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Kaspersky Offers Macs a Security Blanket

Macintosh computers have long been thought to be overlooked by malware and phishing attacks, but they are becoming more and more popular with hackers and other online scam artists, prompting security software vendors to cook up Mac versions of antivirus applications.

Kaspersky Lab rolled out Anti-Virus for Mac today, the latest in a string of new Mac-centric security products designed to protect the roughly one in 10 people who aren't using a Windows PC.

Company officials said this new application suite prevents users' Macs from becoming "incubators" for malware and from inadvertently harboring and spreading PC and Unix malware to colleagues and friends.

"The single most concerning issue for Mac security today is having these machines used as hosts for PC malware," Justin Priestly, Kaspersky Lab's senior vice president of consumer sales, said in a statement. "These threats may not damage the Mac they live on, but they can be passed to a friend's PC by sharing a USB flash drive or spread from a graphic design department to infect PC-colleagues across a network."

A recent survey by security software vendor Sophos found that 93 percent of Mac users believe malware writers will increasingly target their beloved machines in the future.

Kaspersky's Anti-Virus for Mac is the company's first designed exclusively for the Apple machines and supports devices running Mac OS 10.4.11 or higher, including Snow Leopard and Intel processors.

Company officials said the security applications automatically scan files, downloads from the Web and e-mail attachments in real time, disinfecting corrupted files as it goes along and protecting users from more than 30,000 new malware threats—including many tailored specifically for Macs—each day.

Anti-Virus for Mac is now available for download from the Kaspersky Web site as a 30-day free trial. A year license is available for $39.95 for one machine or $59.95 a year for up to three machines.