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Apple Yanks Mac Virus Immunity Claims From Website 327

Posted by samzenpus
from the it's-hard-to-be-humble dept.
redletterdave writes "Apple quietly switched out a statement that claimed its Mac computers were completely immune to viruses with a less-forward statement: 'It's built to be safe.' The PR shift comes in the aftermath of the Flashback Trojan, which affected hundreds of thousands of Macs back in early April. From the article: 'Apple strives for perfection, but stating something is perfect when it isn't is ultimately bad for PR and company morale. Jobs used his reality distortion field to "rally the troops," so to speak, but "Mountain Lion" will ensure Apple can tout its closed, highly-secure operating system for the foreseeable future in a much more realistic sense. Just because a product isn't impervious to sickness doesn't mean it isn't "insanely great."'"
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Apple Yanks Mac Virus Immunity Claims From Website

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  • by allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:16PM (#40440709) Homepage Journal
    I mean, that type of statement COULD be construed as false advertising? Or am I completely wrong?
  • by SailorSpork (1080153) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:20PM (#40440769) Homepage
    Apple viruses have been around for awhile. Linux viruses exist. Viruses exist even for obscure, closed computer systems (look at STUXNET). Statistically, were they less likely to get viruses because Apple's OS is on a lower percentage of the computers out there? Yes. Immune to all viruses? Laughable.
  • by Grayhand (2610049) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:21PM (#40440781)
    How many viruses are there for Windows? "Apple quietly switched out a statement "? What are they supposed to do have a press release? Would any company on the planet do that? Just because they got nailed by a virus doesn't make them worse than a PC. So many people are desperate for a chink in Apple's armor that they overreact to things like this. Put it into perspective. They are still very resistant to viruses. I have more legitimate issues like searching for files on a Mac is a joke and they aren't as stable as they used to be, especially since Lion came out.
  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:22PM (#40440803)

    They were careful to say that Macs are immune to Windows viruses. It's sort of like saying that Ford cars are generally unaffected by Toyota's engineering flaws. Doesn't mean that they don't have any of their own.

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:25PM (#40440847)

    Still seems a fair comparison. Hey, folks, product X is plagued with such and such problem. Ours isn't. Come buy ours.

  • Closed? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by milbournosphere (1273186) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:28PM (#40440885)

    ...its closed, highly-secure operating system...

    Apple's OS is a lot of things, but it's still Unix based. If I want to do something, a terminal window is a click away. They've made the low level settings harder to get to via a settings window, to be sure; but at the end of the day, I can always issue the appropriate command. Closed might describe their mobile OS well, but that doesn't apply to their desktop OS (yet).

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:29PM (#40440903)

    Because was gots ta hates on the Applez! GOTTA HATEZ! Kill! Kill! Hate! Faster LOLCat! Kill! (pant) (pant) (shakes fist)

    Geek cred must be constantly watered by the dripping spittle of hate against a gadget company, and refusing to let others (The Sheep!) like what we don't like!

  • by SJHillman (1966756) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:30PM (#40440921)

    It's saying that, but in such a way that it's strongly implying "we don't have that problem" when they actually do. What if Ford put out an advertisement saying "Are you afraid of your Toyota skidding off the road into a tree? Then come buy a Ford!"? Sure, if you're driving a Ford then your Toyota probably won't hit a tree... but your Ford still will.

  • by lightknight (213164) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:42PM (#40441109) Homepage

    Yes, and Windows is immune to Mac security bugs.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:44PM (#40441133)

    The reality distortion field is what causes Apple fanboys to think that Apple invented the mouse.

    Wow I've never actually heard this. I've never heard that Apple has invented the smartphone or the mp3 player, either. I sometimes think people think they heard the word 'invent' when the word used was 'innovate'.

  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999 @ g m a i l.com> on Monday June 25, 2012 @01:57PM (#40441323)

    The reality distortion field is what causes Apple fanboys to think that Apple invented the mouse.

    No true Apple fan believes Apple invented the mouse. The story of Steve Jobs visiting PARC and exclaiming "you're sitting on a goldmine!" in exasperation when they said that they had no intention of commercialising it then rushing back to Apple and calling the hardware guy in and told him to drop all current projects because "*this* [the mouse] is what we've got to make".

    I mean, if we're being truthful about what the RDF is.

    It would be more accurate to say that it's the effect that gets people to cheer during the keynote when Jobs announced that they had updated iOS4 to enable the volume-up key to work as the shutter release in the camera app (and yes, that did happen. I eyerolled with amusement - I mean, it's a nice feature but it received a round of applause for goodness sake).

  • by bky1701 (979071) on Monday June 25, 2012 @02:00PM (#40441361) Homepage
    Yeah, now you've got... this thing: http://www.apple.com/magicmouse/ [apple.com]. No humor to be found there. That said, get your timeline straight: the one button mouse was discontinued as Apple's official mouse in 2007. Not 20 years ago.

