I find it funny where people believe Macs are “safe” because they don’t get infected. Last night, owner of the sauna where I go every Wednesday was a proof of that. She had a strong opinion against Windows and was telling me how she thinks everyone should use Apple computers with Mac OS.
Firstly, Mac is not designed for a corporate world and without tools like Active Directory alone is next to unimaginable to be found in any serious IT infrastructure, but that’s a different story.
Few days ago all over the news you could see how Russian security firm discovered botnet with over 500,000 infected computers. Lets take a look at the simple proportion:
Statcounter.com reports the following stats for the last 12 month (March 2011 to March 2012):
Mac OS (any version): 6.76%
Windows (any version): 90.65%
As you can see there is a significant gap in popularity.
Lets look at the largest botnets in history:
Windows: Google search reports Mega-D botnet to have 500,000 but this is small because I know there were attacks that delivered 100Gbps, there were several servers with fat pipes. 100Gbps is something that brings huge websites like facebook, fbi, nasa you name it, well upstream carries will be feeling the “heat”. Anyway, I know some botnets had 800,000 zombies.
Mac: Trojan-Downloader.OSX.Flashfake.ab – 600,000 unique infected hosts.
Lets skip the math as difference is visible by itself and you should be the judge.
Lets look at another side of the stick: “bad” guys infecting computers. Nowadays every virus attack has financial motive. Making a virus requires extensive knowledge, time and resources and all these things cost money. Any business model tries to achieve only maximum return on the investment.
Thus it is obvious that there will be more viruses for Windows platforms.
Finally some pills for Mac people:
Kaspersky lab created a “honeypot” for infected Macs so now you can check if your computer is a zombie. Go to the flashbackcheck.com and just follow instructions.
Also you can download free utility here that will check for infection and remove it after.