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Why You Shouldn't Panic Over Mac Malware 370

Posted by Soulskill
from the grab-some-popcorn dept.
Earlier this week, we discussed reports that Mac malware was finally becoming a significant problem. Now, reader wiredmikey points out an editorial arguing that everyone should slow down and analyze the situation more calmly so the threat can be accurately assessed. Quoting: "According to Apple, the Mac installed base is approximately 50 million users. But according to Gartner, the number of Android handsets sold in 2010 alone exceeded 67 million units, giving it an installed base that is larger, and growing much faster, than the Mac base. If a large numbers of eyeballs is indeed the lure that causes criminals to write malware for a given operating system, surely Android is a more tempting target than Mac OS. ... I predict that the increase in perceived risks to Mac customers will give Apple the excuse it needs to increase its control over the Mac software ecosystem, by moving ISVs to the Mac App Store. It is no accident that the theme of the upcoming Lion desktop operating system is 'Back to the Mac': taking concepts that Apple employed successfully with the mobile version of OS X (iOS) and back-porting them to the desktop OS. One of those features is the introduction of the Mac App Store, an Apple-controlled storefront for selling and distributing applications. ... This provides buyers some assurance that their apps are from known points of origin and that they don’t contain malware, such as the Mac Defender Trojan horse.
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Why You Shouldn't Panic Over Mac Malware

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  • by Robadob (1800074) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @05:24AM (#36206956)
    Safari browser exploits and other app exploits can still lead to installing malware on a machine.
    • by Lennie (16154)

      The solution is obvisous, disconnect all the ethernet connectors, wifi, bluetooth, usb, firewire, cd-/dvd-drives and whatever else you can think of and lock it in a bunker.

      While you are at is, remove the user too. :-)

      Maybe it will be a bit more secure after that.

      • Then we will have reached perfection of the modern human. Independent, electronic thought machines acting autarkic shaping and controlling the world we live in. However those machines may decide to start infighting, destroying all infrastructure and/or removing the pesky humans all-together. Maybe stupid humans in front of "dumb" PCs is the best we can hope for ;)
        • by hedwards (940851)

          Um, isn't that the direction Apple has been going lately? First they take the buttons, then they take most of the ability to install apps, all they need to do is require a password to turn the thing on and not give it out for the vision to be complete.

      • by arisvega (1414195)
        Ethernet? On a modern MacBook? Think again.
        • by brusk (135896)
          Ethernet over USB.
        • by adamstew (909658)

          There is an ethernet port on my current generation MacBook Pro. The machine was refreshed about 3 months ago, and they are still including ethernet ports. In fact, the only computer that Apple produces that doesn't have an ethernet port is the MacBook Air. Every other computer has a gigabit ethernet port.

        • by jo_ham (604554)

          Every single Mac released since before the PPC era, and to this day, ships with an ethernet port with the exception of the Macbook Air.

          All modern Macbooks and Macbook Pros have a gigabit ethernet port. GigE became standard around the time of the Powermac G4.

      • by brusk (135896) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @09:52AM (#36208136)
        Easier just to disconnect the power. Pro tip: nearly 100% of malware infections occur in machines that are powered up.
    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      Is that "in practice", "in theory" or "in the wild now"?

      • by bleble (2183476)
        In the wild. That's how you rootkit your phone too. There's no reason why it wouldn't be used to install other crap on your phone.

        I also find the comparison to Android funny;

        But according to Gartner, the number of Android handsets sold in 2010 alone exceeded 67 million units, giving it an installed base that is larger, and growing much faster, than the Mac base. If a large numbers of eyeballs is indeed the lure that causes criminals to write malware for a given operating system, surely Android is a more tempting target than Mac OS.

