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Apple hopes that if it pretends that malware doesn't exist its customers will believe so too. Apple techs are under strict orders not to help customers who are suffering from malware infe

Employees claim ~6 percent of Macs are now infected by malware, though many Mac owners are convinced their computers are "immune" to such problems.  (Source: Cult of Mac)

Microsoft actually helps protect its customers from malware programs and acknowledges they exist. It even offers its customers free protection.  (Source: iTech News Net)
Jobs and company hope to keep customers ignorant of the truth

Apple, Inc. (AAPL) long had the good fortune (from a certain perspective) of not being very popular with consumers and thus gaining security through obscurity.  With millions of Macs in the wild and Apple sitting pretty in fourth place in PC sales, though, the company is seeing an increasing number of malware attacks.

I. The Customers Want the Truth?  They Can't HANDLE the Truth!

In response to these attacks Apple has reportedly implemented a policy which is equal measures bizarre and baffling -- it's telling technicians to adopt a "don't ask don't tell" policy with regards to customers complaints about malware, feigning ignorance on the topic.

An Apple Store Genius (store technician) leaked internal documents to ArsTechnica.  One memo reads:

Apple Internal Use Only - Issue/Investigation in Progress - Confidential Information - Do Not Disclose Externally


Customers may call AppleCare to report and issue with malware (trojan) software known as Mac Defender or Mac Security, or because they are concerned that their Mac could become infected.  The name may vary as new variants are released onto the internet.  This malware is installed from malicious websites.

Products Affected

Mac OS X 10.6, Mac OS X 10.5, Mac OS X 10.4

A second memo adds:


    • Do not confirm or deny that any such software has been installed.
    • Do not attempt to remove or uninstall any malware software.
    • Do not send escalations or contact Tier 2 for support about removing the software or provide impact data.
    • Do not refer customers to the Apple Retail Store.  The ARS does not provide any additional support for malware.

The disgusted Apple employee is quoted as stating, "Frankly, it's Social Engineering at it's finest.  In some respects, I feel a little bad for the people hit by this, but at the same time, I can't help but be frustrated that people inherently trust everything they're prompted to do on their machines. The beauty of Mac OS X is its security model. That people blindly enter a password is going to be the undoing of it."

(The employee's comments allude to that Apple's OS requires users to verify installations using a feature similar to the UAC found in Windows 7.)

II. How Widespread is the problem?

Andy says that in the past about 0.2 percent of service Macs were suffering from some kind of malware -- "most always DNS trojans."  Now that number soared to around 5.8 percent, mostly thanks to MacDefender -- a trojan that DailyTech previously reported on.

The employee states, "There's been a very real uptick in the number of malware instances we've seen."

"With regard to how the company is dealing with it, the answer is not very well," he adds. "As you know, OS X requires an admin user to authenticate and OK the install for pretty much anything that's not drag and drop. The response has been a case of 'they installed it, so it's not our problem.' Until something that makes use of a zero-day exploit hits, I really doubt that we're going to do anything, technology wise, to address this."

But is the OS X security model really superior to Windows 7?

Famed Mac security expert Charlie Miller, who won multiple years for the fast Mac hack at Pwn2Own, comments, "Mac OS X is no more secure than any other operating system. It has vulnerabilities, and it will let you download and run malware. The difference is that there simply isn't that much malware written for it. The bad guys have focused all their energies at Windows, which makes up the vast majority of the computers out there. However, as market share for Macs continues to inch up, that equation is going to change and bad guys will begin to focus in on Macs, if that hasn't already started to happen. And as I mentioned above, Macs are no more inherently secure than Windows, so when the bad guys decide to go after them with gusto, it'll get ugly fast."

Other hackers have also commented that OS X 10.6 ("Snow Leopard") has inferior security to Windows 7.  To boot, Apple doesn't provide users with free antimalware software like Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) does.

III. How Long Can Apple Keep up the Charade?

In recent months botnet-forming worms and trojans have targeted OS X.  Most of these pieces of malware have been amateurish efforts, though, or works in progress.  Nonetheless it remains a very real possibility that Apple could one day see a serious attack.

The question remains how long Apple can continue to manage to deceive its customers and obfuscate the fact that its platform has malware on it, and that the threat is growing.

But the line still seems to be working on the most gullible of Mac users.  For example in our coverage of the MacDefender infection one pro-Apple commentator and self proclaimed "expert", "TonySwash" wrote:

In the real world actual and successful malware attacks on Macs are virtually unknown, and if there are any at all the number is vanishingly small.


