Security Experts:

Apple Pulls "No Viruses" Claim From Marketing

Apple has adjusted their marketing strategy after the Flashback malware ruined their “it doesn’t get viruses” promotional pitch when comparing the OS X to Windows. The change was noticed by Sophos, after the OS X website had a bit of a facelift recently.

Flashback, the Mac-based malware that struck in April, led to the creation of a 550,000 node botnet comprised of all Macs. In the end, the malware wasn’t nearly as harmful as some suggested, as it only displayed advertisements – but it did crush the myth of “no viruses on a Mac.”

Perhaps, this is why Apple's Mac OS X website went from promoting the “It doesn’t get PC viruses” to “It’s built to be safe.”

Moreover, the promoted promise of do nothing, where Apple told consumers that with “virtually no effort on your part, OS X defends against viruses and other malicious applications, or malware” was altered to a simple “OS X is designed with powerful, advanced technologies that work hard to keep your Mac safe.”

Before and After Images can be seen here.

“I think it's pretty interesting that Apple has made this change to their messaging. Clearly they've decided that pointing out the size of the Windows malware problem isn't going to look terribly convincing unless they are also open about that Mac malware also exists. In short, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones,” commented Sophos’ Graham Cluley. “So, the problem is real...I view the changes in the messages pushed out by their marketing department as some important baby-steps.”

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Steve Ragan is a security reporter and contributor for SecurityWeek. Prior to joining the journalism world in 2005, he spent 15 years as a freelance IT contractor focused on endpoint security and security training.