Alexander: Malware-free days may be over for Apple

  • Article by: STEVE ALEXANDER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: March 13, 2012 - 4:39 PM
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mn_cameraMar. 13, 12 9:29 PM

Will Apple-fan-smugness days also be ending soon?

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xorcistMar. 14, 1210:29 AM

…will Apple computers be subject to such attacks? Does one now need virus protection?

Macs have never been subjected to any such "attacks", and because there are no viruses for Macs, antivirus software would not protect you from anything. Apple computers aren't attacked at all by viruses, so saying they're attacked less often than Windows computers is disingenuous.

It's not possible to install a virus or any other type of malware on a Mac without the user authorizing it; unlike Windows, where you don't need any such authorization to install anything. That's why Windows computers are easily attacked and crippled.

If Steve Alexander actually knew what he was talking about, he wouldn't make these unsupported and demonstrably false claims.

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fuhrmannMar. 14, 1210:34 AM

The malware free days never really were. Mac's were subject to malware long before intel based machines because they were very common in labs where people swapped infections via floppy disks before the intel machines were commonly networked. ........................................................................................................................................................................... Apple has long encouraged (even in dishonest ads) the myth that they had fewer vulerabilites even though they admitted them to geek groups. There is a reason that the first systems to be hacked at the black had conference is always the Mac. ...................................................................................................................................................................... The only reason that Mac users have not had more visible problems is that there were not enough of them on the network to be worth attacking. Get an old Sinclair Spectrum and you will be able to go online (via dialup) and you will have no worries about malware.

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xorcistMar. 14, 1211:45 AM

@furhmann:

"The malware free never really were."

True, but not all malware is a virus, and there were only a handful of malware items for the classic Mac OS of yore. There are no viruses for Mac OS X.

"Apple has long encouraged (even in dishonest ads) the myth that they had fewer vul[n]erabilites even though they admitted them to geek groups. There is a reason that the first systems to be hacked at the black had conference is always the Mac.

False. Apple hasn't encouraged any myth in their ads, much less admitted anything to geek groups. What you choose to read into something is a result of your own bias.

The so-called Black Hat conference is not about hacking, at least when it comes to the Mac. No Mac has ever been hacked there. What they have done is expose vulnerabilities in various operating systems. But any "hack" from the Mac OS X perspective required user interaction through a browser on a specially crafted web page, and it wasn't a virus.

Macs are not the first ones to suffer from such vulnerabilities, nor are they the first to be "hacked" at this pseudo-conference.

"The only reason that Mac users have not had more visible problems is that there were not enough of them on the network to be worth attacking."

Another myth that has no basis in fact. Considering that many millions are in use and networked (including our military command and control),if they were so easy to attack, they would have been long ago.

Dreams die hard.

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dorkeemnMar. 14, 1211:59 AM

1) There have been and is currently Malware / Virus' which infect Mac Systems. They are a computer, they are not immune to them. 2) The occurance of the attacks / hacks is far lower than Windows based machines due to the sheer numbers 3) Unlike Microsoft, Apple keeps the news of their OS upgrades, patches, etc... relatively quiet. MS publicly announces bugs, hacks, etc... and the fixes from them.

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