Spate of recent Mac security stories signal that Microsoft, others getting nervous

By SteveJack

Viruses that aren’t viruses. Hysterical reports that equate Mac OS X security to Windows. Media reports about Mac OS X “worms, trojans, and viruses.” Totally unsubstantiated reports that Mac OS X can be “hacked in under 30-minutes” (the lack of proof screams for attention). Which, of course, is the headline that’s blared.

Why all of this noise about Mac OS X and “security issues” lately? I’ll tell you why: Microsoft and their parasites are getting nervous. Market share is increasing for Apple Macintosh. The Windows platform means billions of dollars to Microsoft and companies built and run around Windows’ deficiencies. Throw in antivirus purveyors now threatened by Microsoft’s slimy entry into the market (it’s beyond belief to Mac users that Mafiasoft will now charge suckers $50 per year to “protect” their own product) that are looking for a new market and you have more than enough reasons for the spate of articles questioning Mac OS X security.

Many people are worried. And rightly so. What if a large portion of people switch to Mac from Windows? What happens to the mom and pop operations that depend on selling boxes that run Windows and that have no experience with Macs? What happens to the antivirus companies that depend on the Windows security mess? How will they sell their wares to Mac OS X users? What happens to Microsoft’s Windows profits? What happens to software makers that make Windows-only software? The list goes on forever; there’s a whole economy based on fixing and supporting Windows.

Munir Kotadia’s latest for ZDNet is just another in a string of FUD pieces (see related articles below) designed to introduce doubt about the Mac in Joe and Jane Sixpack. Gotta keep ’em in the fold; by whatever means possible, it seems. Big bucks is involved here. (In all fairness, Kotadia has written at least one pro-Mac security piece, too.)

People are switching to Mac from Windows. Apple’s Mac market share increased over a percentage point in the last year alone, according to Gartner and IDC. That is why Mac OS X’s security is being attacked in dubious articles (weakly, but attacked nonetheless). In fact, over a year ago, I warned about Mac backlash from those interested in protecting their Windows turf. Such backlash will get worse before it gets better. These people and companies aren’t about to let facts get in the way of continuing to fill their pockets with Windows-related profits.

Ultimately, these articles mean good things for Apple. It shows that the Mac is gaining and it’s making a lot of people who depend on keeping the masses stuck on Windows very, very nervous.

SteveJack is a long-time Macintosh user, web designer, multimedia producer and a regular contributor to the MacDailyNews Opinion section.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple Mac OS X clearly offers superior security over Microsoft Windows – March 02, 2006
Apple Mac OS X has a lot more vulnerabilities than Windows XP? – February 28, 2006
Enderle: Security vendors see Apple as next big opportunity – February 28, 2006
As Apple Mac grows in popularity, will security issues increase? – February 27, 2006
The Idiot’s Guide to Mac Viruses For Dummies 101 – February 24, 2006
Wired News: ‘Mac attack a load of crap’ – February 22, 2006
Report: Apple developing fix for automatic execution of shell scripts – February 21, 2006
Ars Technica: Fears over new Mac OS X ‘Leap-A’ trojan pointless – February 20, 2006
Atlanta Journal-Constitution asks: Is ‘Mac virus’ all just propaganda from Mac haters? – February 20, 2006
Mafiasoft: Microsoft to charge $50 per year for security service to protect Windows – February 07, 2006
ZDNet Australia publishes latest Mac OS X security FUD article – January 26, 2006 (Kotadia)
IDC: Apple Mac 2005 U.S. market share 4% on 32% growth year over year – January 20, 2006
Analysts: Apple Mac’s 5% market share glass ceiling set to shatter in 2006 – January 09, 2006
ZDNet Australia publishes latest Mac OS X security FUD article – September 09, 2005 (Kotadia)
Joke of the month: Gartner warns of Mac OS X ‘spyware infestation’ potential – March 30, 2005 (Kotadia)
Symantec warns about Mac OS X security threat – March 21, 2005 (Kotadia)


  1. FUD – Fear, Uncertainty & Doubt.

    It’s what got George W. Bush where he is today, and it’s what Symantec, Sophos et al. are trying to do to maintain their business. No viruses = no business.

  2. I think you really have a point here. But still, if that Mac mini was hacked in only 30 minutes, it is not very positive.

    But, that hacker refers to all kind of unreported backdoors. I findit odd that MacOS X isn’t hacked before, at least not that I know of.

    Maybe this whole thing was planned and out hacker already had the root password.

    MW: Side, The Dark Side of the Force is surrounding these FUDders.