        Android has malware. And I think iPhone owners are better target money wise - mostly US rich kids.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by hairyfeet (841228)

          This is why I figured it would only be a matter of time before Macs end up nearly as infested as Windows boxes. the last numbers I saw were something like an average income of $100,000 for Mac owners, which means snatching their CC numbers will be worth a hell of a lot more than snatching the CC from the girl that works the checkout at the Wally World who just got her a $400 Dell laptop.

          This is something that both Linux and Apple users are simply gonna have to accept, it is simple really all computers are v

          • by _Sprocket_ (42527)

            What has protected Macs and Linux in the past is that malware writers like all criminals are naturally lazy creatures, and there was plenty of low hanging Windows machines to snatch. Now that Android is popping up everywhere and the malware guys are starting to realize Macs=money I have NO doubt things are gonna change, just as I have seen Windows malware going from exploit based to third party to social engineering. Times change, targets change, and I have a feeling so many have bought the "Macs don't get malware!" meme that until some really nasty bugs hit Mac guys are gonna be easy pickings. I've already seen it myself, with having to argue with a customer who swore up and down his Macs couldn't possibly be infected even as the DNS Changer bug was redirecting everything.

            The problem is, we've heard this same thing for the past 10+ years. The malware is coming. Just you wait. 10 years later, the flood has yet to materialize.

            That's not to say that everything not-Windows is immune. Quite the contrary. There has been malware targeting other platforms to include MacOS and Linux. They just don't do well. And thus, those platforms continue to avoid being low-hanging fruit. There has to be a change other than just "oh hey - we CAN target these other platforms!"

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by gnasher719 (869701)

      Safari browser exploits and other app exploits can still lead to installing malware on a machine.

      The point is that
      this is not true. Use of a Safari feature that is very useful for anyone downloading legitimate software allows malware to be downloaded and Apple's installer to be started. But "Installer started" != "malware installed". There is this tiny, tiny little gap that the malware cannot cross if the user has a brain: To install the malware, the user has to willingly enter their administrator password. No administrator password, no malware.

      • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

        by jmac_the_man (1612215)

        To install the malware, the user has to willingly enter their administrator password. No administrator password, no malware.

        But wait, Macs don't get malware. The hip guy in the commercial was making fun of the old fart for that. So since there's no malware, anything that wants my password must want it for a good reason, right?

        Live by the incompetent, die by the incompetent.

      • by LO0G (606364)

        I truely wish that were true. But if it were, there would be no malware for Windows Vista and Windows 7, since they also require that the user acknowledge a prompt before installation. And there would be no malware for Windows XP either (since it prompts users because a program downloaded from the internet might be dangerous).

        Unfortunately a UAC prompt (or sudo prompt) doesn't stop the "I really want to see the dancing bunnies" problem - people will bypass any dialog box you put up to run their applicatio

  • Qubes OS (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2011 @05:43AM (#36207036)

    I'll admit I bought a macbook in 2009 with likelihood of system vulnerabilities in mind. I *did* consider a number of other things, so I'm not a bad person, I swear.

    Some say it's a case of going to a FOSS operating system... or specifically a BSD family kernel... or even of going to OpenBSD exclusively. Some say it's a case of knowing our OpenBSD software inside out and testing thouroughly *and* putting various in safeguards.

    However, they're all missing a piece of the puzzle. Qubes OS should be on everyone's radar, especially since it's starting to progress. Sadly, it's one of those things that unless you give it some time to read up about you'll only hear bits and pieces about and then sadly ignore it.

    Qubes, with Joanna Rutkowska at the helm no less, is a solid framework of ideas that results in the security we should all expect of an operating system. Fear that you'll have input sniffed or root compromised? Have your system disconnected from the internet - "what?", you say, before you read on and realise how silly it is in the first place.

    Everything is in a VM instance, each VM instance can boot from the same image and run a (single, if you feel like it) program. The data that instance *thinks* was written to disk was instead pushed to a copy-on-write block device which can be thrown away when you're done.want files between different VMs? Message dom0 with the request from inside the VM and then accept the dialogue box that your isolated dom0 greets you with.

