93% believe Macs will be targeted more often in future by cybercriminals

February 14, 2008 Sophos Press Release

A web poll of more than 350 computer users*, conducted by Sophos in the shadow of the discovery of the first financially motivated malware for Mac OS X, has revealed that 93% believe Apple Macintoshes will be targeted more in future. However, half of those polled said they did not believe the problem would be as great as that faced by users of Microsoft Windows.

The survey results, which are revealed in a Sophos podcast entitled "Big Mac attack or super-sized hype?", show that Apple Mac users are becoming less optimistic about the likelihood of their computers being attacked in future. A similar survey two years ago, found only 79% believed that Macintosh computers would become more commonly targeted by hackers.

Survey results

The first financially motivated malware for Macintoshes has been discovered. Do you think in the future Macs will be targeted more often?

Yes, but not as much as Windows
50%
Yes
43%
No
7%

* Sophos web poll, 29 January-7 February 2008, 355 respondents.

"Although we have seen the first attempts by criminal gangs to make money through Mac OS X malware, the fact of that matter is that there is only a tiny number of viruses and Trojan horses for Apple Macs when compared to Windows PCs. It seems unlikely that the Mac virus problem will ever be as big as the Windows one," said Graham Cluley, senior technology consultant for Sophos. "Yes, the Macintosh malware threat is a concern - but it's important to put it in perspective. Sophos's podcast discusses the history and evolution of Macintosh malware, helping IT administrators better understand the problem and protect their systems."

Last month Sophos published its annual Security Threat Report, which described how financially motivated hackers had targeted Apple Mac computers with malware for the first time.


Simply click on the arrow above to stream the podcast through your browser. Alternatively you can download it to your MP3 player.

All Sophos podcasts are available for download. Previous podcasts have covered topics such as the dangers of social networking sites, zero-day threats, pump-and-dump spam, anti-virus testing, and rootkits.

Disclaimer: Please bear in mind that this poll is not scientific and is provided for information purposes only. Sophos makes no guarantees about the accuracy of the results other than that they reflect the choices of the users who participated.