Some time back as a Mac (as well as PC) user I advocated installing anti-virus software on Macs and got roundly and loudly told off by those that believe that Macs are charmed and cannot ever be infected by anything. So, I'm going to join you: ha ha ha ha ha!
Well, I'm going to take this one a little personally, not as someone who has ever had the attitude you describe but as someone who *has* posted on the pointlessness (imo) up to now on installing Mac AV software, but also as someone who is very interested in security issues and not blind to anything - responsible computer use is *always* the first step to keeping a system secure.
*But* - I still stand by my opinions. Without doing extensive research, what I've read suggests that *none* of the currently available Mac AV software would have protected any machine against this exploit/trojan. None. What am I paying for if I'm buying protective software that doesn't protect me from the very things I'm buying it for?
I've always said I don't see the point of running AV software when there are no viruses to protect - not only are they not protecting you, but they are actually instilling a false sense of confidence in your system, making it potentially *more* likely to get something bad.
Macs were *always* going to start getting targeted by virus writers at some point, *especially* as they get more popular and more aspirational to own. At some point protecting from viruses etc *will* become a necessity. I'm not convinced we are there yet.
And while the Mac AV software people are scrambling to get their software to protect against this vulnerability, we can see that the Mac virus world isn't yet mature enough to develop tools to solidly protect our systems. Responsible computer use, software updates and following the security advice in news articles is generally good practice.
Was I infected? No. And one of the interesting things about this particular exploit is that is wouldn't install if the user runs Little Snitch, which I do, because it is an excellent way to keep an eye on what your computer is doing regarding network activity. And I run it as part of keeping good practice with knowing what my machine is doing.
So - I'm not laughing at anybody. Macs will get viruses, and at some point no doubt my advice will change to recommend running Mac AV software. But it hasn't yet.
This is a nice summary of Flashback:
Edited by desmond (08/04/12 07:09 PM)