Kelly Martin writes in The Register about “Apple’s Big Virus” – the fact that there’s no viruses on the Mac.
Beyond critical mass, I would like to believe there’s a better reason for the lack of viruses on OS X, and it’s based on the culture of the Mac — which is distinctly different from other platforms. Is it wrong to try a new computer system and actually enjoy the user experience, for a change? Can you imagine a world where (today) you can click on anything and never worry about malicious intent? Can we not continue this unwritten rule that there can be a platform out there that is simple, easy-to-use, with Unix (and a cool ports tree) underneath that has no threat at all from viruses?
Unfortunately, Kelly doesn’t actually talk about what this “cultural difference” is, which leaves me somewhat loathe to give it any credit – Kelly links to a study that shows that virus writers are fairly diverse individuals, which doesn’t really explain anything.
To my mind, there’s a simple reason why Macs lack viruses, trojans, et al: Unfamiliarity and lack of access. How many virus writers actually have a Mac they can write on? How many understand the ins and outs of Mac programming? No Access + no knowledge = no virus.
Of course, there are other reasons as well: The Mac is more secure, although not immune (no system is). The Mac is a relatively small percentage of machines on the net, which makes it less easy to effectively spread. And so on. But I suspect that knowledge and access are the two most important reasons.