David Zeiler’s article: What, me worry? is a very useful read. Amongst other things he includes the following information.
In a report released last month, Sophos PLC, a British company that sells anti-virus software, noted that through the first six months of 2003, the most commonly reported virus that could affect Mac computers was one designed for the “classic” Mac OS — not OS X. It placed 78th on the company’s list. [Via Apple Hot News]
According to Security Focus, a computer security information Web site owned by Symantec Corp., the Cupertino, Calif.-based maker of the Norton brand of anti-virus products, the number of viruses written for the classic Mac OS is about 50.
By comparison, security experts estimate the number of Windows-specific viruses at about 70,000, though the exact count depends upon how you classify all the variations of a single virus or worm.
More than two years after its introduction, not a single Mac OS X-specific virus has yet appeared. Apple ships OS X with most of the services hackers typically use to invade a system, such as Web hosting, blocked by a built-in firewall.
Other steps that Apple has taken to thwart breaches of OS X include a Product Security Web page with advice on how to keep your Mac secure Though Microsoft frequently is berated for releasing vulnerable software, the reality is that 95 percent of malware attacks take place after a corrective patch becomes available.