Dr. Bombay Computer M.D. get it all wrong about Macs, viruses and more

“Here’s the deal on viruses: Nobody is going to waste much time creating something that will hammer only a tiny fraction of the computers out there. That’s why the only virus news that makes it into the paper is when some cretin finds a previously undiscovered way to goober with Windows, which is the operating system in more that 90 percent of the world’s computers,” Dr. Emilio Bombay writes for The Star-Telegram.

[MacDailyNews: Bzzzzt. Please try again:
Is Mac OS X really inherently more secure than Windows? – August 26, 2003
BusinessWeek’s Haddad gets it wrong; thinks low market share spares Macs from viruses – August 28, 2003
Shattering the Mac OS X ‘security through obscurity’ myth – August 28, 2003
Fortune columnist: ‘get a Mac’ to thwart viruses; right answer for the wrong reasons – September 02, 2003
New York Times: Mac OS X ‘much more secure than Windows XP’ – September 18, 2003
Columnist tries the ‘security through obscurity’ myth to defend Windows vs. Macs on virus front – October 1, 2003
Gates: Windows ‘by far the most secure’ system; tries to use ‘Mac OS X secure through obscurity’ myth – January 27, 2004
Mac OS X has no viruses; what’s wrong with Windows? – February 11, 2004]

“I guarantee you that if Steve Jobs had had more business sense than ‘vision’ years ago and Apple had the dominant operating system today, we’d see nothing but stories about new viruses bringing the world’s Macs to a standstill and how really savvy people were safe because they used this quaint little niche product called Windows,” Bombay writes.

[MacDailyNews Note: see last note above.]

“Operating systems like Unix and Linux (kind of like Unix, but free) are harder to infect, but it’s not impossible. And Mac’s OS X (based on Unix) is not as virus-safe as its champions like to think. Already, there’s at least one serious worm that affects it, plus several more that can attack when running in the “Classic” environment — which lets an OS X machine emulate an older one so it can run programs whose publishers are too lazy to write new code for the new operating system,” Bombay writes.

[MacDailyNews Note: Wrong. Apple does release occasional security updates for OS X. An OS security update is not a virus, it’s not an exploit, just a hypothetical issue. There are no viruses or worms for Mac OS X.]

“If you go with Apple, at least your wife won’t complain about how long you linger in the software section at the computer store. Minuscule market share, minuscule selection of software. Oh, there are some fantastic programs, especially for graphics, digital imaging and video work, and Microsoft is still making Office for the Mac (at least until Jobs ticks off Bill Gates one more time) but just try to find a copy of Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto,” Dr. Bombay writes.

[MacDailyNews Note: There are currently over 18,000 Macintosh applications and software titles available on the market. Because Dr. Bomaby doesn’t see them in Wal-Mart, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. If you devoted just a day to learn to use each piece of Mac software available, it would take you over 49 years and 4 months to use all of the Mac software available.]

Dr. Bombay is supposed to be funny, we think that’s the point, but in this case he’s just plain wrong. We hope the good doctor isn’t offended, but we’re going to need a second opinion when it comes to computing answers. Full article here.

34 Comments

  1. I really find it amazing how columnists will still argue that you can’t walk into the local computer shop and buy Mac software. Haven’t these people heard of Amazon, and if so, do you think we should tell them they could save some money on the prices they are paying?

  2. Whats the serious worm that affects OS X? The only one I know of is the one used on this weeks episode of 24. And they were able to stop that in less than an hour. Maybe Dr. Bombay is getting reality confused with television.

  3. I prefer to remain virus-free on OS X, but I just feel like the more times this issue is brought up that “there are NO viruses or worms for OS X”, the more some slime out there is going to want to be the first. Can’t we just live in our rose colored virus and worm free world in secret??

  4. I’m curious where you’re getting your figure about Macs not having any viruses. I’m inclined to agree since I’ve never had one in OS X, but I’m still curious. Your link just shows how many viruses overall there are and does nothing to support your statement that none exist for OS X. Furthermore, unless it’s some elaborate ruse to steal people’s cash, Virex is still sold for OS X and has monthly updates. Are these updates loaded with garbage code that doesn’t do anything purely to give the user the fa�ade of being updated against new viruses?

    -Joel

  5. Joel,
    The link is provided in the MacDailyNews Note. Just click it and try to find a Mac OS X virus among 80,000+ Windows viruses, worms, and exploits. You’ll find that there are no viruses or worms for Mac OS X.

