Anti-virus software maker Sophos -- who recently introduced a free Mac Home Edition of their anti-malware program -- have gathered the statistics generated by their 150,000-strong Mac user base to compile a snapshot report on threats facing the platform. While the results tacitly admit the lack of actual Mac viruses and the low incidence of other Mac-specific malware, the company says the risk of Mac-specific or platform-independent non-virus malware -- and the need for detection software -- is growing.
The company has analyzed just under 50,000 malware reports since it first released its free Mac Home Edition on November 2nd. The majority of the flagged malware (98 percent) turned out to be Windows-specific, but two percent of reports (just under 1,000 instances) turned out to be OS-X specific DNS-changing Trojans. These are typically disguised as pirated copies of Mac software, often seen on BitTorrent sites, or planted on other web sites as free downloads or special plug-ins required to view videos. While not the same as actual computer viruses, they do trick users and create annoying or embarrassing problems.