The really embarrassing thing is not that Windows get's (sic) all that malware, that's just the result of piss poor design decisions going back decades, what's really shameful is the way that some Windows fans choose to deal with this reality. They deny it. It's not Microsoft or Windows faults (sic), it's everybody's problem, or if it's not everybody's problem then its (sic) some sort of perverse reflection of Windows strength (sic).

Eventually Apple may have to face the music, though, particularly if customers take legal action against it for feigning ignorance, now that corporate documents have revealed that Apple is well aware of the attacks on its platform.

There's plenty of things you can fault Microsoft and the Windows platform for, but one thing you can say in their favor is that at least when they encounter malware they try to help customers and counter rather than claiming their products are "magic" and have no problems.

Comments     Threshold

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World is ending tomorrow!!!
By Lanister on 5/20/2011 1:06:58 PM , Rating: 2
This is a sure sign of the end of the world that is supposed to happen tomorrow!!!

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By JasonMick on 5/20/2011 1:17:30 PM , Rating: 5
This is a sure sign of the end of the world that is supposed to happen tomorrow!!!

Only for TonySwash. ;)

I'm sure he's been faithfully praying to Lord Jobs to deliver him to Mac heaven...

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By cjohnson2136 on 5/20/2011 1:20:08 PM , Rating: 2
You know he will just come in here and argue by saying how bad MSFT or Google are. He won't actually respond to what Apple says.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By themaster08 on 5/20/2011 1:54:18 PM , Rating: 2
My feeling is that he'll keep quiet. He'll want to keep his job at Apple after all.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By StevoLincolnite on 5/20/2011 1:46:58 PM , Rating: 5
Haha, loved the article pointing at and belittling TonySwash, he had it coming to be honest! lol.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By themaster08 on 5/20/2011 1:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
I agree. I thought it was hilarious.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By kraeper on 5/20/2011 2:31:57 PM , Rating: 3
I disagree. Don't feed the trolls.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By Reclaimer77 on 5/20/11, Rating: -1
RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By tng on 5/21/2011 12:21:37 AM , Rating: 3
Well since you asked for it....

You calling someone childish? POT....KETTLE?

On the Tony thing, yeah, no one really likes Tony, except Tony.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By Paj on 5/23/2011 7:57:56 AM , Rating: 1
Agree. While funny, it would be more credible to link to an offsite article or post to back up his point.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By ekv on 5/22/2011 5:48:37 AM , Rating: 4
I do not defend Tony Swash in any way, shape or form. I am curious though, who's next? Because they "had it coming to be honest!"

For Jason to pick on a reader is rather poor form. Unless he knows Tony (in the real world) or, heaven forbid, maybe he IS Tony 8) If Tony is such an annoyance -- in the past others have called for him to be banned -- would not a private email informing him of possible sanctions have been a better approach?

Then again, public ridicule is effective albeit trendy.

By RedemptionAD on 5/20/2011 2:00:01 PM , Rating: 5
With proof staring him in the eyes of the internet and his name being called, Lord Jobs has probably force chocked him to death for failing him in the FUD campaign. The reality distortion field is down, send in some W-Wings and Lin- Fighters to blow up the DoushStar.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By Tony Swash on 5/20/11, Rating: -1
RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By Fleeb on 5/20/2011 2:27:52 PM , Rating: 4
Now I understand why you are the way you are.

How sad :(

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By Tony Swash on 5/20/11, Rating: -1
RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By themaster08 on 5/20/2011 3:00:25 PM , Rating: 5
Nice sources. Mac support specialists? How about the opinions of real security specialists? You would have known these if you'd read the article, as you would have known that Mac specialists will likely lose their affiliation with Apple for being up-front about this.

Keep drinking your beer, Tony, and drown out the reality.

By snakeInTheGrass on 5/21/2011 5:16:16 PM , Rating: 2
It's entirely possible there will be a real virus or worm one of these days - I don't think any OS has perfect security, and certainly if Apple didn't take security seriously they wouldn't have just brought on a new head for the OS security team - but this isn't it, just the usual sensationalism from a 'journalist'. People can install an app on any OS - Windows, OS X, or Linux. If you're inclined to install random apps that suddenly pop up on screen while you're browsing the web, you're probably a great candidate to be running a malware scanner because apparently you're looking for a way to shoot yourself in the foot. At least this 'news' is in the blog section.

