Mac systems were largely immune to the recent Blaster and SoBig viruses because the platform is so small compared to the installed base of Windows users, Charles Haddad writes in the latest
Byte of the Apple column
for Business Week Online.
“In bemoaning the Mac’s puny market share, the Wintel crowd misses the growing advantage of being small,” he says. “Neither the disgruntled nor the crusader wants to bother attacking a computer that represents only 3 percent of worldwide PC sales. You see, going after such a small target won’t earn you front-page headlines.
Macs aren’t immune to attacks, but “they’re as safe as you can get today,” Haddad opines. In a personal testimony, he says he hasn’t suffered a virus attack in 10 years of doing e-mail and Web surfing on a variety of Macs.
“We Mac users are on the network, but not of it,” he adds. “That is, we can tap seamlessly into any system of PCs, surf the Web, send e-mail, and download files … If you think about it, Macs are not unlike remoras, those fish that freeload under the mouths of whales. They gorge themselves when their host sucks in plankton from the ocean, but then swim to safety if the whale gets harpooned.”