    Sadly, I'm not the best ambassador. Sadly, I'm in a rush and haven't supplied my best effort in communicating how significant Qubes will be. Sadly, it's taken until now to have decent security on a desktop. But now I can be confident.

    The universe is smiling down on me for this post with a captcha of "secure", and rightly so if you hop aboard.

    • It's not about the OS, it's about the user. Don't run in admin mode, install an antivirus and OS/Apps updates, don't install crap from just anywhere, avoid Flash, IE, Firefox.

      Been doing that in Windows for me and my parents for years, got a virus once, when an ex called bout a failing hard drive and I dumbly just connected it to my spare PC to try and salvage the files.

      • Indeed.

        Although one annoying thing about OS X is that if your main user isn't an admin, software update doesn't check for updates periodically: you won't know there are updates to install if you don't check manually and/or log in as an admin.

    • Re:Qubes OS (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2011 @07:24AM (#36207402)

      I don't know whether your post is serious or a reference to some meme I am unfamiliar with, but anyway.

      Everything is in a VM instance

      If this is the (only) reason why it is "secure", and the official website seems to say so, you may want to go with OpenBSD anyway. To quote Theo de Raadt:

      You are absolutely deluded, if not stupid, if you think that a
      worldwide collection of software engineers who can't write operating
      systems or applications without security holes, can then turn around
      and suddenly write virtualization layers without security holes.

      Rutkowska definitely has an impressive resume, but I don't think that even someone like her can make a system secure just by using virtualization. However, I will make sure to keep an eye on that project, it looks quite interesting even though it won't replace my current setup.

  • by Flipao (903929) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @05:46AM (#36207040)
    There's no need to deflect attention,, this is not about Android, this is about Apple computers having the type of issues for which PCs have always been made fun of.

    The reason Mac users are now targetted is because they are less computer savvy, have deep pockets and have been educated to open their wallet on command.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Mac users less computer savvy? Not really I've seen a lot of IT- and multimedia-pros using them. I've never understood why geeks don't appreciate useability...

      For me the Mac is Unix + hardware support + hot souce!

      But I'd have to thank Linux as it made me fall in love with *nix-systems.

      And exploits? I only get my software from trusted sources, no remote services are on, never connect to public wifi. On the other hand, if you follow this advice you are very unlikely to get infected, even on windows. But I jus

      • by dr.Flake (601029) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @06:15AM (#36207142)

        Sort of the same for me.

        For me the route was also windows -> linux -> OSX.

        However, during my linux period i grew accustomed to finding great software doing almost everything i could wish for within a few clicks/google searches.

        For OSX its the opposite. For every small task that i want to accomplish, i seem to need to pony up. Every small time programmer tries to make a buck with his little program. Nothing wrong with that, but where are the Free/Libre alternatives?

        For now, after long searches i end up installing untrustworthy programs, because i'm used to get it all for "free" (he, i am Dutch). My problem, sure. But a lot of people like me would fall into these kind of traps.

        • by Tom (822) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @07:20AM (#36207386) Homepage Journal

          However, during my linux period i grew accustomed to finding great software doing almost everything i could wish for within a few clicks/google searches.

          For OSX its the opposite. For every small task that i want to accomplish, i seem to need to pony up. Every small time programmer tries to make a buck with his little program. Nothing wrong with that, but where are the Free/Libre alternatives?

          Not learnt anything during your Linux period? Ok, I'll help out. The answer to your question is: Are you writing them? No? See, that's why they're not there.

        • It's s smaller pond (Score:5, Informative)

          by itsdapead (734413) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @09:05AM (#36207900)

          For OSX its the opposite. For every small task that i want to accomplish, i seem to need to pony up. Every small time programmer tries to make a buck with his little program. Nothing wrong with that, but where are the Free/Libre alternatives?