In any case, it doesn't matter because the world is ending right about now.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By Homerboy on 5/20/2011 3:22:24 PM , Rating: 1
3-4 people a day.
Lets work in some ratios here...
So if Apple has (for easiness sake) 10% of the market share, and MS 90%, that means that if the tables were switched, and Apple had 90% they'd see roughly 25-40 people a day walking in with malware issues right? Simple ratios I know, but I think you could apply it here.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By nafhan on 5/20/2011 3:54:31 PM , Rating: 3
Look! I can pick and choose quotes from that article, too:
It gets worse as the stores scale up. We spoke to another Apple Store Genius, who we'll refer to as Andy, whose store services a couple thousand Macs per week. "There's been a very real uptick in the number of malware instances we've seen," Andy, said, adding that in the past, 0.2 percent of the Macs brought into Andy's store might have a malware problem—"most always DNS trojans."

That has changed in the last three weeks. Nowadays, something like 5.8 percent of machines Andy's store sees have a malware-related issue, almost entirely made up of MAC Defender or some variant.

"With regard to how the company is dealing with it, the answer is not very well,"
Andy told Ars. "As you know, OS X requires an admin user to authenticate and OK the install for pretty much anything that's not drag and drop. The response has been a case of 'they installed it, so it's not our problem.' Until something that makes use of a zero-day exploit hits, I really doubt that we're going to do anything, technology wise, to address this."
If I used a bunch of ellipses and cut out a few more things, I could probably make it sound even worse. Ars is a great site, but selectively quoting things can be very misleading. The conclusion of the article (as I read it) is that these problems will likely become more commonplace, but (as with most modern OS's) they can largely be avoided with a little common sense.

Also, have a nice vacation, AND GET OFF THE INTERNET :)

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By Tony Swash on 5/20/11, Rating: -1
RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By Ghost42 on 5/21/2011 1:34:00 AM , Rating: 2
said one, "You couldn't get me to install Norton on OS X if you slipped me the date rape drug

Funny.. I feel the same way about Norton for Windows.. So, your point would be?

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By Ushio01 on 5/20/2011 8:12:10 PM , Rating: 2
Two or three people a day :)

Hmm 230 odd Apples stores in the US so 690 people with malware problems a day in the US or 4830 a week, that sounds like a problem to me.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By LSet on 5/20/2011 6:30:57 PM , Rating: 5
I hate myself for taking the bait but...

OK seriously, I need to know, are you an IT security specialist? Do you work for a security vendor or as a security consultant for a major reseller? Have you had any serious vendor-agnostic security training?

Because honestly, as someone who works in a presales/engineer capacity for a reseller, you strike me as someone who isn't and who hasn't.

Of course the majority of Malware has been targeted at Windows, for years it has been the main OS for the home user. You want to target the person who doesn't have the technical know to deal with these kinds of threats, the kind of people who will just click that link. Those people will be in the masses, they are the people who will be using Windows because it was on their £300 PC from PC world. And they are now the people who are starting to buy MACs.

Your logic is like blaming the sporty three door hatchback for being in the majority of road accidents, rather than the moronic teenage boy racer who was behind the wheel.

Every OS has vulnerablities because they are made by human beings. If you like MACs, great, they are well built machines, but Apple's customer reponse to this kind of thing is appalling. I really hope they get a decent wake up call soon, simply so that the consumers benefit.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By JW.C on 5/21/2011 4:43:45 PM , Rating: 2
Tony, please explain to us if this isnt a problem why in the heck aplle has been snapping up security specialists like David Rice and Ivan Krstic? They sure didnt hire them for their abilities at gaming on the apple....

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By sprockkets on 5/20/2011 6:17:40 PM , Rating: 2
Wow, when I sent that link to you Jason, I didn't expect this. Today is my lucky day.


RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By cjohnson2136 on 5/20/2011 1:40:25 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't you know...Macs getting malware was the first sign of the Apocalypse. Now that it is getting worse it clearly means the end is soon.

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By therealnickdanger on 5/20/2011 1:57:12 PM , Rating: 5
Jobs 24:3-20

As Jobs sat on the Mount of Cupertino, the Geniuses came to him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the close of the age?" And Jobs answered them, "See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, 'I am the Steve,' and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of bots and rumors of bots. See that you are not alarmed, for this must take place, but the end of Apple is not yet. For OS will rise against OS, and beta against beta, and there will be viruses and fragmentation in various sectors. All these are but the beginning of the birth pains."

