Windows Malware Stored 1 in 5 Macs; It’s Like Chlamydia – Sophos

Sophos has come out with an interesting report – saying that 20 percent of Mac computers they studied have Windows malware on them – comparing Chlamydia to Windows malware stored in Mac computers.

If you think that’s a quite unlikely comparison, you’re not alone. I, too, when I first read it couldn’t suppress a chuckle. Yes, we get that Chlamydia is a disease and computer malware is, in its own right, a sort of disease. However, why compare a sexually transmitted disease to a computer malware? Are computers now having sex? Have I missed anything?

Nonetheless, after reading Sophos’ report on its Naked Security site (now there’s something to chuckle at again), I quite understand the point.

As was previously mentioned, 20 percent of Macs are said to have Windows malware lurking in their storage. This is different from being infected, Sophos stresses, as this just means that Windows malware code is stored in Mac computers. The data was culled from 100,000 Mac users who have Sophos software on their computers.

What’s interesting is that Sophos says that Chlamydia, according to some studies, is also believed to infect 20 percent of young people. It is in fact the most widely spread sexually transmitted disease among the younger generation, Sophos says.

The comparison goes beyond statistics and a definition of a disease, however, as Sophos likens Chlamydia to Windows malware on Mac computers because of the effects of the infection.

The security firm says: “Just like malware on your computer, Chlamydia commonly shows no obvious symptoms. But left undetected Chlamydia can caused serious problems, such as infertility.” Needless to say, Chlamydia is relatively easily treatable, Sophos says, and so is an infection of malware.

All you have to do, according to the security company, is to always run an up-to-date anti-malware program, keep your computer and the software on it always up-to-date with the latest patches, and be vigilant in monitoring what software you install and what sites you visit.

This is all sound advice to Mac users who recently got a reminder of the reality that their systems are not impervious to malware. Whichever way you look at it though, it’s sound advice if you’re a computer user, may your system be Windows, Linux or Mac.

Source: Naked Security by Sophos

Images: Chlamydia infected culture by wellcome images on Flickr // Charts by Sophos

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