back to article Avast still focused on Windows, despite new Mac security app

Free security software outfit Avast reckons unprotected Windows desktops still offer its greatest potential area for growth, despite its huge existing Windows user-base of 130 million active users. In addition to pushing out its technology to small businesses, the Czech Republic-based firm plans to offer an Android-based …


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  1. Tchou

    "Avast has written ...

    ... more than 3 million signatures for its Windows anti-virus software compared to 1,000 for its Mac security product. Nonetheless the firm reckons (probably correctly) that there's now money to be made from Mac malware and hence a need for protection."

    Right. So, the first step is to actually make malware for Mac isn't it?

    Anyone looking for a job in "security" field?

  2. KroSha

    Paid for?

    There are several very good completely free open source AV apps. The best is probably ClamXAV, which Google ranks 3rd in a search for "free mac antivirus" (Right behind 2 that aren't free :/ ). This is one of the nice things about having a UNIX OS; lots of OSS.

    OSX already has a firewall built in. And anyone not running as an Admin is sandboxed into their own home folder.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      You do know that there is more free software for Windows than any other OS?

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    The free version now comes with the sandbox

    If people are using their computers for non-commercial purposes, I don't recommend any other AV software.

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Ooh, shiny

    After AVG bloated in version 7 I moved over to Avast on Windows machines and have stayed there ever since.

    Might well have a look at the Mac version.

  5. Paul Crawford Silver badge

    Does not compute!

    "The Mac platform isn't any safer," he added.

    "more than 3 million signatures for its Windows anti-virus software compared to 1,000 for its Mac"

    So having a 3000:1 bigger range of threats, and a poorer-by-original-design security model is not making Windows less safe?

    No computer is 100% safe, and often the (l)user is the weakest link, but it is hardly truthful to say the Mac is not any safer.

    Tux, my favourite now.

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      It only takes one virus and you're owned.

      And it probably isn't a virus already written, which will be stopped by any security product, but the new one. Macintosh is a very sexy platform right now for virus writers.

      As for signatures, I don't think there are 3 million different Windows viruses, there are a smaller number of viruses that wear many disguises. There's no reason why this wouldn't apply to Mac viruses too, but then, everyone knows that Macs don't get viruses, so the writer of a Mac virus doesn't need to equip it to hide.

      1. John I'm only dancing


        My mac is protected by Sophos, all I've seen is one pop-up from an infected website with an un-OSX window (More like XP) telling me I'm infected. Contrast this to the hour and half it took me to rid my daughter's laptop of a 'security essential' last Friday, which she had manage to infect it with.

        By their very nature, all computer operating systems are open to whatever the malware writer wishes to throw at them. The difference is, with Windows, the (l)users are generally not tech-savvy and are generally click happy, and the OS is more akin to a Swiss cheese, hence making it much easier to spread their malicious payload.

        1. Maxson


          What Mac users don't seem to understand is that the reason Macs get fewer viruses is primarily because they are a smaller, less juicy target, as Macs become ever more popular, there will be more malware written specifically to target them.

          Are you honestly...HONESTLY saying that Mac users are more tech-savvy than Windows users? Honestly? Really? The users tied to a company which has always said "It just works"?

          The average Mac user is no more Savvy than the Average Windows user, that's a major selling point of Macs, you don't have to know what you're doing, you just need to have a large wad of notes.

          Macs will become festivals for malware writers soon enough.

          I see people above saying there's a 3000:1 ratio of Windows:Mac virus signiatures in Avast, duh they've been producing a piece of Software for the dominant computer OS for about 10 years, and been producing a piece of software for the STILL less popular OS for much less time, of course there are less viruses in their list of viruses.

          Macs are defensible only because they were never a major target.

          1. Daniel 4

            "Silly troll, fallacious arguements are for those who don't know better."

            "Macs are defensible only because they were never a major target."

            I suppose this was always the case with all the more classic Unix variants as well?

            Seriously, Windows has come a long way, but Macs built up a reputation of being more defensible not only because there were fewer of them - there were plenty out there to make them a worthwhile target. No, Macs also didn't leave the doors wide open with giant "please, come on in!" signs, which Windows did FOR YEARS. The two are a lot more in line with each other these days, but historically, Windows was a train wreck, and that more than anything is what made Macs look secure.


  6. mhenriday
    Big Brother

    Given that over 40 % of web activity in China

    is still carried out using IE6 (, pan Korenko's estimate that «[t]he growth in PC usage in China and India ... means there are as many as 600 million unprotected machines out there» is probably spot on. But how many of these users are going to install AV software, when they can't be bothered - or are not permitted (?) - to install a better browser ?...


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