"Then they will deliver you up to GeekSquad and put you to death, and you will be hated by all geeks for my name’s sake. And then many will fall away and betray one another and load other OSs. And many false prophets will arise and lead many to other GUIs. And because malware will be increased, the monitors of many will grow cold. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And this gospel of the Mac will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all corporations, and then the end will come."

By cjohnson2136 on 5/20/2011 2:05:43 PM , Rating: 2

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By SkullOne on 5/20/2011 3:13:52 PM , Rating: 5
This man so deserves a 6...

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By FS on 5/20/2011 2:10:51 PM , Rating: 2
starting today? Explosion at Foxconn factory

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By kleinma on 5/20/2011 4:18:21 PM , Rating: 2
more people kill themselves at foxconn weekly due to the slave labor than died in that blast...

RE: World is ending tomorrow!!!
By stimudent on 5/23/2011 12:51:17 AM , Rating: 2
Apple is sounding more like the Big Brother its portrayed in its 1984 commercial.

Relying on users typing in a password?
By SoCalBoomer on 5/20/2011 1:15:01 PM , Rating: 3
The beauty of Mac OS X is its security model.

Sorry, that's not a security model. I have a number of students whose computers have NO password because they're tired of typing it in (personally, I got that way too so my password is now quite short and easy to type in) - it comes up literally at least once a week and often more often as iTunes updates, Safari updates, MS Office updates, and OSX updates and each needs the password. . .

No, a true security model relies on . . . SECURITY.

That and a manufacturer actually responding positively to problems. . .

RE: Relying on users typing in a password?
By tng on 5/20/2011 1:43:23 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, that's not a security model.

No, it is an excuse for Apple to pass the buck......

"They had to input a password to install malware, so it is not our fault", security has nothing to do with it.

RE: Relying on users typing in a password?
By cjohnson2136 on 5/20/2011 1:45:21 PM , Rating: 2
Any computer security person is laughing because if a password is their security model, they all know that security needs multiple layers. A password means nothing.

RE: Relying on users typing in a password?
By Solandri on 5/20/2011 2:39:18 PM , Rating: 5
OS X inherits its security model from Unix (it traces its roots back to BSD/Unix and NeXTStep). Unix was designed from the get-go as a shared multi-user system running on a mainframe with users logging in through terminals. Consequently, it has a rather robust security model. Apps run in user-space with only the minimum permissions needed to get the app to run. If you absolutely must have additional permissions, the app must ask for elevation to root privileges, which is when the user has to type in the root password.

Windows comes from the opposite direction. It started off with MS-DOS, which was a single-user OS. The user had full access to the entire system at all times. Consequently, most Windows apps were written assuming they had full access to the entire system - they assume they have root access. A lot of them broke when Vista introduced the Unix-style security model of apps only getting minimum permissions by default, which led to a lot of companies sticking with XP. Even today, 4 years after Vista was introduced, when I'm helping migrate clients' systems to new hardware, I call up the producer of the vertical app the company runs, and get told their solution to getting their software running under Vista or Win7 is to turn off Windows' UAC security.

I agree that Apple's dismissal of these security issues is ludicrous. But OS X's fundamental security model is better than Windows', and probably better than Linux's due to it being single-source (fewer unforeseen interactions to watch out for).

RE: Relying on users typing in a password?
By KoolAidMan1 on 5/20/11, Rating: 0
RE: Relying on users typing in a password?
By semicolon on 5/21/2011 10:53:10 AM , Rating: 3
Actually, the current Windows operating systems do not have a lineage that leads back to MS-DOS. Since Windows 2000, all versions of Windows have derived from the Windows NT kernal. Windows NT was a new development, originally from the joint Microsoft-IBM development of OS/2, and doesn't have any relationship with MS-DOS. In fact, the kernal has more in common with DEC VMS or RSX-11.

RE: Relying on users typing in a password?
By KoolAidMan1 on 5/21/2011 1:18:06 PM , Rating: 2
True, but what he is saying regarding the lineage of the Windows security model and where it changed with Vista still stands.

By nycromes on 5/25/2011 8:44:34 AM , Rating: 2
Regardless of the lineage, there will always be a tradeoff between convenience and security. The weakest link will always be the user. This is the case on all OSes and will continue to be until people learn not to trust popups, links, and messages.

You can put in all the security you want into an OS, many users will turn it off. If they can't turn it off and its too much they will switch to another OS. Not to mention, they will still blindly follow pop up messages directing them to install some app. People want both convenience and security, but we have yet to determine an effective way to accomplish this. The best way to eliminate these threats is to educate users on safe computing. People are going to use computers so lets teach them the safest way to use computers. Force the hackers to find the bugs in software rather than social engineer users into installing their malware.