          Well, OS X is still a vastly smaller community than Windows, and I suspect that although Linux (desktop) users outnumber OSX users a disproportionate number of Linux users are also programmers. So its not surprising there's less choice. That also means that the money to be made from true "honesty box" shareware is probably smaller, so developers are more likely to require payment. Also, historically, Mac OS "Classic" developer tools and documentation cost an arm and a leg - of course, since OS X they've been free (or very cheap, for iOS), but the early days may have set community expectation. Finally - I don't think OS X is the easiest platform to develop for (however elegant) and OS X users tend to demand nice GUIs on everything.

          However - its not all bad: First, OS X is Unix: Install "fink" or "macports" and you'll get access to a huge number of Free/Libre packages from the Linux/Unix world - albeit most of these are command-line or X11. If you don't want to roll your own, lots of major "free" projects offer OSX versions: (off the top of my head and at random: LibreOffice, Eclipse, InkScape, VirtualBox, PostgreSQL, MySQL, Mozilla) not to mention the stuff that is already present in OS X (Apache, PHP, Ruby, Python, Samba, CUPS...) I hope the latter list doesn't diminish too much as projects move to GPLv3.

        • For OSX its the opposite. For every small task that i want to accomplish, i seem to need to pony up. Every small time programmer tries to make a buck with his little program.

          You might want to look into using the NetBSD Package system, called pkgsrc [netbsd.org], on on OSX. [aydogan.net] The NetBSD community is used to porting things around, and the NetBSD package system itself has been ported to run on a lot of different OSes. It's a very source-based packaging system with a robust dependency chain.

      • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@hotma i l . c om> on Sunday May 22, 2011 @06:27AM (#36207184) Homepage

        Mac users less computer savvy? Not really I've seen a lot of IT- and multimedia-pros using them.

        Yes, and I've seen plenty of IT- and multimedia-pros using Windows PCs, yet majority of Windows users are still not too computer savvy. Similarly, from what I've seen the majority of Mac users are equally non-computer-savvy.

        And that's the whole issue. These scams and such aren't targeting the pros, they are targeting the people who don't really understand what they're doing. Macs are also more costly than the average Windows PCs and thus it's likely that a person owning a Mac is wealthy enough to make an excellent target for these things.

        • by boristhespider (1678416) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @07:14AM (#36207368)

          Wait, you mean.... the majority of people aren't computer savvy????? STOP THE PRESSES!

          I'm not sure why people find this so hard to understand. Most people in this world
          a) Don't understand computers
          b) Don't really give a shit about understanding computers
          c) Simply just don't care

          That goes whether they're running Windows or Mac -- and for those who use a Linux their more computer-savvy relatives installed on their computer. And these days I strongly expect more and more Linux users to be computer un-savvy. That's the whole point behind Canonical's ethos is to grow beyond people who enjoy recompiling kernels, after all.

        • by mjwalshe (1680392)
          re multimedia pros - I had a multimedia grad say "oh 3db isn't that much" err actualy it is :-)
      • I've never understood why geeks don't appreciate useability..

        I'm design oriented and can flip this around...I've never understood why I can't get a good grasp on basic programming logic. It seems it's a mindset of WYSIWYG vs. I'm-super-logical-and-need-to-do-this-myself.

        I'm married to a programmer, so I live this dichotomy every day ;-)

        Mind you neither are better than the other, just different. Of course, "design mode" IS better...for me...because I can get faster nicer looking results...FOR ME...but my wife can knock out 100 times the functionality in half the time

        • by TheLink (130905)
          In this world looking nice is more than half the battle.

          Most CxOs don't care how it works or whether it really works at all, as long as it seems to work, looks good, and the colours agree with them.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Kral_Blbec (1201285)
        I have far far more people ask me for help with their iphones/ipads/ipods than any other piece of technology. I thought they were so easy to use?
        I always tell them I boycott apple and refuse to even try to learn, which I'm sure I could.
    • by popo (107611) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @07:10AM (#36207346) Homepage

      Actually, it's all about Android.

