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November 2, 2010

Sophos launches Mac antivirus suite

Release reflects growing security fears of Mac users

By

Security firm Sophos has released an antivirus product designed for Mac computers. The product, available free of charge, is a reflection of growing fears from users about malware attacks targeted at Macs.

The platform, called Sophos Anti-Virus Home Edition for Mac, is said to offer protection against all known malware, including both Mac and Windows-specific threats including Trojan horses, viruses, worms and spyware, the firm said.

Macs are generally perceived as safer than Windows PCs, because its relatively small market share made it an unattractive target for cyber criminals, who preferred to concentrate on the much more widely adopted Windows platform.

Research from Sophos revealed that 95% of users expect Macs to be increasingly targeted by malware in the future as its market share grows.

"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," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant at Sophos. "Wise Mac users will secure their computers now, outwitting malware authors – if we make their jobs of infecting Macs damn difficult, they will go elsewhere to make a quick buck."

The platform is based on Sophos’s flagship security software and offers automatic on-access detection that runs in the background, which means Mac users don’t need to run any manual scans.

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"While most businesses recognise the importance of protecting their Mac computers from malware threats, most home users do not," said Chris Kraft, product management vice president at Sophos. "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."

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