Ignorance or Warranty?
By Aikouka on 5/20/2011 2:13:48 PM , Rating: 2
Jason, I think your article may be looking at this in the wrong light. It is a somewhat logical conclusion that based on the article, Apple wants its technicians to feign ignorance, but there's another (and in my opinion, far better) conclusion. Apple isn't simply ignoring malware; they're refusing to take support calls through AppleCare where a customer believes they're infected with malware.

I'd have to read over the AppleCare clause for a Mac (I don't own a Mac) to see if there's anything in there about AppleCare not covering non-OS related software issues. I mean... technically, a user getting malware isn't Apple or Microsoft's fault nor problem. I think the second memo actually solidifies my conclusion. The first bullet point says you should not even attempt to diagnose a malware issue over the phone. The second says you should not attempt to treat a malware issue over the phone. The third says you should not attempt to push a malware issue up the tech support chain (i.e. lower level -> higher level support). The fourth says that the Apple Store's support (Genius Bar) will not help with these issues either, so do not recommend it.

As one other commenter jokingly posted (but it seems he was actually correct), "You're reading it wrong."

RE: Ignorance or Warranty?
By jordanclock on 5/20/2011 2:50:30 PM , Rating: 2
So, when a Mac user is having an issue on their machine because of malware, the moment the tech realizes it is malware related... They hang up? They tell the person "Sorry, Apple didn't make that so we don't handle that?" Basically, they're confirming the issue by ignoring it. Users are now stuck having to remove this malware on their own, assuming they even realize it IS malware.

RE: Ignorance or Warranty?
By Aikouka on 5/20/2011 3:01:18 PM , Rating: 2
I highly doubt that any large OEM computer manufacturer (Dell, HP, etc) allows free malware support under their warranty clauses.

RE: Ignorance or Warranty?
By cjohnson2136 on 5/20/2011 3:12:49 PM , Rating: 3
Actually I have called Dell before and they did help me remove malware from my parents computer.

RE: Ignorance or Warranty?
By nafhan on 5/20/2011 3:31:51 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, but it's not Dell or HP, it's Apple. Things like the genius bar thing are a major reason people are willing to pay extra for Macs. Even if they don't take care of the problem, pretending it doesn't exist seems awful. At the very least, they could say something along the lines of "We think you may have malicious software installed on your Mac. Here's contact info for a few Mac security specialists who are qualified to investigate further."

RE: Ignorance or Warranty?
By kleinma on 5/20/2011 4:22:06 PM , Rating: 2
It is even more than that. If you bring in your Mac to an apple store for lets say, a ram upgrade. During the course of them performing this upgrade, they realize you have malware on your computer. Since you as the customer didn't mention it (becuase you are a mac user and therefor think such a thing is impossible) the mac employee must make no mention of it and totally ignore it, even if the employee knows it is malware and knows they could fix it, they are to do nothing and say nothing. Apple is just too shady of a company for me to ever want to deal with.

Concerns still there
By evo slevven on 5/20/2011 3:30:08 PM , Rating: 2
Regardless of how many posts testified that "99.9%" of Macs are safe and that the Mac is still the worlds safest OS, you have to take into account a few points raised by the story. Its not so much about "reading into it" rather, if there is an issue, there is a divide between "avoiding the problem" in comparison to "there is a problem".

For those who buy and sell Macs, the dominant psychology has been Macs are invincible to such things but that isn't the case and making a statistic of "99.9%", while it may or may not be factual (as I can at times pull a statistic out of my ass 78% of the time) there still isn't an acknowledgement of "there are a few malware issues that could arise" but a false sense of confidence: "its so low you never have to worry about it, I mean really 99.9%". See what I mean?

While it isn't so much a lightning rod or smoking gun, take into account kits and builds for ripping info for Mozilla and Google Chrome on Mac have been surfacing on the web and are in a "ready to purchase and release" state and Macdefender is a more recent inductee. So there is a trending toward the "its possible and more than likely to occur eventually" whereas if it were 2007 we could use the "its still a long way ahead" line and it'd be pretty truthful.

Remember when iPads were compromised and how little notice it received except for possible 1 minute news story? Apples, as they increase in share in households, are going to be eventually targeted. I'd rather not have the situation follow the airline scenario where bad things have to happen in large numbers (ie. a zero day) before there is someone who stands up and takes responsibility and does something about it.

