Windows users beware: Macs more likely to carry Windows malware than Mac malware

how to run windows and os x on the same mac 7

The smug smile so often worn by Mac users whenever the subject of malware and viruses comes up was wiped unceremoniously from their faces recently when news of Flashback hit the headlines. The malware had reportedly found its way onto some 600,000 Mac computers around the world and had the potential to collect passwords and other personal information before forwarding it to a remote server.

Despite Apple and a number of other security companies coming up with a fix, it was reported that a fair few Mac owners still hadn’t made any moves to check whether or not their machine was infected.

Some Windows users were understandably rather pleased to hear of Flashback, meaning they would no longer have to listen to long speeches by diehard Apple fans about how Macs, unlike computers running Windows, never get viruses.

Well, this story appears to have taken another turn which might have the effect of wiping all smiles off all faces.

According to antivirus firm Sophos, a Mac computer is more likely to carry Windows malware than Mac malware. How about that!

Sophos came up with the figures after analysing data from 100,000 Mac computers which have recently had installed the firm’s free anti-virus software.

Graham Cluley, a senior technology consultant at Sophos, wrote in a post on the firm’s Naked Security blog that 1 in 5 (20 percent) Macs is harboring some form of Windows malware, whereas only 1 in 36 (2.7 percent) Macs is infected with Mac OS X malware.

And here’s the part of Cluley’s post that might really annoy Windows users: “Although Windows malware on Macs won’t cause symptoms (unless users also run Windows on their computer), it can still be spread to others.” That’s right, a Mac user could unwittingly be infecting the Windows-operated computers of their friends.

Cluley pointed out that although Mac users might be relieved that they’re much more likely to have Windows malware on their computer than Mac malware, they should still take steps to protect their machine.

“Malware can spread onto Macs via USB drives, email attachments, website download, or even a silent drive-by installation where the user doesn’t realise their Mac’s security has been subverted,” he explained, adding, “What Mac users really need to do is protect their computers now or risk allowing the malware problem on Macs to become as big as the problem on PCs in the future.” 

Product Review

Simple and reliable, Apple's AirPods are among the best fully wireless earbuds

Apple’s AirPods wireless headphones have dominated the market essentially since they hit stores in December 2016. Though not without some faults, they cracked the connectivity code to rank among the best fully wireless earbuds you can…

Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.

The iMac finally got updated, but how does it compare to the Mac mini?

Apple announced a long-awaited update to the Mac mini. Thanks to the updated specs and increase in price, it's begun to creep up to the base model iMac. In this guide, we now put up the specs on the newest refreshed Mac mini against the…

Most Android antivirus apps fail to provide malware protection, study shows

A study by AV-Comparatives analyzed the effectiveness of Android antivirus apps in protecting against the 2,000 most common malware threats. Alarmingly, only 23 of the apps were able to detect 100 percent of the malware samples.

Enjoy Windows on a Chromebook with these great tips and tricks

If you want to push the functionality of your new Chromebook to another level, and Linux isn't really your deal, you can try installing Windows on a Chromebook. Here's how to do so in case you're looking to nab some Windows-only software.

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.

Spring is here, and Apple’s beautiful new Watch bands will help you celebrate

Apple knows that seasons matter in the fashion world, and has refreshed its most popular Apple Watch bands to celebrate the arrival of spring. See them all, including our new favorite teal versions, here.

Google Fi: Phones, plans, pricing, perks, and more explained

Google's wireless service, formerly Project Fi, now goes by the name of Google Fi, and it's now compatible with a majority of Android phones, as well as iPhones. Here's everything you need to know about Google Fi.

Get your hands (and ears) on Apple’s new AirPods — here’s where to find them

Apple's new AirPods with wireless charging are the latest version of the much-loved wireless earbuds. Unfortunately, they aren't widely available yet. Here's where you can find them right now, and where they will show up soon.

Apple’s AirPower wireless charging mat may be coming soon

At its September event in 2017, Apple unveiled the AirPower, a new wireless charging mat that will allow you to charge multiple devices at one time. It has not yet been released. Here's everything we know about the device so far.

The best Apple AirPods alternatives for Android, Windows, and iOS devices

Apple AirPods might be new and improved, but they aren't the only game in town. Other makers are offering their own truly wireless earbuds, with attractive features. These are the best AirPod alternatives on the market today.

If you have $5,200, Apple has 256GB of RAM for your iMac Pro

Professionals looking to run intensive applications will be able to push their work a bit further with Apple's latest iMac Pro, which holds 256GB of DD4 ECC RAM for $5,200. Here's why it costs so much to upgrade your iMac Pro to the top.

From Air to Pro, here are the best MacBook deals for March 2019

If you’re in the market for a new Apple laptop, let us make your work a little easier: We hunted down the best up-to-date MacBook deals available online right now from various retailers.

Apple iPad Air vs. iPad (2018): Which Apple tablet is right for you?

The new iPad Air replaces the 10.5-inch iPad Pro, but it doesn't pack quite the same punch. It is a fair bit cheaper, starting at $500, but it's a lot more expensive than Apple's 9.7-inch iPad which starts at $330. If you're shopping for…