May 15, 2006 4:47 PM PDT

Symantec CEO advocates fair play and Macs

CORONADO, Calif.--It doesn't appear that Symantec CEO John Thompson's next computer will run Windows.

"We think more people ought to buy them," Thompson said of Apple's Macintosh computers, in response to a question from the audience at the Future in Review conference on Monday. The "target-rich" environment created by Windows vulnerabilities means that virus writers and hackers have set their sights on Windows PCs, he said.

John Thompson John Thompson, CEO, Symantec

However, Thompson noted that if more and more people did go out and buy Macs, virus writers might change their tactics. And many attacks are increasingly of the phishing or identity theft variety, which targets computer users independently of their operating system, he said.

"We shouldn't assume that any one technology at any layer is sufficient to protect our notion of a connected world," Thompson said. Computer users and network operators need to take many steps to ensure their data will be protected, regardless of which products they use, he said.

All of Symantec's computers are standardized on Microsoft's Windows operating system, a company representative said.

Security problems haven't gotten as much attention from the U.S. government as Thompson had hoped, although things have improved compared with four years ago, he said. Still, computer "security has fallen off the (government's) radar screen with budget issues and the war in Iraq," he said.

However, Microsoft's move into the security software market has clearly gotten Thompson's attention. "We are concerned (whether) they will play fairly. If they do something that is unfair, then that will be something that is difficult to compete against, but we'll have other venues for making our point," he said.

See more CNET content tagged:
John Thompson, Symantec Corp., CEO, identity theft, Apple Macintosh

11 comments

Join the conversation!
Add your comment
ROTFLMAO
When I buy a new Dell for $299, which includes the whole Windows operating system, why does Thompson think it "fair" that I have to pay $30 por the Symantec POS. Based on lines of code, NAV should be $5.00. THAT would be fair. If the OEM value of XP is $50 in the Dell price, then MS should charge $5.00 for the antivirus add-on. No more>Heck, I am sure that Paint.exe has more lines of code that actually work than NAV. Dont hear Adobe complaining about Paint.
Posted by gggg sssss (2285 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What an idiot...
...He wants people to buy a computer/os that, at least according to the Mac faithful, will negate the need for his product!
Posted by J_Satch (571 comments )
Link Flag
Symantec is going the way of the dodo.
Truth is I can't see the relevance of having Symantec around.

If anything they could be the ones spreading the viruses.
Posted by ServedUp (413 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What a joke!
Yeah, the reason there have been no successful viruses for Mac's
OS X is because it just hasn't occured to anyone to try! LMAO!!!
Clearly, the desire to be the FIRST successful author of an OS X
virus that could spread has to be overwhelming, were it within the
means of anyone. But, OS X has just proven to be the superior OS.
So go ahead and buy a Mac, and forget about Symantec's antivirus
software...you don't need it!
Posted by chrissnelson (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
More Macs = more money for Symantec
Of course John Thompson would like to see the Mac grab more market share... my guess would be that he wants at least enough of a critical mass so that virus and malware writers will attack the Mac in earnest, and maybe feel compelled to purchase his company's software.

His arguments about fair play also ring hollow... would it be fair play if Microsoft wrote an operating system that needed no security products and therefore put some big hurt on Symantec? I have to smile trying to come up with an argument he might use in that situation...

rhaft22
Posted by rhaft22 (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Yeah, okay.
Again, another virus company saying that malware will be on
Macs if sales increase, and we must buy their products to
protect our Macs!

Um, hello, have these folks ever used UNIX? Can't make viruses
on an OS that requires permission from the user everytime it
basically writes a bite for anything.

In reality, there aren't any viruses/malware for Macs anymore
than there are hovercars for consumers.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.network54.com/Forum/7505/" target="_newWindow">http://www.network54.com/Forum/7505/</a>
Posted by fakespam (239 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Unix is subject to viruses!
I don't know how you could be so ignorant as to think Unix isn't subject to virus attacks.

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cybersoft.com/whitepapers/papers/print/networks_print.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.cybersoft.com/whitepapers/papers/print/networks_print.html</a>

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.claymania.com/unix-viruses.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.claymania.com/unix-viruses.html</a>

Running a Unix variant alone doesn't give you immunity. It should also be telling that most of the publically hacked web pages last year were hacked on Unix or Linux boxes. If security on those systems were as perfect as you seem to think then those hacks wouldn't have happened.

It doesn't matter what OS you're running, you need to be aware of the ways your system can be hacked and provide yourself a defense against hacking or a quick and easy recovery.
Posted by aabcdefghij987654321 (1721 comments )
Link Flag
More Mac users does not mean more Mac malware
Oh please. No OS is perfect, but the lack of Mac viruses &#38; spyware
is not due to its smaller market share.

Mac viruses will eventually arrive. But unlike the case with
Windows, you can't just download some code from the net, tweek
it a bit, and take down tens of thousands of *nix/Mac computers.

It takes some skill to produce a malicious *nix program. Skill that
the majority of Windows attackers don't have.
Posted by rcrusoe (1305 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Symantec actually thinks...
That Microsoft is their biggest problem. Wake up morons. It is your poorly done, system resource sucking, lame upgrades software that is causing you problems not Microsoft. Symantec hasn't put out a decent product in almost a decade.

I guess they are going to pull a Netscape. Go blindly and blissfully on ignoring the truth before them and then blame everyone else when they go belly up. Microsoft didn't kill Netscape. Netscape killed Netscape when the insisted on charging for it and then put out that wonderful version 4.0. It is a sad day when Microsoft actually does put out a product that is better and at the time IE was better than Netscape 4.

Symantec is the same way. There software is horrible and they just keep putting it out instead of fixing it and actually making it better. Then they will blame Microsoft when they go belly up.

Wake up morons and smell the burning software. Your tail feathers are on fire.

Robert
Posted by Heebee Jeebies (632 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not just for viruses
I suspect that Symantec has done quite well with its disk diagnosis
and repair utilities. In fact, Norton Disk Doctor for Macs was a
must have before OS X. The assumption that the company must
rely solely on anti-virus applications is unfounded.
Posted by J.G. (837 comments )
Reply Link Flag
 

Join the conversation

Add your comment

The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Click here to review our Terms of Use.

What's Hot

Discussions

Shared

RSS Feeds

Add headlines from CNET News to your homepage or feedreader.