RE: Concerns still there
By jecs on 5/20/2011 4:13:03 PM , Rating: 2
It is not that I have some special faith in Apple. But that I believe they are not that naive as those documents or internal leaked policies may imply out of the context they may be intended. I doubt Apple is not doing an important effort about security, but typically Apple is secretive about most of what they are doing behind the scenes. Anyway I have my back ups and I can only hope I will read about any possible exploit early enough and stay well informed.

Lets see how secure Lion will be and if Apple has been superficial or in denial about OSX security.

But even this truths have been around for many years. I use Macs and PCs and used the Macs since the days of the very vulnerable OS9 that depended on Norton or any other antivirus. Besides this I am aware that any day my Mac could be affected and even fried by a malware or malicious virus infection.

And I thinks it is positive, positive to disclose publicly this possibilities as realities every Mac user needs to be aware off. But what can I tell you, I haven't suffered an infection or attack in the last 10 years of OSX use.

My biggest concerns in the present comes from HD failures, because these are the problems I suffered in my Macs, and now I back up my important data in 3 different manners. If I get seriously infected, I expect to loose no more than a day to recover.

Also Apple with the big economic power and the experience it has these days has no excuse to fail big on security.

RE: Concerns still there
By rudy on 5/21/2011 2:17:09 AM , Rating: 3
Don't you ever wonder why Apple is so secretive? It is because they realized from a marketing stand point that being quiet sells alot more. The problem is alot of people think apple is a good company at heart. And those same people tend to think Microsoft is a bad company at heart.

It is kind of like you see a sexy woman and she says nothing. You are free to imagine what ever you want to imagine her personality, interest and capabilites are. So apple keeps quite because people can live the baseless infactuation longer. As soon as she opens her mouth and starts talking whatever you worked her up to be in your mind starts to fall apart.

They have done studies that show covering up a problem such as a security breech is better than being open about it from a sales perspective.

So apple is just running business as usuall. The problem is people think they are better than business as usual but they are not. Everyone who is not blinded by the Apple RDF knows the whole point of this memo is to reduce the amount of talk of apple malware. If that means you knowingly send a Apple user back home ignorant of his compromised system then so be it. But having talked to so so many apple fans if they understood all these tactics I think that it would be like telling someone their preacher is a child molester. Completely against everything you thought the company stood for.

RE: Concerns still there
By themaster08 on 5/21/2011 3:47:00 AM , Rating: 2
I agree wholeheartedly.

Apple's reputation means everything to them. Do people really think that if Apple openly admitted to all of their flaws, they would have such a huge cult following, and so many people willing to spend an exuberant amount of money on their products?

Their entire business model is based on this reputation of luxury, security and superiority. Apple will do anything to keep this reputation, even if that means losing money, because they know that if their reputation is tarnished, there's no going back.

They have painted an entire outlook based upon their contrasting qualities towards Microsoft and Windows - namely their security model.

However Apple have nothing to worry about. Their consumer base consists of Tony Swash's and the average Joe, for who will probably not hear of this story. However, Apple will really need to beef up their security, cause perhaps much more of this is to come now MACDefender has really broke the chain, it might entice others to do the same.

RE: Concerns still there
By dare2savefreedom on 5/22/2011 2:45:42 AM , Rating: 2
I think we will miss apple.

I get laughs when i see the apple store - "genius bar" - do they serve alcohol or kool aid? Why isn't it called the "dumb-as$ line" ?

I kinda like the store though, i mean u know the babe is rich and you know the babe is stupid so it's a concentrated target environment, no?
You don't want the "thinks kind of computer user" as a girlfriend do u ?

By jimbojimbo on 5/20/2011 1:17:59 PM , Rating: 2
Do not attempt to remove or uninstall any malware software.

What? Basically they're saying "If you find that the user's computer's is infected, let them burn." Typical Apple policy.

RE: Typical
By borismkv on 5/20/2011 1:25:26 PM , Rating: 3
They're using the internet wrong.

RE: Typical
By adiposity on 5/20/2011 3:52:31 PM , Rating: 2

RE: Typical
By Thats Mr Gopher to you on 5/20/2011 1:45:27 PM , Rating: 3
It's time they bought a new Mac anyway :P

The storm is coming...
By 2bdetermine on 5/20/2011 2:02:58 PM , Rating: 2
As user base increases, so is hacker.

Ignorance will eventually lead to their demise.

RE: The storm is coming...
By RedemptionAD on 5/20/2011 2:10:16 PM , Rating: 5
Arrogance leads to ignorance. Ignorance leads to idiocy. Idiocy leads to Apple.

