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What are the top reasons Macs are much less likely to get viruses/worms/trojans?

They always say that one of the most important advantages of Macs is that no viruses are written/coded for them. What is the reason behind it? Is it so difficult or impossible to code a virus on Mac?

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marked as duplicate by Nifle, Arjan, random Mar 27 '10 at 10:06

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

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Dupe superuser.com/questions/120664/… –  Nifle Mar 27 '10 at 9:50
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2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Market share.

Pretty much those two words. Heard of Pwn2Own? Apple's software goes down very, very quickly.

Put yourself in the shoes of a malware writer: would you rather target an operating system used by countless corporations and end users, or an operating system that is mainly used by individuals and hardly at all for businesses?

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According to the people who actually succeeded in hacking Safari on a Mac at pwn2own, Macs do have stronger security: 9to5mac.com/2014/03/14/… Quote: "For Apple, the OS is regarded as very safe and has a very good security architecture," Chen said. "Even if you have a vulnerability, it’s very difficult to exploit. Today we demonstrated that with some advanced technology, the system is still able to be pwned. But in general, the security in OS X is higher than other operating systems." –  AmadeusDrZaius May 28 at 22:45
    
Two reasons I've seen mentioned here before: (1) Macs require an admin to enter a password to install software and do some other system-critical operations, (2) Macs are better at not opening file types masquerading as something else. For example, if you try to open a JPEG that's actually an executable, it won't just open it in Terminal automatically - rather it will display a message saying that the file could not be opened. These two security measures protect against a large number of would-be viruses. I hear that Windows 7 and 8 have implemented similar measures (compared to XP). –  AmadeusDrZaius May 28 at 22:47
    
Just to give an opposing perspective, security researcher Charlie Miller (formerly with the NSA) successfully gained control of a Mac through Safari 3.1 back in 2008 and said he found a bug to exploit within a week. computerworld.com/s/article/9072959/… –  AmadeusDrZaius May 28 at 22:55
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Another reason is the feature, shared by all Unix systems, is normal users have limited rights, so they can only infect themselves, not the whole system, and infections are much easier to see and remove. This is what Microsoft is doing UAC for in Vista and later - it has the same effect of limiting the scope of infection.

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..."the other"? You know we're not a forum, right? Answers might not appear in the order they were posted. :-) –  Arjan Mar 27 '10 at 9:56
    
And when there's a 3rd answer posted here... :P –  unrelativity Mar 27 '10 at 9:59
    
While defense in depth can help the average home use won't care and it doesn't have much effect. If they want to see dancing bunnies, they will do anything to see dancing bunnies, as usual. Entering a password is just a minor hurdle. –  Јοеу Mar 27 '10 at 11:32
    
Edited opening as per Arjan –  Bobby Mar 28 '10 at 8:46
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