This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 24, 2011 2:22 PM. The previous post in this blog was Two months later, truth is told at Fukushima. The next post in this blog is Hail, hail, the gang's all here. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Malware reaches the Mac

A fake program called MacDefender has begun infecting Apple computers. Welcome to our world.

Comments (7)

Gotta love Apple's government approach though..."deny everything."


Gotta love Apple's government approach though..."deny everything."

Funny, but a bit overblown. The tabloid-like article, of course, forgot to explain the other parts of the memo (which, like any memo in a corporation, is "confidential"), like the sentence just before the one you're paraphrasing. The complete statement:

"AppleCare does not provide support fr removal of malware. You should not confrm or deny whether the customer's Mac is infected or not".

There's a good reason for that--if you don't support removal of malware, you can't mislead the customer by doing a half-assed job of helping them with malware.

Yet, Apple *does* tell support staff what to do if a customer has *not* run the malware installer. And it's the right thing.

The truth is, this is a tempest in a teacup: almost nobody has actually had problems with the malware harming their Mac.

This statement in the article is particularly humorous:
"For Apple, it's time to admit that there are threats to OS X users, and to start educating its customers on how to avoid them. Avoiding the issue is an unacceptable abdication of its duty to its customers."

Know why? Because Apple already does that, with over 150 web pages of help, and a range of other online and printed options.

The hardest thing for many to accept is just how hard (and rare) it is to fu*k with a Unix-based OS via malware, and how ridiculously easy it is to destroy a Windows-based machine. Entire IT staff livelihoods depend on Windows needing massive handholding, configuration, protection, bi-weekly updating, etc. This current one is junk, and doesn't do much at all--and it isn't the first time there's been an attempt at using malware to attack the Mac. in fact, it's the 17th.

And, Tell you what: call Microsoft and ask them to help you uninstall malware on your Windows PC. Go ahead, we'll wait. Or, call you hardware manufacturer and ask them the same question.

From Apple's support knowledge base: How to avoid or remove Mac Defender malware.

But it requires you to download it on purpose, and then enter your administrator password when prompted -- this is malware, but it's not scary Windows land where bad things happen for no good reason yet.

Apple says, "In the coming days, Apple will deliver a Mac OS X software update that will automatically find and remove Mac Defender malware and its known variants. The update will also help protect users by providing an explicit warning if they download this malware."

call Microsoft and ask them to help you uninstall malware on your Windows PC. Go ahead, we'll wait. Or, call you hardware manufacturer and ask them the same question.

I get your point. Fortunately, I don't need to worry about that. I build my own machines, and I can remove malware all by myself if I happen to get one. I do it for other people all the time.

Quite frankly, if you're dumb enough to blindly enter your admin credentials whenever the box pops up without asking yourself why it needs them, you deserve what you get.

That sentiment is platform-agnostic; be it Windows Vista / 7 with UAC, or Mac OS X, or pick-your-linux-distro.

Clicky Web Analytics