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Speculation mounts over AVG plans for OS X client

'Mac users have no antibodies'

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AVG bosses aren't saying much, but there's new evidence the anti-virus maker is seriously considering building an application for the Mac.

A job posting on the company's website seeks a senior software developer who is familiar with the OS X platform. Responsibilities for the full-time position include the following:

  • adjusting basic system architecture of the AVG product to Mac OS X conditions
  • portation of the AVG technologies to Mac OS X environment
  • cooperation on portation of the AVG product to Mac OS X together with the remote control team

It's by no means the first time there's been speculation that AVG would expand its offerings to the mushrooming base of Mac users. In 2006, ZDNet Australia reported AVG was working on an OS X version, but said it was unclear if it would ever make it out of development labs. In March, more than two years later, SC Magazine reported that AVG execs were still considering the move but remained unsure if a market for such a product even existed.

What remains clear is that the Mac is a bigger target now than it's ever been. Mac-specific trojans such as the RSPlug are updated several times a month and are growing increasingly sophisticated. Social engineering attacks that have plagued Windows users for years are also becoming increasingly common.

And events such as the Pwn2Own hacker contests for the past three years in a row have demonstrated that remote code execution on the platform is immanently eminently possible in the real world so long as there are financial incentives to carry them out.

Even Apple's own support pages advise that Mac users run anti-virus software, though you'd never know that from the smug Mac guy in Apple television commercials, who to this day portrays Windows as the exclusive domain of malware.

AVG Chief Research Officer Roger Thompson declined to discuss his company's plans for the Mac, but did repeat the oft-observed opinion that users are increasingly under siege.

"Mac users have no antibodies," he said. "As Macs gain in popularity, the bad guys will aim at them in greater numbers." ®

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