Malware on the Mac: is it mostly hype or a real problem faced by real people? If you ask John Gruber, the answer might be the former—there are lots of proof-of-concept scenarios and virtually none that manifest themselves beyond a slow news day. If you ask Ed Bott, however, the answer would be the latter—he recently interviewed an AppleCare employee who claimed that the recent release of fake antivirus app « MAC Defender » has caused a spike in malware reports among Mac users.
The truth is hard to tease out. Partly because Mac OS X still makes up a comparatively small percentage of the global OS market share, and partly because Apple itself is a secretive company, it’s not easy to find out whether malware on the Mac is indeed becoming more common, or it’s simply being reported on more often.
Still, we tried to do exactly that. Ars spoke with 14 different Mac support specialists—including several Apple Store Geniuses—in order to get a handle on whether things have changed when it comes to dealing with malware. Their experiences are all over the map, but the general consensus does seem to lean towards a low amount of malware problems—until you get to the Geniuses.