      Any hacker will tell you that the smartphone is the juiciest target of them all. Loaded with credit card and direct billing capacity, and with manufacturer-customized OS's that are rarely updated or patched, and thrown together under tight deadlines.

      Smartphones are the low hanging fruit of the decade. And of that fruit, Android is the juiciest because of it's relative lack of manufacturer updates.

      • by hedwards (940851)

        That might be, but what precisely does that have to do with malware that affects an OS which can't be made to run on a handset?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Around CS and math departments at universities, it seems to me that macs are becoming almost universally adopted. Same is true for the best back-end oriented tech companies (e.g., google). I think it's likely that there are two peaks for computer skill for mac users-- very competent folks who are willing to pay more for an easy-to-use unix laptop, and those less savvy folks that you seem to have more experience with.

    • I don't know if I would entirely agree with this. As someone who services both Macs and PCs, across the board I would put the percentage of ignorance as roughly the same. Consider how many PC users willingly click on the popups that say "Your computer is at risk! Click here to clean" or "Your computer has detected spyware. Click to clean". As well, consider how many PC users visit video sites which claim that in order to view this video of Lindsey Lohan and a great dane getting freaky, you need this "speci
    • The reason Mac users are now targetted is because they are less computer savvy,

      *citation needed

      have deep pockets

      Probably because they have jobs and moved out of their mothers' basements.

      and have been shown to be more educated than Windows users.

      FTFY, which probably explains your second point as well
      http://news.cnet.com/8301-17852_3-20056815-71.html [cnet.com]

    • What "type of issues" would that be? It's an OS that will let you install software, and there are people that are writing software to do bad things. How is that a fault of the OS?

    • There's no need to deflect attention,, this is not about Android, this is about Apple computers having the type of issues for which PCs have always been made fun of.

      Except an important aspect of the "type of issues for which PCs have always been made fun of" was the lack of a credible security model in "old" Windows, combined with Windows' huge albatross of "legacy" software. Even after the deficiency was rectified in NT and XP, this leads to users running as "admin" and/or being so bombarded with security warnings that they ignore them.

      OSX and Linux use a "sudo" model which is fundamentally more secure than "old" windows or even XP in its typical "all users are supe

  • by Altanar (56809) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @05:48AM (#36207046)
    Unless Apple makes it mandatory for all applications on Macs be installed using the new app store, then it doesn't prevent anything. It's not like Mac users are going to immediately stop installing stand-alone programs the moment the store comes out. And if they're installing standalone programs, then the people who get tricked into installing fake anti-virus software won't give it a second thought about installing what that fake system message pop-up told them.
    • by mwvdlee (775178)

      It'd be hard for Apple to make it mandatory, but at the very least they could simply alter their warranty terms to exclude any system using software installed outside their Mac app store. They could cripple the OS for "security" reasons. They could lock you out of online services. They could do a number of things which may not make it mandatory, but pretty much force you to do as they say anyway.

      • by drinkypoo (153816)

        It'd be hard for Apple to make it mandatory, but at the very least they could simply alter their warranty terms to exclude any system using software installed outside their Mac app store.

        Then they're going to have to stop claiming POSIX compliance, et cetera. In the USA, the Magnuson-Moss warranty act prohibits any such shenanigans; if you follow the API then your programs meet specifications and therefore the warranty cannot be voided for running them.

      • I don't know why it would

        be hard for Apple to make it mandatory

        given that all they have to do is make it so.

        They might catch a lot of flak from existing developers (the ones that weren't secretly let in on this change and thus already have their Apps for Mac ready to go on launch date) but those will readily adopt the Apps for Mac Store rather than see their software have zero market.

        They have little to fear from the end-users, though:
        On iOS people are already defending Apple's subscription framework due t

  • Astroturf. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 22, 2011 @06:12AM (#36207134)

    Nice bit of Astroturf there.

