must be getting a taste of what it feels like for Microsoft Comp. (MSFT).
After years relishing security through obscurity thanks to the relative
unpopularity of its products, Apple is seeing sales
of its personal computers rise, and with them Mac attacks.
Hackers' best effort to date is arguably a fake antivirus program named "Mac Defender".
Various variants of the trojan have reportedly infected one in every
twenty Macs. Reportedly, Apple's initial response was to intentionally feign ignorance, telling its repair
and support staff to ignore the virus and not tell customers about it.
Clearly such an approach was intractable, and Apple eventually relented,
quietly announcing that protection was coming via an update. That
protection has arrived and it's pretty significant.
Dubbed Security Update 2011-003, the update transforms the File Quarantine utility inside OS X 10.6
"Snow Leopard" into what is almost an in-house antimalware
applications, à la Microsoft
Security Essentials (Microsoft's free antivirus and antimalware
The update includes definitions of known Mac Defender variants, which will
allow the tool to detect and block installation of the trojan when users try
download it via web browsers, e-mail, and other common paths. That's
not so new -- Apple has updated with other malware signatures before.
What is new is a shiny new automated removal tool that goes out and tries to
hunt down and remove installed versions of Mac Defender on your machine.
The tool is an example of how Apple is increasingly be forced to defend
itself against malware, much to the chagrin of die hard users and
marketing folks at Apple, both of whom largely prefer to view the
platform as immune to all attacks.The system also contains improvements to the tool which streamline auto-updating of definitions.
But sadly for Apple the story doesn't end there. Within 8 hours of
releasing the update, ZDNet discovered a new version of Mac Defender popped up
named "Mdinstall.pkg" and it's able to slide right by all of Apple's
fancy new protections. And like newer versions of the trojan, its crafted
to no longer prompt users for a password to install, making the process of
accidentally/carelessly installing the program much more subtle.That variant has since been killed, thanks to yet another update, but there's likely new versions popping up in the wild as you read this. Apple has entered the "cat and mouse" game with malware writers that Microsoft has long suffered through.
Desperately trying to patch a widespread infection? Getting thwarted by pesky
renamings and refactorings of malware? It sounds like Apple has
discovered what it felt like for Microsoft for all those intrusion-laden years
where it was the only party with significant market share.
quote: user ignorance which is pretty unbiased regardless of the platform.
quote: Right, 100%...I think that comment puts your whole comment in perspective.
quote: 'll go along with what Moto said
quote: at least think about and acknowledge valid arguments opposite his own.
quote: Bose sucks. They are a bunch of deceptive marketing fools that produce a poor product for those who don't know anything about audio.
quote: I've owned several PCs.
quote: So I decided to try out a Macbook Pro
quote: Apple uses proprietary mother boards with enhanced circuitry.
quote: The whole other half is the aesthetic
quote: Plus, a computer is now a piece of furniture.
quote: I could go on and on.
quote: Do you want more of a reason?
quote: Or does this suffice for now?
quote: The world's irony detector just exploded.
quote: our anecdata is of no value
quote: No one cares.
quote: All laptops have proprietary motherboards. There's no such thing as "enhanced circuitry"
quote: Get the f%ck over yourself. There's plenty of Windows-based machines that look just as gay as Apple machines if you're looking for that effeminate self-righteous pompous bastard look.
quote: How about valid ones?
quote: not in my chair pal. i went to super-geek university.
quote: you're falling into that category again. useless statement... not an argument. you're dissmissive because of your bias, not because the statement lacked any merit.
quote: yes there is. the gauge, the metal used, the binders, the application process... are all very strictly controlled by apple.
quote: just as i said that there is no pompous effect to be considered
quote: and if "gay" is what you think of attention to detail,
quote: what is a piece of furniture?
quote: please provide me with examples of valid arguments
quote: quote: Bose sucks. They are a bunch of deceptive marketing fools that produce a poor product for those who don't know anything about audio. You're a total douchebag and I'm the man. quote: I've owned several PCs. your mom should never have been born. quote: So I decided to try out a Macbook Pro did you hear the one about you being a dumabass? quote: The whole other half is the aesthetic if your idea of good aesthetics is based on what you see in the mirror everyday, then your opinion privileges have been revoked....
quote: The whole other half is the aesthetic
quote: your whole idea that all motherboards are created equal is so sadly absurd that the giant d$ck you have stuck up your a$$ is retreating because it felt violated. and that apple doesn't control the process (i've witnessed this first hand directly from apple) just goes to show how'll you'll believe what you want because you're biased and seem incredibly insecure about who knows what
quote: Well, we have two Big Fat Trolls here, one is Tony and the other is Moto, Tony is pro Apple and Moto is anti Apple. You can't reason with both of them, you don't argue with them since both believe in totally ridiculous assumptions about their idol/nemesis.
quote: Computers are NOT works of art, they crunch zeros and ones, they do not care for how enlightened you feel when you sit in front of it.
quote: 1. Durability.
quote: 2. Attention to detail.
quote: 3. OS X. In terms of usability it is head and shoulders above Windows in my opinion.
quote: But people buy Mercedes and BMW.
quote: In any case, you're strongly making the case that you're 100% twit.
quote: and what is a tangible detail to you? because to me, as a designer
quote: Apple products are selling so well
quote: Apple's computer market share is miniscule.
quote: you need to be able to envision whats to come.
quote: The problem is that the differences bother me. I'll pay more to not have to use the second-rate OS.
quote: And that, for me, is the Microsoft experience in a nutshell - always something irritating.
quote: WTF? How is Apple supposed to stop morons from voluntarily installing a virus on their machines?
quote: in the past 8 years that I've been on OS X. No virus. No worm. No rootkit / autorun / boot sector / etc. crud.
quote: Anyway, the $-% market share certainly is higher than the machines-% market share when you consider that the numbers thrown out are typically including ALL PC sales (business machines), and that they don't take into account affluence of owners, which should make Mac owners more tempting as targets given all of the surplus cash we have to throw around on unjustified Apple purchases.
quote: These computers I have had for about 5 years now but the ones before that I never had any malware either.
quote: like say *cough* ActiveX *cough*, it actually requires people running the installer app.
quote: Apple users, like PC users, are total tools
quote: Tony you're without a doubt one of the worlds biggest fools. I honestly feel sorry for you and the idiots that you parrot.
quote: And like newer versions of the trojan, its crafted to no longer prompt users for a password to install, making the process of accidentally/carelessly installing the program much more subtle.
quote: If Apple Mac factories were shown to be lubricated by the blood of freshly-squeezed kittens, puppies and bunnies, the Apple consumer base would just shrug it off with some moronic anecdote involving "magic" and "ease of use" and place their next order.
quote: Standard MacVirus: Hi. I am a Mac virus. Please delete random files on your mac and resend this message to the top 50 in your mailing list. Kind regards Your Norwegian MacVirus.
quote: It would seem that the policy is to market a virus free image while quietly making money by selling third party virus protection/removal tools for their virus free OS.
quote: I suppose that since 95% of the people here have an irrational hatred of Apple, you don't care, but I'd like to point out that by the time this story was posted, Apple released an update to the definitions that covers the new version.
quote: don't fool yourself.
quote: don't fool yourself.
quote: It's not an OS security issue, it's social engineering as Kevin Mitnick has pointed out that most security violations are. "Hey, dude, Bob needs your password for a minute to update something..." If you give the person calling you the password, you're the weak link, not the authentication of whatever OS is being logged in to.
quote: The reason people get hit is because they are don't update their machines (or antivirus SW for that matter) or practice safe computing practices (as is the case in this story) .