Research group F-Secure recently released their findings for the spread of malicious code on Macintosh computers for quarters 2, 3 and 4 of 2011, revealing 58 new threats released throughout the time period. Charting a total of 58 new variants found, it’s still nowhere near the number of threats existing for Windows-based computers, but represents a significant contribution to what is commonly thought to be one of the market’s most secure platforms.

The research shows that the popularity of the Macintosh platform doesn’t necessarily spur the creation of new malware, but instead shows that bursts of development follow a still unknown pattern. Needless to say, users should expect more of the same throughout the coming year.

While they may be user-friendly, it’s still important to secure your Mac! Make sure you run system updates in a timely manner and don’t mount any DMG’s if you’re unfamiliar with their source. People attack certain types of systems when they have reason to do so. While the research shows that reason is not yet its popularity, finding an unpatched system is always an invitation for an attacker.

Check out F-Secure’s breakdown here.