Same crap that infects windows
By M4gery on 5/20/2011 2:56:27 PM , Rating: 2
This "Mac Defender" and "Mac Security" sound like the exact same fake AV malware that has been infecting windows for years. Highly amusing. if its as virulent on Macs as it is on Windows, getting infected with it = reformat most of the time.

RE: Same crap that infects windows
By cmptrdude79 on 5/20/2011 5:15:15 PM , Rating: 2
Or you could pick up one of several removal tools that have been created for exactly that family of malware, known as smitfraud, if memory serves me correctly. These will undo the vast majority of the changes performed by the malware, and will leave you with a very minor clean-up afterwards.

By Mr Perfect on 5/20/2011 5:27:07 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. Cleanup is pretty simple for many of those fake AVs, it's amazing how many people take drastic measures for simple infections.

By themaster08 on 5/20/2011 1:21:32 PM , Rating: 4

By croc on 5/20/2011 9:13:30 PM , Rating: 4
I know a few Scots. Those cliff walks CAN be dangerous. Well, I need to go, have a few calls to make.

By Wolfpup on 5/21/2011 12:50:53 AM , Rating: 2
I can't stand these zealots. Not one single part of that is accurate. If anything, the reverse is correct.

Why does he think that? We now now...I long suspected, but apparently fanboy-ism is caused by the same part of the brain that...well:

RE: TonySwash...ugh
By snakeInTheGrass on 5/22/2011 10:02:31 PM , Rating: 2
Though to be fair, at least Apple and Steve Jobs do exist, so unlike a true religioun, it's grounded in reality and not 'faith'. Besides, it is magical... :)

Lord Jobs says...
By jvillaro on 5/20/2011 1:22:28 PM , Rating: 2
You're reading it wrong!!!

RE: Lord Jobs says...
By marvdmartian on 5/20/2011 2:10:08 PM , Rating: 1
Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!

What else could have the technicians have said?
By YashBudini on 5/22/2011 10:33:16 PM , Rating: 2
They already used the "You're hold it wrong" excuse.

By YashBudini on 5/22/2011 10:34:54 PM , Rating: 1

I hate the lack of editor here.

By omnicronx on 5/20/2011 1:14:16 PM , Rating: 2
Hook it up Tony!!!!!

By cjohnson2136 on 5/20/2011 2:06:59 PM , Rating: 2
"If you can find a PS3 anywhere in North America that's been on shelves for more than five minutes, I'll give you 1,200 bucks for it." -- SCEA President Jack Tretton

Saw this and figured should take him up on this deal now since so many are returning it.

/waves hand
By icanhascpu on 5/20/2011 2:22:25 PM , Rating: 2
This is not the malware you are looking for.

By lagomorpha on 5/20/2011 6:54:03 PM , Rating: 2
"Jobs and company hope to keep customers ignorant of the truth"

Keep Apple customers ignorant? Shouldn't be too much work.

By styrafoam on 5/21/2011 2:54:28 AM , Rating: 2

The article has bunch of links to mac owners asking for help removing malware on, then some people with hurt feelings raging at the author in the comments.

There was a time that you had to click install on the windows pop up for malware to infect you. The thing here is when you sell computers to people and specificly say that they don't have to worry about anything it only makes a person who was uninformed in the first place more likely to believe everything they read and do exactly what the pop up tells them.

The marketing seems to have come full circle and betrayed the people it said would be safe.

People with short memories
By superstition on 5/21/2011 2:15:03 PM , Rating: 2
I know it's always fun to bash Mac users, calling them naive sycophants (and some of them are, just as some Windows users are the same). However, for those of us who have been using Macs (and Windows) for a long time, we remember that there were plenty of viruses for Macs.

When I was a university student, I remember that the computer labs were always a source of "fun". The Macs would be infected with viruses. The Windows machines would be infected with viruses. The Windows machines running NT 3.x would print at a glacial pace on the lab's Epson printers and the printout would be really light. The Macs would print quickly on the ImageWriter II printers but much of the time many of the printers would be out of service, or you'd end up with printouts that weren't straight or clear. The Windows machines usually had the "slowdown" syndrome. They'd seem fast at first and then become so slow you'd switch to another machine. The Macs would be fast until they got the bomb screen.

The point here is that both platforms had problems, and some of us, instead of seeing computer platform choice as a religion, are able to not only remember that there were Mac viruses, but that Windows is hardly perfect either. I still can't get used to the terrible folders in Windows 7 which make everything on the desktop jarring/difficult to look at, nor is moving files from one folder to another nearly as convenient as in OS X.

