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Apple backtracks on Mac attacks

Apple has backed off its suggestion that Macs require antivirus software. Yesterday, the computer maker suffered a public relations nightmare after an article was discovered on the company's site encouraging Mac users to install antivirus software.

Less than 24 hours later, Apple has quietly removed this recommendation from its KnowledgeBase.

Turns out the article, which the BBC says was posted on November 21, was simply an update to a 2007 entry. In response to the firestorm of comments, Apple spokesperson Bill Evans said: "We have removed the KnowledgeBase article because it was old and inaccurate. The Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box."

Apple has repeatedly claimed that Macs, while not completely immune to viruses and spyware, are far safer than Windows computers. In fact some ads have subtly suggested that Macs are completely safe from viruses. After discovering the KnowledgeBase article, tech bloggers the world over excoriated Apple accusing the company of backing off its anti-antivirus stance.

But is Apple projecting a false sense of security just to save face? Many experts repeatedly warn that all operating systems are susceptible to viruses, and as the Mac becomes more popular OS X will inevitably become a bigger target for malicious attacks.

Regardless, many Mac users don't bother to purchase the memory sucking software that ties up their Windows counterparts. That may change in the event of a widespread attack, but for the moment Mac users aren't buying.

www.pcworld.com

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