Apple VP: impact of Mac OS X security threats ‘minimal’

“There has been a lot of talk in the press recently about how secure Mac OS X really is and how much Mac users have to be concerned about security,” Jim Dalrymple reports for Macworld. “While Apple said they are very serious about security concerns, Mac users, for the most part, have been unaffected. ‘Proof of concepts are out there but end users have not been affected by exploits in the wild the way they typically are with some other platforms,’ Bud Tribble, Apple’s vice president of Software Technology, told Macworld. ‘It’s never good to say don’t be concerned about security, however, the actual effects on users of our platform are minimal.'”

“‘There is certainly a tendency to make news out of every potential exploit on the Mac simply because it is more unusual than on some other platforms,’ said Tribble. ‘A lot of times when you look behind the news, it is a little bit of a stretch.’ That said Apple does fix security issues in Mac OS X whenever they arise, but most times, these are before the issues are even known publicly,” Dalrymple reports. “‘These updates tend to be more preventative,’ said Tribble. ‘They aren’t exploits in the wild that you are actively trying to prevent. Users should never be complacent about security – we aren’t here. We are extremely proactive in paying attention to these things and eliminating them when we find them.’”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The desperation in some of the recent “VIRUSES FOR MACS!” articles is testimony to Apple’s security success. Some Microsoft Windows users who’ve never tried Mac OS X have been waiting for a very long time to shout “Macs have viruses, too.” Because they shouted too loudly over too little, they showed the world their desperation for a Mac OS X security issue. However, all of the shouting doesn’t make it true, so the Windows Patchers will have to keep waiting. The degree of desperation also shows us another thing: they want to damage Mac OS X’s security, but they can’t figure out how to do so effectively. So, they settle for trying to damage Mac OS X’s security reputation instead. That’s easier. It’s not concrete, you don’t need any real proof, and you can exaggerate and lie. And a lie repeated enough effectively becomes the truth.

Mac users aren’t stupid. Quoting “security” software company spokespeople about the terrific danger we face, doesn’t have the same effect on us as it does Windows Patchers. We immediately question the source, because it’s obvious that the source has something to gain. We don’t like our firefighters to be fire extinguisher salesmen who play with matches, either.

Meanwhile, do you think some entities who would have much to gain by convincing users that they need to “do this or that, buy this or that, don’t switch to Mac” are behind the recent weak proof-of-concept exploits touted as “Mac viruses” by many of the world’s weaker-minded reporters (example)? And who benefits if the general idea that “Macs get viruses, too, and Macs are just as insecure as Windows” takes hold in the general computing public?

Apple’s brand new iPod Hi-Fi speaker system. Home stereo. Reinvented. Available now for $349 with free shipping.
Apple’s new Mac mini. Intel Core, up to 4 times faster. Starting at just $599. Free shipping.
MacBook Pro. The first Mac notebook built upon Intel Core Duo with iLife ’06, Front Row and built-in iSight. Starting at $1999. Free shipping.
iMac. Twice as amazing — Intel Core Duo, iLife ’06, Front Row media experience, Apple Remote, built-in iSight. Starting at $1299. Free shipping.
iPod Radio Remote. Listen to FM radio on your iPod and control everything with a convenient wired remote. Just $49.
iPod. 15,000 songs. 25,000 photos. 150 hours of video. The new iPod. 30GB and 60GB models start at just $299. Free shipping.
Connect iPod to your television set with the iPod AV Cable. Just $19.

Related MacDailyNews articles:
Apple Mac remains ‘unhacked’ as University of Wisconsin’s Mac OS X Security Challenge ends – March 08, 2006
Mac OS X ‘unhacked’ over 24 hours and counting in genuine security challenge – March 07, 2006
University of Wisconsin launches bona fide Mac OS X Security Challenge – March 06, 2006
Mac OS X ‘hacked in under 30 minutes?’ Why Mac OS X security is all the rage recently – March 06, 2006
Spate of recent Mac security stories signal that Microsoft, others getting nervous – March 06, 2006
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. Meanwhile, do you think some entities who would have much to gain by convincing users that they need to “do this or that, buy this or that, don’t switch to Mac” are behind the recent weak proof-of-concept exploits touted as “Mac viruses” by many of the world’s weaker-minded reporters? Who benefits if the general idea that “Macs get viruses, too, and Macs are just as insecure as Windows” takes hold?