I use a Mac most of the time, because OS X is less vulnerable because of its obscurity. That is changing, yes, but it's still true. Plus, I have found OS X to be more stable and easier to use. I started on Windows and I have spent the majority of my time working on Macs, not because of blind faith, but because I would rather have a speedy printout and risk a bomb than a molasses printout that's too light. As long as Macs have an edge over Windows, I'm going to continue to use them. But, I did deal with my first case of OS X malware as an IT support person last week, so it is coming. Fortunately, as the article says, it was rather amateurish and I was therefore able to delete the files from the Finder.

Both Microsoft and Apple made big mistakes over the years in terms of their choices in OS development. Instead of mocking average computer users, who are not geeks in-the-know, people should put more pressure on these companies to improve their security.

I agree that Apple should not be playing games like this. Similarly, Macbook Pro buyers who got stuck with faulty Nvidia chips had to play games with Apple, too. Apple pretended that it didn't sell the machines to users --- that we have a problem with its supplier, Nvidia. Imagine if a car company were to tell users it won't issue a recall on a defective car and that we should contact/sue one of its parts suppliers instead. So, not only did Apple refuse to recall the faulty parts (every single GPU was faulty), it replaced them on an ad-hoc basis with the same faulty parts! But, this appears to be an industry-wide problem, because only a class-action suit against Nvidia went anywhere, a lawsuit that was nonsense because it targeted a parts supplier instead of the companies that sold people the faulty machines. Apple also, under the terms of the settlement, continued to refuse to do anything other than replace the faulty chips with faulty chips.

So, yes... Apple is really sucking at the moment. Fortunately, at least, OS X is still quite nice.

How to fix a MAC!
By Etern205 on 5/21/2011 6:13:42 PM , Rating: 2
Step1. Take it to Apple Store
Did that fix it?
No? Proceed to step 2.
Step2. Buy a new Mac.
Over drawn your account. Quietly weep.

Credit to

By TakinYourPoints on 5/25/2011 2:56:51 AM , Rating: 2

Instructions for manual removal also included

By hiscross on 5/20/11, Rating: -1
RE: Microsoft
By themaster08 on 5/20/2011 3:21:16 PM , Rating: 5
Perhaps your members of staff should stop clicking anything they see on Facebook and downloading pr0n when they're supposed to be working.

RE: Microsoft
By cjohnson2136 on 5/20/2011 3:27:41 PM , Rating: 1
I would agree. I get laptops and desktops and I never have any issues with viruses or malware but the second i hand it down to my parents it gets shit all over it.

You can't say Mac is better just because you don't get malware. From the article you can determine that Macs can get malware and its growing.

All malware that a computer gets is not the FAULT of the OS but the fault of the user. If the user is stupid enough to downloading anything that pops up then so be it. But that is not an excuse to condemn the product. Stupid people need to have computers taken away. Do this and 99% of malware will disappear.

RE: Microsoft
By hiscross on 5/20/11, Rating: -1
RE: Microsoft
By themaster08 on 5/21/2011 3:20:56 AM , Rating: 3
Well from your OP you're either flat-out lying, or you need more competent I.T support, and staff re-training.

are up stupid by birth or just worked your way up to that level? Just wondering
Since this comment is neither informative or well thought out, I'm going to say you're playing the BS card.

Sure, it's Microsoft's fault that those computers are running slow. It's Microsoft's fault that your fellow members of staff download whatever crap that catches their eye, infecting their machines with their blind curiosity. It's Microsoft's fault that your I.T support have no clue how to secure and maintain a computer (of which all can be automated).

Perhaps you're the one who should be asking yourself these questions, instead of coming here and bashing Microsoft for things that are clearly the issue of your counter-productive members of staff and the competnecy of your I.T support

RE: Microsoft
By damianrobertjones on 5/21/2011 8:10:18 AM , Rating: 5
Did you just make all of that up? Really, did you?

I look after around 120ish pcs in work and although that's not exactly a lot, but I really do think that you're talking out of your rear.

p.s. ANY I.T. person worth their pay packet would NOT put an iPad into a large corporate environment as the thing cannot be locked down by Group policy. No group policy means wide open and we ALL know how wide open Apple products are. iPad on the net, connected through to the network means a nice easy way in for all the crap out there.

P.s. We only run our machine with a pretty standard core 2 cpu and not one person complains about the speed.

"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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