You can’t feign fear forever

When someone hears about a new virus in circulation, you always hear someone say “get a Mac” or “run Linux instead.” Yes, it is a bit irritating, and even I am guilty of doing it now and then.

I’ve questioned whether the non-Windows crowd simply knows something the other side doesn’t, and maybe, just maybe, the security software firms do to. The latest threats against the two UNIX-based platforms were weak, to say the most, but they made big headlines anyway. As Techdirt points out, why such a big deal if the lack of threats really is “security by obscurity” (in this case, due to low market share)? A prideful malcreant would love the bragging rights that would invariably come from bringing down every graphic designer and hardcore developers’ machine, wouldn’t they?

While the security firms offer software for these platforms, I believe the target audience uses them to keep from spreading viruses, not getting infected by them (that’s why I use Norton on my Mac). But we also know those firms have to maintain a delicate balance of fear mongering to sell their wares in the first place. Unfortunately, most of those products rely on knowing the virus to protect against it, and with few known viruses for Linux and OS X, it is simply hard to make the pitch.