    So, we shouldn't worry about malware on the Mac because Oh LOOK here's some speculation about a completely different OS so don't pay attention to this story anymore!!!

    And then the inevitable push from Apple to have total control over you system by the eventual restriction of apps to Apple market-approved programs only. Well that's sure a nice idea, too bad some of the Official apps like Safari also contain security weaknesses. So much for the safety of the walled garden approach. But it's not stopping them from trying, apparently.

    No, I don't panic over Malware on my Mac. It has nothing to do with Android, or any other OS, or the App Market, or anything else this shit-for-an-article is talking about.

  • by MROD (101561) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @06:20AM (#36207156) Homepage
    The story has the correct title but rather misses the point. Yes, it's not time to panic. There is a set of malicious tojan horse programs out there for MacOS. The current crop require the user to authorise their installation. i.e. the security weakest link (at the moment) being exploited is the one behind the keyboard. Very often this is the places where security is the weakest, just watch WarGames if you doubt this. MacOS is by design, with a greater degree of privilege and OS/Application separation, more resistant to attack than Microsoft Windows has been. However, this is not to say that it is not vulnerable. All systems are, be it design flaws or merely implementation flaws. Yes, I'm looking at you Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, Solaris, HP/UX and AIX. No-one can rest on their laurels.
    • by cheros (223479)

      Correct, and this supports the one statement I always make when someone tells me that "their" OS is safe: prove it.

      I run the 3 major ones (Linux, OSX and -now only occasionally- Windows), and only the Linux setup does not have any anti-virus and anti-trojan on it as it runs off read-only media. But on the Mac I have Kaspersky too. Not that it runs permanently, but I test anything that I'm interested in installing, and every so often I do a full check from an account with admin risks (my work account has n

    • MacOS is by design, with a greater degree of privilege and OS/Application separation, more resistant to attack than Microsoft Windows has been.

      Could you describe that "design", please? I mean a few more specifics beyond the "it builds upon Unix" as if that is in itself a design. What separation are you referring to?

  • How brain dead is that? The install base of OS X is 50+ Million and climbing. The install base of iOS is 120+ Million and climbing. What's your point?
    • I read TFA and the point I took from it was that OSX still isn't a juicy enough target, given other, more ubiquitous options. If you search my post history, however, you'll see I think that argument is totally bunk, because if I were a hacker, I'd go after the easiest target that has millions of users...it doesn't matter if one platform had 700,000 million users and the other only had 50 million...if the 50 million were easier to hack, I'd hack it. At some point the argument "there aren't enough Macs to be

  • by cerberusss (660701) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @08:07AM (#36207558) Homepage Journal

    So far, the OS X AppStore couldn't be called 'wildly popular' since its inception on January this year. Regularly, I checked my installed apps for availability in the App Store, because it allows for such easy updating. Lo and behold, only fairly trivial apps are there, the following list is not available in the App Store:

    • Google software (Chrome, Sketchup)
    • Mozilla software (Firefox, Thunderbird)
    • Adobe software (Flash, Flash Builder CS5, Photoshop etc)
    • Microsoft software (Office, Messenger, Silverlight etc.)
    • OpenOffice
    • Seashore (painting program)
    • Parallels
    • VLC
    • Skype
    • Calibre (an eBook converter)
    • XBench (a benchmark for OS X)
    • Vuze
    • KisMAC

    Now I agree that stuff like a bittorrent client (Vuze) and a network sniffing tool (KisMAC) would probably be refused in the App Store. But all in all, the OS X App Store could be called a disappointment so far.

    Note that the Opera browser (which contains a bittorrent client) is in the App Store.

    • Well, someone threatened to sue Apple for having VLC on the iPhone / iPad app store, so Apple removed it. So you can't really blame Apple if VLC is not on the Mac App Store.
    • As I understand the current rules, lots of the products you mention can't be delivered in the App Store because they need to be installed system-wide. E.g. you can get TextWrangler on the AppStore, if you want to install the command-line tools you have to download it from the website. Maybe these will go away with OS 10.7 (since the scuttlebutt is that 10.7 itself will be sold over the app store).

