Panda takes Mac under a protective wing with new antivirus package

Panda Security Mac

If Chris Christiansen of IDC is to be believed, most Mac users take security too lightly. While Apple may be happy about its trusting customers, Panda seems sure that even Mac needs protection. The recently launched Panda Antivirus for Mac doesn’t just guard the Mac OS or Mac OS X from malware. It also stops Mac users from deploying malware to other OS like Windows and Linux.

The security software operates by scanning files and e-mail, identifying and eliminating or blocking Trojans, adware, spyware, keyloggers, botnets, dialers and other threats which may be designed for Windows, but also affect Mac. It integrates a pair of scan engines namely, on-access scan or resident protection and on-demand scan. The first protects the Mac continuously and notifies users to security threats, while the second lets customers start scans of specific components or the whole system. The utility is also capable of scanning other Apple devices like iPhone, iPod or iPad.

“We have always held the theory that when Apple reaches a more significant market share, around 15% worldwide (which given its current rapid growth will be achieved shortly), hackers will begin to target attacks against this platform. We would even say that today, the Windows operating system is more secure than Mac, simply because Microsoft has been working proactively on security for many years. As the Apple system has yet to be seriously threatened, it may contain more vulnerabilities than those we are aware of, which could be exploited to launch ‘zero-day attacks’ similar to those against Windows”, remarked Ivan Fermon, SVP Product Management of Panda Security.

“Mac security was something Panda had to address. We believe this is the right time to launch a product like this, given that Apple is becoming globally more popular for various reasons (among others, due to the success of other devices, such as iPad) and could now start to be targeted by hackers,” commented Ivan Fermon, SVP Product Management, Panda Security. “Hackers are looking to profit from their activity, that’s why there are so many different examples of malware. At PandaLabs we receive an average of 55,000 new threats every day. Until now, Apple users were not an attractive target for hackers, as the number of potential victims was so small compared to Windows. But now the market is changing…”

Apparently, around 34 vulnerabilities were found in the Mac OS last year, with the numbers having risen to 175 in 2010. It appears that there are approximately 5,000 classified types of malware that specifically target Apple systems and 500 new samples are touted to emerge each month. Panda Labs also claims that the 1,70,000 or so macro viruses they’ve cataloged are capable of affecting Mac users.

Panda Security for Mac is currently available through the company’s website in six languages including English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish at €49.95. A free trail version that comes with services may also be downloaded from the official site.