Anti-Mac FUD machine shifts into overdrive

“Apple can’t have it both ways. It can stay niche and relatively virus free or it can join the mainstream and enter the virus zone. Apple made the latter choice when it decided to move its Macintosh range of computers to the Intel chipset platform,” Stan Beer reports for iTWire. “Not only do potential hackers know the Intel platform well, but Apple’s choice to play in the Windows space has made it a target like every other PC vendor. However, Windows is not Apple’s only security problem. Neither is the growing evidence that even the Mac range’s native operating system Mac OSX is becoming an increasingly vulnerable target for malware purveyors.”

“The big problem for Apple would appear to be one of denial. Recently reported remarks of Apple’s senior vp of software technology, Bud Tribble, can attest to that,” Beer reports. “According to Tribble, Mac OSX is designed to be used without the need for firewalls or anti-virus software. That remark alone should ring alarm bells in the minds of all security conscious online Mac users.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s obviously making a lot of people very nervous.

BTW, this article was intentionally posted from a Mac OS X machine that has never had the Firewall on in any version of Mac OS X and never had a virus or bit of spyware despite surfing the Web far and wide for over five years and counting. An aside: we thought you might like to know that one of MacDailyNews’ mainstay machines is a Power Mac G4 450 MHz (AGP graphics) with 1.12 GB RAM, an ATI Radeon 9000 Pro, and three fast hard drives (10GB, 80GB, 120-GB) that has run every version of Mac OS X from the Public Beta to its current Mac OS X 10.4.6 without the Firewall on to see if anything happens (nothing has so far). Few machines online that are operated by human surfers venture to as many web sites each day as this Mac. The machine is four months shy of turning seven years old, yet it is perfectly capable of running the current Mac OS X version and performs admirably, day in and day out, without a hitch. The machine has never been “wiped and restored.” Many of the posts you see on MacDailyNews come from this machine. The Mac is an example of many things: superior security versus Windows, high quality in both hardware and software, massive reliability, an illustration of the vast difference between installed base and market share, and — we’ll close with just four more words — Total Cost of Ownership.

[Disclaimer: In general, we recommend that you turn on your Mac OS X Firewall and use common sense by not clicking on unknown email attachments or downloading files from sites you do not know or trust.]

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Related articles:
Network World: Apple’s Mac OS X is significantly more secure than Windows – May 01, 2006
FUD Alert: Viruses don’t catch up to the Mac – May 01, 2006
Minor security flaws found in Mac OS X – April 23, 2006
Microsoft: recovery from Windows malware becoming impossible; better to to wipe and rebuild – April 04, 2006
BusinessWeek: Apple should hire security czar to combat uninformed media FUD – March 09, 2006
Apple Mac remains ‘unhacked’ as University of Wisconsin’s Mac OS X Security Challenge ends – March 08, 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
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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
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Mafiasoft: Microsoft to charge $50 per year for security service to protect Windows – February 07, 2006
eWeek: Intel transition a ‘security non-issue’ for Apple Mac – January 30, 2006
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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
Joke of the month: Gartner warns of Mac OS X ‘spyware infestation’ potential – March 30, 2005
Symantec warns about Mac OS X security threat – March 21, 2005


  1. Not saying it’s impossible to write an OS X virus, but I’m sure it’s exponentially more difficult than writing a Windows virus. With unix’s user-based permissions system, I’ll believe an OS X virus when I see it.

  2. It’s not so much exceedingly difficult to write a Mac OS X virus, but rather to write one that can spread without a user having to give it permission to install itself. But if you have to have user intervention for it to spread, then is that a virus? Viruses are supposed to be self replicating. It’s a question of definition. So if you want to write an anti-Mac article and make the claim that Macs are vulnerable to viruses, you need first to define (or redefine) the term “virus” accordingly.

  3. Let me try the Stan Beer method of logic:

    Despite leaps in safety technology (anti-lock brakes, front and side airbags and auto body’s designed to crumple around the cabin) todays cars are as dangerous and susceptible to explosions as ever because automakers insist on manufacturing drivable vehicles powered by combustible fuels.

  4. How old is that Mac you have MDN – 450Mhz G4? You keep telling everyone to buy a Mac, but yours is about 7 years old.
    You are not a Apple customer, you´re an antique collector.

  5. Repeat after me. “Its the OS syupid!” The move to Intel has nothing to do with virii, etc. You may know the proessor, but you still won’t be able to hack the OS code.

    I’d also like to see a comparison of how fast Apple offers OS security updates when a vulnerability is discovered versus MS. I’d also like to see a cost comparison. Doesn’t MS charge for security updates?

    MDN word “maybe”: Maybe this author is an idiot, and maybe he IS.

  6. What’s with these virus stories lately? My wife forwarded me another one written last week that was about an “exploit” that was fixed months ago. Microsoft must be firing up the FUD-apult to defend against Apple’s coming ad campaign. Sad. Whatever happened to winning the battle on your strengths?

    You know, this perfectly illustrates why I am a Mac user. Apple is run by a man who encourages us to “be a yardstick of quality”. Microsoft is run by a man who stands for nothing but the almighty dollar. Regardless of the how good each specific Apple product is, I’d follow someone like Jobs over someone like Gates any day. Microsoft is bad for your soul.

  7. Vie Russ,

    Can’t you read?

    MDN explained very clearly, “The machine is four months shy of turning seven years old” and the Mac is just “one of MacDailyNews’ mainstay machines.”

    I apologize if English is not your native language.

  8. Need more information here.

    Is this alleged statement from Bud Tribble a direct quote? Or is this guy paraphrasing?

    I mean, I wonder if Bud’s actual comment was more like: “OS X has good enough security out of the box that even if you run it without a firewall and antivirus software, you won’t get overrun with malware.”

    Or was it more like:

    “OS X is INVINCIBLE! Bwa-ha-ha! We don’t need stinking firewalls! We designed OS X to run without firewalls, and if you try to put one on, it won’t work. We don’t recommend or support firewalls”

    See the difference?

  9. Ooooo… I’m so SKARED! My Mac is going to be virus infested! Oh, please, Mr. Virus Man, don’t infest my Mac! Oh whatever shall I do! I’m just a poor ignorant Mac user, don’t hurt me Mr. Virus Man! The sky is falling! Apple’s stock is falling! Steve Jobs is self-replicating – maybe he’s a virus! It’s a vast conspiracy! McAfee, take me away! I’ll pay anything … ANYTHING… Just save me from myself and this horrible MacVirus experience. OH NO.. my Mac just slowed down. Was it a hiccup.. or a virus? Shh… be vewy vewy qwiet.. we’we hunting viwuses… hahahahaahhahaha.

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