That test at Rob Galbriath would have been interesting a year ago but holds no relevance today
... erm, a year ago it would have been a year out of date (or am I missing something?)
As for OSX viruses: what are they? When did they surface? How are they transmitted?
I'm not trying to be argumentative. I'm not about to suggest it'll never happen (there were a handful for the Classic MacOSs, for example). I'm not suggesting I'm an expert by any means. But I genuinely want to know, as I'm unaware of the existence of even one
that affects OSX. I do
spend quality time investigating occasionally (although I haven't gone on a proper hunt for a few months now).
Outside of a few proofs-of-concept that never went any further than that (and were quickly addressed by Apple), the closest thing to a virus that I am aware of is a "zombie" script for OSX which can do all sorts of truly hideous things to the machine it's installed on. I mean really
frightening stuff.. But it's not a virus (and is even discussed on the forum from whence it came as being more 'nifty' than 'useful' due to the hoops one must jump through to get it working). It requires extensive physical access to the computer, the open-firmware password, an admin password, and it's not self-replicating. A large number of Windows trojans put this thing to shame in terms of both features and ease-of-use - not to mention installed base!
Besides, with that level of access to the machine, they can do anything they want. Give up. If you can manage to get this thing installed on your box without your knowledge, well... you probably won't find THIS
cartoon very amusing either.
The next biggest threat to OSX that I can see would be to people running Virtual PC (which for those who don't know is a Microsoft product that allows you to install and run Windows on the Mac). I guess this could be considered splitting-hairs, but it's a bona-fide way to make all kinds of viruses run on modern Apple hardware, and they'll do all the nasty things to your Virtual PC partition/install that they can do to the x86 machines they were initially coded for. Performance will be lacklustre compared to running them on native hardware, however These are still Windows viruses affecting Windows though, so does this even count? Who runs Windows without AVS and the joy that is "Windows Update Mondays" anyway?
About the only valid way I can see to run a genuine virus on your Apple hardware under OSX (and again: I'm soliciting updates to my level of understanding here), would be to acquire one of the many macro viruses written for Microsoft Word.. Needless to say, this is not because of a flaw in the OS's security architecture.
Lastly, I can't think of a piece of adware/spyware for the MacOS that's any more threatening than RealPlayer, and I'm sure there are quite a few people out there who would strongly disagree with that classification. Can someone point me to something worse though? Fact is, I really don't consider spyware or adware to be a real threat to any
platform, annoying and sneaky as it may be. But once it becomes installable without user input it moves into virus or trojan territory, does it not?
User negligence is a treat to any and all computer systems. Need to rid your life of spyware or adware? Follow best practice and stop installing it