Updated 10:50 a.m. PST December 2 to correct that Apple previously recommended antivirus software to Mac users, and at 1:50 p.m. PST with call back from Apple and link to 2002 Apple anti-virus item. A follow-up blog will be posted that goes into more detail about the coverage.
Apple is recommending that Mac users install antivirus software.
But don't read this as an admission that the Mac operating system is suddenly insecure. It's more a recognition that Mac users are vulnerable to Web application exploits, which have replaced operating system vulnerabilities as the bigger threat to computer users.
On November 21 Apple updated a technical note on its Support Web site that says: "Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent, thus making the whole virus writing process more difficult."
The item offers three software suggestions: Intego VirusBarrier X5 and Symantec Norton Anti-Virus 11 for Macintosh, both available from the Apple Online Store, and McAfee VirusScan for Mac.
Apple representatives did not respond to e-mails seeking comment on Monday, but did return a call on Tuesday. A spokesman said he would look into the matter.
Brian Krebs, who first reported on the Apple antivirus recommendation Monday in his Security Fix blog at The Washington Post, said an Apple store employee told him he didn't need antivirus software when he purchased a MacBook three months ago.