  3. I don’t worship at the alter of Jobs like most here do.

    However, I switched a little over a year ago and now several of my friends and family have also switched due to my prodding. OSX is far superior to anything Microsoft has delivered and more and more people are discovering this. Just wish I had money to invest in Apple.

    BTW, it was iTunes that finally swayed me to try a Mac. I had been put off by the expense of switching in the past but iTunes for windows finally convinced me that if it was this good then I should try a Mac. That and I already hated Microsoft ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” /> Yes the switch has been expensive but it’s been worth it.

  4. People are sheep, FUD WORKS, and the real uphill climb is beginning for Apple. But this is all good news, because Apple is climbing, after all. Next Christmas is gonna be another monster for Apple. I expect back to school will be huge as well.

  5. Or maybe it just means that our precious operating system is finally being shown to be not quite as bullet-proof as we would like to think.

    Sure, the ZD/CNet article could be a farce, but still, how long will Mac users (I am one, and proud of it) continue to deny the truth? I understand and have read a boatload about Leap/A but the fact seems to be after the dust settled that no matter how ridiculous and idiotic the classification… apparently Leap/A is a titular virus.

    We need more information on the ‘hacked in less than 30-minutes’ thing. Soon.

  6. The guy who put his Mini up for attack is a Windows programmer. (Check out all the Windows books on the shelf in the background of the picture.) OK, so that just makes us suspicious, but the kicker is he allowed anyone to set up their OWN account on his Mini. So it’s just like having local access to the machine. And there have been several vulnerabilities in MacOS only available to someone with LOCAL access. The thing is, no one in their right mind would set up any system giving local access to everyone on the internet, and then inviting them to hack it. This is ridiculous. If it were a Windows box, no hacking would even be necessary to bring it to its knees.

    Wake me when someone can drive off with my OSX without first giving them the keys.

  7. Im starting to become convinced that Jobs doesnt have anything up is sleeves. I wont mention his long held belief that people didnt want faster computers because I think he is half right–most people –by far–dont buy the fastest computer though most people dont want to buy a computer that is rumored to be slow. I think what held Apple back, aside from the fact that there is only one manufacturer of Macs is that it was not and still is not the prefered machine for games, cad, or for the internet. To this day Macs wont work with many internet sites. I saw RSS and Podcasting as a way for Apple to create an internet within an internet which internet within an internet would eventually gobble up the original internet within itself. Apple should have the blackberry and all this about IPOD–basically a walkman before RSS is marketing of mass destraction from the reality that Jobs has really failed to exploit RSS, Podcasting and the wonder of wireless communications. I think that the idea of computers in colors was a wonderful idea because it acknowledged that computers are owned by not geeks but people who might enjoy computers in colors. But has Apple really learned the lesson of computers in colors? I think fake titanium lap tops was a bad idea. I think HD is still just an idea apparently. Its time to make Apple what we really want it to be–innovative lap tops that can defeat alien invaders–not just game invaders but real invaders–rugged–coveted. And its about time to realize the potential of IPOD and some sort of phone/pda device. I think Apple should include real professional film, audio recording and animation software with every Apple. These computers should be about realizable self expression and entertainment. I bet you can sell more computers and make more money selling those computers than you lose by including the software with the computer bundle. Isnt including the software what really made Apple viable again (aside of course from the success of the IPOD)? Im sorry but I dont see INTEL inside as innovation. apple–first in flight.

  8. It’s not a proven threat until it happens in “the wild”. Even then, X has a long way to go before it can be declared to be as insecure as any version of windows. It is FUD, exaggerating the threat. I’m no expert, but it seems news and security software companies are trying to lump together all these unknown, undisclosed vulnerabilities, bugs, etc. as “viruses” when at least in my understanding, that’s not what they are.

  9. I agree with SteveJack, which must be why I think he’s so smart. Let’s now tie his insight in with another perennial complaint about Macintosh, namely that it has been under-advertised and under-promoted by Apple.

    The increasing, and expected, Mac Backlash is the main reason why Apple has chosen to kill them softly in the marketplace. By taking the long-term grassroots approach to market share increase, instead of making outrageous (but true) claims that OS X is vastly superior to Windows, Apple is preparing an army of dedicated Mac users to refute the FUD when it finally hits the fan.

    I believe the evil megalomaniac leader in the 1984 Apple ad said it best:

    We are one people. With one will, one resolve, one cause. Our enemies shall talk themselves to death and we will bury them with their own confusion. We shall prevail!

    Both sides seem to be using that same strategy now.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.