False Alarm: Apple Mac OS X Anti-Virus Recommendation Is Old

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The Washington Post, the BBC, Cnet, and other outlets are pointing out that Apple is, for the first time ever, "quietly" recommending anti-virus software for Mac OS X. A little research shows that this is completely false.

Here's the Apple note they point at, postulating the old theory that Apple is feeling the heat of the increased market share and, therefore, an increasing risk of virus attacks:


The BBC labels this as the result of a "fresh threat". The Washington Post wonders if they will stop showing their Mac and PC "Virus" TV Commercial. Cnet goes as far as saying that "Apple changes its tune by advising Mac users to install antivirus software in nod that even Mac users aren't immune to rising malware threats." (they have edited their story after it was demonstrated false by some internet users). The reality is that the note above is just an update to this support article from 2007:


The new tech support note, which even shows the reference from the old article, only lists new anti-virus software versions. This is normal in tech notes.

In fact, the old tech note itself is actually nothing new either: Apple offered anti-virus software as part of their .Mac subscription. In fact, the company has been recommending virus software since the pre-Unix years.


In other words: No conspiracy theories, no "quietly published" technical notes. Just the same old recommendation they have been doing forever.