If Mac OS X viruses increased 2000 percent, there’d still be zero Mac OS X viruses

“People are way too paranoid these days. Especially Mac users. They’re going completely insane lately. You’ve got Symantec claiming that Mac OS X is at risk for malware. Despite the fact that in 4 years since OS X’s release (Happy Belated Birthday, Mac OS X!) there hasn’t been one virus or ‘valid’ trojan. Downloading an under 200k file off a peer to peer network that claims to be Microsoft Word (one of the most bloated apps on the Mac) is not valid. Nor are concepts. Then you’ve got that silly root kit called John the Ripper. The problem with root kits is that they’re only really useful if you already have access to the machine. In the case of John the Ripper/Opener you had to have already had administrator access to install the thing. So chances are the guy that had it installed on his computer had let someone use his computer that he shouldn’t have,” rosyna writes on the Unsanity Webblog.

“Now Symantec has vested interest in making Mac users paranoid and scared. The more paranoid or scared their customers are, the happier Symantec is since they sell anti-virus software. The funniest thing about them trying to say that OS X is a malware target is the fact that just a few months ago a vulnerability was found in Symantec’s file scanning libraries. So their antivirus software could be used as a vector to spread viruses. Go figure. My point is that even if viruses on the Mac increased two thousand percent, that’d still mean zero viruses on the Mac,” rosyna writes.

“What’s worse is that people always try to claim OS X has nothing because it is such a small target. That claim doesn’t work. We have a virus for mobile phones and a virus for a firewall that less than a hundred thousand people use (which I can’t seem to find right now). These things are much, much smaller targets than OS X yet they have viruses written for them. Why is it so hard to believe that there are no viruses for OS X just because OS X is better engineered? Most of the things I see now days exploit buffer overflows. And you see security fixes for such overflows on OS X all the time. The issue here is it is much harder to run executable code from a buffer overflow on the PowerPC than it is from an x86 chip. On the x86 basically any memory is executable. On the PPC you have to make sure it goes into the two separate caches (data and instruction) in a very specific manner. Depending on the program, such an exploit may only run executable code 16% of the time. The rest of the time, it will just crash,” rosyna writes.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Those with the most invested in the status quo, be it in cash, time, effort, pride, ego, etc., will the the ones spreading the most fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) against the Mac platform. As the Mac shows continued growth, the FUD will increase; it’s already happening. Mac users aren’t paranoid about viruses (we can plainly see that we’re unaffected), we’re just sick and tired of the FUD. Sadly, we probably should just get used to it, because it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

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  1. “People are way too paranoid these days. Especially Mac users.”

    Well, I’m a Mac user and I’m not even remotely paranoid. In fact, I don’t think the majority of Mac users are paranoid either. The only reason to have antivirus software is so your Mac won’t act as a “carrier” for Windows virii. I agree that companies like Symantec are spreading FUD, but remember, us Mac users made an informed decision when we chose this platform, so I think the FUD falls mostly on deaf ears. The only paranoia going on here is this shift in computing trends that has all the MS apologists trying to secure their next dollar.

  2. Do you think unsanity.com has an anything to gain by writing this article? Of course they do… their product is completely dependant on OS X. Again, nice reporting MDN, thanks for the propaganda and pop under.

  3. when i get my first virus…then i’ll worry. Until then, i’m as worry free as my mac is virus free. It doesn’t mean i’m going to be stupid and not run virus protection…I just guarantee it won’t be symantec.

    They can take their FUD and FOD.

  4. It is sad that all they have is FUD… No proof, barely any legitimate concepts… I think Symantec would probably end up being used as a trojan (as mentioned in the article) before any other virus’ are actually found.

  5. it is so boring at mdn when there is nothing to read of interest….
    come on apple bring out some new computers…something!..not a new ipod though-been there, done that.
    i am showing up less and less at the mdn pit stop.

  6. Come onnnnnn, I haven’t spread any viruses since my last series of shots! Besides, that little bitch tricked me. Seriously, it just proves de old saying. You know: Never trust a Pekinese with an overbite.

    Hey, I keed. But really, there are more Windows viruses out there than there are nerds at a Star Trek convention! I mean, you can’t shake an iPod these days without hitting a Windows virus — or a Trekkie. But seriously, speaking of trojans (and Trekkies, you can stop listening now, no sense wasting your time with things that don’t apply to you) don’t use them. Trojans, I mean. They’re the K-Mart of rubbers. Yeh-heh-hessssss.

  7. Look at the source

    I don’t get pop anythings on MDN. I never have. I’m running Safari with PithHelmet, have Java enabled, and Safari’s pop-up blocker on.

    So I dunno why you’ve got a prob.

    Back on topic, it’s interesting that there was so much less FUD when Mac’s marketshare was large (much larger). And why? Because it was declining. Show’s the hypocrisy and lies of those spreading the FUD.

  8. I’ve been using a Mac since it came out in ’84 and MaxOSX is rock solid. We who have sued the Mac for any length of time KNOW it’s secure.

    I think the only people who will succume to Symantec’s propoganda campeign is the switchers who have recently come over from the dark side where they were used to living in FUD.

    Talk about a company preying on the vulnerable. What ethics! Way to go Symantec, you’re a fine example of humanity. If Symantec’s business behavior was translated into human behavior, they’d be convicted as a serial rapist.

  9. While I still feel it is foolish to think there will never be an OS X virus, on the other hand the security through obscurity myth just plain bothers me….Especially now…heck the Mac OS X is parading around the internet with a big target painted on its back taunting all those would-be crackers to “infect me…go ahead and try”


  10. Since computer viruses are non-existent in the
    Apple Mac OS X world…virus protection software
    companies lose customers every time a Mac is purchased
    over a PC. That’s a virus in itself, to companies
    like Symantec.

    It’s not easy to face the fact that for most home-based
    “net surfers”, who chose a Mac, won’t confront a
    virus/external software issue thanks to brilliant code.
    Thanks Apple!

    Don’t be surprised when the next wave of Apple software
    comes from former vrus writers and software protection
    company employees who saw it coming.

    After being hit by so many viruses over the course of
    so many years…it might take a year or more for new
    Mac users to breathe a sigh of relief. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”shut eye” style=”border:0;” />


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