    Of course…

  2. Insecurity isn’t about which operating system is stronger or better equipped to handle threats than another. It’s about the consumers, analysts, experts, businesspeople, programmers, and technicians that actually understand the difference. Insecurity lives and thrives right behind their own eyes.

  3. Just keep asking the proponents of this FUD to produce users who have been affected. They’d have a very hard time finding anyone.

    In the meantime MaCafee are in deep sh1t as they try to rescue their customers’ deleted Excel files…

    Proof, if you need it, that it’s difficult to tell in a WinBox what is and isn’t a virus..

  4. I just don’t believe the mantra that the lack of virii is due to the smaller percentage of Apple users. It’s now mostly criminally-related for monetary gain, or seems to be, so OK Doze makes the better target overall.

    But wouldn’t you think all of the(large)egos churning out virii for Doze would just LOVE to be able to say they were first to get a real virus for OS X in the wild? Or would it maybe take too long?

  5. theres the virus software vendors that release viruses out into the wild, only to have a fix, – gee lucky they are around arnt we? these are the same people who want people that want us to buy virus software for the mac, or even better if they shout that macs have viruses then maybe people will never leave windows in the first place.

    it comes down to money

    it comes down to Apple actually advertising Macintosh, and all of its virtues to disipate all the trash talk these people keep going on about.

  6. Unfortunately when you throw enough shit some of it sticks and the amount of FUD thrown in recent weeks has ensured a lot has stuck.

    The myth of Mac OS insecurity has been started by the Wind-Hoe worshippers and as was the case with the Apple FUD from the past 20++ years the ignorant masses will drone along and except the status quo given them by M$ and partners.

    Unfortunate, but a reality.

    If Apple want to stop the FUD, which I don’t think they are that concerned about, then they will need to advertise and stop the myth.

    If we convert one or two people a year and they convert and so on then eventually Apple will make it. Not by good management but by good followers.

    We must stay loyal and proud. We are the enlightened few.


  7. Writing a real Mac OS X virus is the holy grail of crackers and wannabes alike. This would transform that first virus writer in such a famous figure that it is obvious it is being tried somewhere. Problem is: Mac OS X is inherently more secure than Windblows. The rest is fud…

  8. All this BS between Mac security and Windows security problems is becoming very boring.

    I use MAC 10.4.5 on a new dual 2.3 G5, broadband, mail, basically whatever I want and I am NEVER afraid of getting anything the other half gets.

    SO WHAT if MS footstools want to parade up and down saying MacOSX has viruses, trojans and security problems: let ’em. I’d rather have good old fashion MAC news, hints and tips rather than the old I’m better than you crap.

    We already know how good OSX is. If a switcher is out there, there are lots of places to learn about how good the Mac is and if they don’t want to do the research, screw ’em.

    MS bullfrogs can bellow all they want, but at the end of the day, they are the ones that have to put up with their own demon.

    MDW: half…I like being the better half without all the noise.

  9. I don’t mind if the “weaker minds” fall for the FUD and stay with Windblows. As long as the more intelligent set looks at the issue with some healthy skepticism and then switch to Mac.

    That way we keep the Mac user base the computer intelligentsia that we are and I can go on feeling smug.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”raspberry” style=”border:0;” />

  10. “Mommy. mommy I just saw a virus !!!! It was a virus, not a big one, but it was a virus!!!!”

    “No, honey. You didn’t see a virus , you’re in OSX land. They’ve been extinct for years.”

Reader Feedback

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