    I think you'll find most people who do not think highly of Apple here think just as little of Microsoft. I know it can be hard to get out of the mentality that it is Apple vs. Microsoft and you have to pick one, but there are, in fact, people who have legitimate reasons to dislike both the company you love and the company you hate.
  • by hairyfeet (841228) <bassbeast1968@@@gmail...com> on Monday June 25, 2012 @02:03PM (#40441399) Journal

    I don't see how you could be, after all they made the statement to sell units and the statement is pretty blatantly false. The scarier part to me though is how many actually believed it. I mean I have sat here on this very forum and been gobsmacked as an otherwise perfectly sane individual would argue that since Flashback is a trojan it "didn't count" like a child on a playground demanding a do over.

    In the end folks there is no such thing as a general purpose OS that doesn't get malware, period. Apple, Linux, Windows, ALL THREE have bugs and if one uses only the tiniest bit of logic you would know why, it is because Operating Systems are now some of the most complex software ever written, millions of lines of code designed to interact with a myriad of hardware, and that isn't even counting all the millions of lines of code for the third party software running on top. To expect any company or group to be able to build something THAT complex and not have a single error? I'm sorry but that is simply ridiculous,humans are simply incapable of that level of perfection. There is simply too many interactions going on and no one person can keep up with it all.

  • by vell0cet (1055494) on Monday June 25, 2012 @02:29PM (#40441843)
    You joke... but this is actually the kind of thing that was lost with Steve Jobs. Not that OSX is impevious, but the almost religious belief in whatever Apple says.

    Jobs would have kept saying it. Mac user would parrot it. You won't believe how often I hear Mac users (although I am one) delude themselves into thinking how great their platform is. The marketing speak of "Macs are immune to viruses" doesn't have to be true, the consumers just have to believe it is.

    It's sort of like how Howard Camping said the world was going to end in May last year and then it didn't, and then people STILL believed him when he said it was going to end in October.
  • by bky1701 (979071) on Monday June 25, 2012 @02:59PM (#40442233) Homepage
    "Geek cred must be constantly watered by the dripping spittle of hate against a gadget company, and refusing to let others (The Sheep!) like what we don't like!"

    Which is why half the comments here, and on the last story which will not be named, nearly all of them, were blindly defending Apple, no matter what?

    Some of us are seriously worried about what would happen were Apple in Microsoft's position. Say what you will about Microsoft, they have never yet attempted the walled garden to the level Apple has made a business model and sold to billions of people with questionable claims. Speaking of which - pot, kettle, black, since most people complaining about Apple being attacked love to go and do the exact same thing they accuse others of when a story about Microsoft (and even Linux at times) comes up.

    I'd personally prefer if neither company existed, but Microsoft is the incompetent demon I know, Apple is the devil I don't. They have already proven they are able to manipulate the market to absurd levels (iTunes, locked down mobile OSes and service lockin, increasingly walled off desktop OSes, etc) in ways that harm ALL computer users, not just Apple users. You can bet when Apple does something sneaky like quietly remove implications that they are immune to viruses I am going to pay attention. If that looks like irrational hatred like you claim it is, well, I think it says a lot about how objective you are to your "gadget company."
  • by stewbacca (1033764) on Monday June 25, 2012 @04:01PM (#40443359)

    The platform is great (or not) irrespective of what idiot fan boys think. This is what I hate most about any conversation about Apple ever. I too am a Mac user (think they are great) and accept that malware is not impossible to get. I, however, am not the stereotypical hyper-logical binary slashdotter who doesn't realize that marketing is marketing and exists to try to get people to buy your stuff.

    Whether a bunch of fanboi hipsters buy Macs or not, I'm still going to like my Mac, regardless what others think. People who hate Macs, for whatever reason, think I am trying to tell them how awesome my Mac is (really don't care what you think), or even worse, that I'm trying to IMPRESS you by purchasing something anyone else can also buy. Again, I don't really care what you think about my computer. I'm using it a public space, because, a) I have it with me, and b) there's free wi-fi. Not c) to try and impress all the chicks with my Macbook...but this is slashdot, so maybe that's the logical conclusion.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday June 25, 2012 @04:29PM (#40443829)

    By the olde rules:
    Virus: appends itself to an executable
    Worm: spreads through networks (local area, wide area or inter)
    Trojan: executable that is more malicious than it claims to be

    The thing is, these aren't hard borders, these are behavioral details for hostile code. This is why people arguing "it's not a virus, it's a trojan" are pretty useless in the wholse scheme of data protection. I have fixed cases that are technically just a trojan, but act like a virus because the hostile executable sets itself as the "open with" for executables. Without knowing how it works, it looks like a very widespread virus, rather than an executable and a registry edit.

    As for them on Unix based systems, yes, all three types started showing up on college Unix systems decades ago.

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