      Also - GPL software is effectively barred from the App store.

      OTOH, the App Store terms - use on any Mac compu

    • Allow me to match my personal anecdote with yours. Since the Mac App Store opened I have been able to discover several new apps and also pick up a few for a much cheaper price than what was listed before they were posted on the store. I found the following apps I never knew where out there:

      BarCalander
      Numbers ($12 on the app store, was $70 in a box)
      Mixxx
      MonsterTrucksNitro
      Pangea Arcade
      Ringtones (got this for $1.99, was listed as $12.99 on their website)
      VVVVVV (a very entertaining retro text-based game)
      Virtu

  • Don't worry, huh? There are more Androids than Apple computers out there... While I believe some people store pretty important information on their phones and "pads", I tend to think that malware in a deskptop is a much more serious threat to people - maybe because most people store their most personal and sensitive information in desktops?

  • by pandrijeczko (588093) on Sunday May 22, 2011 @08:52AM (#36207824)

    Just an education to those "happy-go-lucky" fanbois who believe their beloved Macs are somehow immune to malware:

    1. Malware can appear on any system - yes, even my beloved Linux is not totally immune from the threats.

    2. Defending computing devices against malware is as much about your own common sense as it is about someone else's anti-walware software or handing over your responsibilities in their entirety to Lord Jobs The Almighty. That means understanding *how* malware can enter through a web-site, email attachment, etc. and not going to sulubrious websites or opening emails where you don't necessarily trust the source. Yes, fanbois, it may be beneath your designer "pay someone else to do it lifestyles" but it all comes down to not being naive plonkers and learning how a computer works.

    3. Apple has become an "evil company" in the eyes of many, just like Microsoft and Sony did. When that's the case, subsets of malware authors who consider themselves to be Internet Robin Hoods will consider that they are doing the world a favour by targetting Apple over and over again. Whether they do that or not is irrespective of how many Macs are out there, it's more on just how big and evil they perceive Apple to be.

    4. Apple moving all software under the App Store banner is *precisely* what Apple wants to do because it makes them more money - it has *nothing* to do with anti-malware measures apart from giving them a good excuse to do it amongst the faithful. As that lockdown gets more and more, you will see a recurrence of exactly what has plagued Windows for many years - namely that not every fanboi has millionnaire parents and whilst some will buy every piece of software they use, most will get cracked copies which will be infected with all manner of malware because they won't or can't pay for the software.

    5. Yes, Android will also be targetted and non-techie Android users will suffer as a result. But anyone who is tech-savvy knows where the legitimate sources for software are and how to do as many checks as possible before installing anything. I've run Windows XP alongside Linux for years, for about 5 years now I went totally legitimate in the software that I use (I gave up with cracks and warez, I use Open Source programs and legitimately licensed and paid-for software) and I've not seen a piece of malware or virus in years - and that's running freebie virus checkers and anti-malware programs.

    6. I've not used Vista or Windows 7 because I've found no good reason to - but as I understand it, in Windows 7 Microsoft have put in much better layered security that takes into account people who don't know what they're doing and, as a result, it's having a positive effect on reducing malware spread on Windows 7. Yet at the same time, Apple leaves a ridiculous amount of unpatched flaws (especially in that Safari garbage) on their systems. The net result is malware creators will ultimately find it easier to target Apple than Microsoft, as Microsoft gets better and better at holding them back. (Nope, I'm not an MS fanboi, I use Linux more than Windows but I tell it like I see it as a security techie in my day job.)

    So stop with the defensive posturing, get your heads out of your assholes and READ THE FUCKING MANUALS like the rest of us do.

From Sharp minds come... pointed heads. -- Bryan Sparrowhawk

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