  6. So, what’s going on? Is it international FUD day or something? Anyway, this idiots place in history is secure for having discovered what is the only OS X virus in existence. I hope he looks after it well as it is the only known representative of it’s species and seems to lack the ability to reproduce. Better seal that lab off before someone nicks it, and make sure the environment is absolutely sterile, as we don’t want this rare miracle of nature dying of a cold now, do we?

    So, first that piece of crap in the Guardian, and now this? No wonder M$ continues to get away with overcharging for it’s utter crap if morons from the press keep telling everyone what a poor victim windows is!

  7. The virus checkers for Mac’s OS actually check for MS viruses, so the user doesn’t pass them onto MS computers. Although the Mac OS is immune to all 81,000 MS viruses, they can be passed along.

    The only purpose of utilizing a virus checker on your Mac is to be a guardian for MS systems. Personally, I feel that if Microsoft wants me to make their OS more secure, I want to be compensated for my time and my computer’s usage in that task. Since they don’t pay me to help safeguard their “more secure” OS… screw ’em!

  8. “I guarantee you that if Steve Jobs had had more business sense than ‘vision’ years ago and Apple had the dominant operating system today”

    Why are Apple’s blunders of the late 80s and early 90s Steve’s fault? Does anyone remember that Apple booted him out shortly after the Mac first came out? It was Steve’s return in 96 that saved Apple and has put them where they are today with iPod/iTMS. The reason Apple made those blunders was because they LACKED vision.

  9. The PeeCee weenies dont get it… They think that because they must remail vigil in their fight against the next virus “du jour”, that this is the way computing must be…

    Alas, if they should ever look to the Mac, they will see another way of computing…. Virus free, hassle free, and an environment where most everything just works !!

    Now THATS the way computing should be !

  10. Here is my email response I sent to the good doctor at drbombay@star-telegram.com

    Dear Doc,

    You are just plain wrong about the virus problems of Microsoft and the lack thereof on Mac OS X. Over 70,000 for the PC and ZERO for Mac OS X (your article misrepresents this fact). If it were just a matter of small market share, a logical person would conclude that there would be one or two (or 100) for OS X. Because, after all, there are millions of Macs in use. And the notoriety of someone to be the first to infect OS X would be huge. Given the latest security flaws in Windows, no one who values their reputation would defend that trash heap that has evolved on top of DOS. Longhorn needs to be as revolutionary from �DOS-Win3.1-W95-W2000-WXP� as OS X was from OS 9. For the sake of the mindless lemmings marching to the call of Redmond, I hope so.

    Also, your characterization of software availability is pathetic. Games, yes. Highly specialized applications (with small markets of their own), yes. But I run a business on my Mac, communicating and doing business in a Windows world with ZERO difficulty. There is nothing I can�t do on my Mac that I used to do in a Windows world (and yes, for those that need a specialized app, Virtual PC takes care of that).

  11. I’m getting the impression there’s this final collective push to defend the status quo starting, and it’s going to get nastier. I think some folks are really getting worried they’ll become irrelevant if people start considering alternatives. And peoples nastiest traits come to the fore when their view of the world is being challenged!

  12. Speaking of things getting nasty, I strongly urge all of you to stop denying the fact that the ubiquity of Windows draws a lot of malicious hackers. It’s absolutely true. And obvious, if you can manage to think of it as a bit of information rather than an insult.

    It would be better to tout the other reasons that Windows is attacked.

    First, because it’s so easy. Talk about the open ports in Windows. Don’t deny that viruses are possible on the mac. Mac email viruses (Trojans, actually) are just as easy if you assume that the receiver will launch the attached file. Just point out that most of the system is protected, and an administrators password is required to install software or to access sensitive parts of the disk. Never forget that an Mac idiot with an admin’s password is just as vulnerable as the average Windows user.

    Second, because Microsoft is a hated monopoly. Okay, there’s no proof of this, but some of the more interesting viruses had to have been written by real professionals. The purpose of the latest one was not fame, but to hurt SCO and Microsoft. I think a lot of them are for that purpose, rather than for fame. All of the viruses written to hurt the reputation of Windows do not fall under the ubiquity reason.

    There are more, but I think these will have the greatest effect. A much greater effect than denying the draw of the ubiquity of Windows.

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