" to Microsoft: hackers tend follow user demographics. This means that Windows is as much a popular choice for malware attacks as it is for consumers.

Such is true for Apple, who listed only 34 known vulnerabilities within the Mac OS family back in 2009. While even one vulnerability should be cause for concern, the figure pales in comparison to the 170,000 macro viruses found within the Windows family that same year.

Unfortunately, the projected increase in malware is starting to take its toll across the industry, with more targets becoming less Windows-specific. Mac OS vulnerabilities rose from 34 in 2009 to 175 in 2010. Even more problematic is the fact that there are 5,000 classified strains of malware that specifically target Apple systems.

Panda Antivirus to the Rescue

In response to growing security problems, Panda Security has decided to step in and create an Apple-specific antivirus program called Antivirus for Mac.

The software scans files and email messages, detecting, blocking and eliminating many of the same types of threats that have plagued Windows users in the past. It offers protection against all kinds of malware that can affect Mac OS, Mac OS X, Windows and even Linux, securing the Apple OS itself and preventing users from transmitting malware to other operating systems. (Source:

Panda Antivirus actually contains two different scan engines. The first is an on-access scan that protects the computer at all times and alerts the user of any security incident. The second is an on-demand scan that allows users to launch complete or specific scans which can also be used to check for malware on the iPhone, iPad and iPod.

Windows Still More Secure than Mac, Says VP

Ironically, Ivan Fermon, senior vice president of product management at Panda Security, admits that despite their high number of vulnerabilities, the Windows OS family is currently more secure than the Mac OS family, because Microsoft has continued to work proactively on security for years now. (Source:

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