“Apple Computer last month dropped the bombshell that its new Boot Camp software would let Macintosh computers dual-boot and run the Windows operating system. The initial reviews were very favorable. Mac lovers–arguably the eclectic hippies of the computer revolution–finally have a chance to run programs previously unavailable, including proprietary business applications,” Bob Johnson writes for CNET.
MacDailyNews Take: Proprietary Windows business applications. Far out, man! Superzap every mac with love! Hey, man, which way to the commune?
Johnson continues, “But users are now also able to bring all their favorite programs to the new MacTel platform. So it’s time to be on the lookout for security stowaways–the viruses, worms and spyware that are coming along for the ride. The Windows platform (along with Internet Explorer) is clearly the most targeted and exploited operating system on the planet–and it’s now crashing the relatively virus-free Mac party… Here’s the rub–Apple users run virtually no security software on their machines. Until recently, the platform was virtually virus-free, remaining unaffected by most major viruses… Praying that someone hasn’t figured out how to get a virus over the Windows/Mac bridge certainly isn’t going to work… This isn’t just another poke at Microsoft’s often lackluster security. Arguably there’s another side of the coin here. While Microsoft’s vulnerabilities might let intruders into the castle, Apple is giving them the keys to the kingdom and rolling out the welcome mat.”
Johnson writes, “Did anyone really believe the security nirvana for Apple would last? It’s now more vulnerable than ever, and things can only get worse… Apple isn’t immune to the viruses, spyware and more that make any computing environment–including the vaunted Mac–vulnerable. Mac lovers may celebrate the new MacTel platform, but will their enthusiasm wane if malware rears its ugly head?”
Full article, with speculation about viruses for Apple’s iPod, too, here.
MacDailyNews Take: At the end of the CNET article: “Bob Johnson is president and CEO of SecureWave, a maker of endpoint security software.” Just so you know what he sells. Mac users’ enthusiasm won’t wane if malware rears its ugly head because Macs have many other advantages; the ability to surf the Web with impunity (using common sense, like not clicking willy nilly on untrusted downloads and giving them permission to install) is nice, but the Mac also has a better UI than Windows, is better thought-out than Windows, has had attention to detail paid to the the user experiences more than Windows, has better Mac-only applications (iLife, Safari) than Windows, even Microsoft Office is better on a Mac than Windows. Many of us chose Mac over Windows before the Windows malware plague arrived. It’s just another reason why Mac is better, not the only reason. Of course, you have to use a Mac to know.
Furthermore, many longtime Mac users won’t be polluting their Macs with Windows; we don’t need Windows and many are 100% Microsoft-free. Imagine that. The Mac users running Windows the most will mainly be the new users, just switched from Windows. You know, the ones who are quite used to Windows and Windows malware wasting their time already. Their enthusiasm for the Mac would not wane even if Johnson’s bridge-jumping Windows to Mac virus rears its ugly head. We do agree with Johnson on his main point: Windows is inferior whether it’s running on a Dell or a Mac.
Take Apple’s advice from their Boot Camp web page to heart: “Word to the Wise: Windows running on a Mac is like Windows running on a PC. That means it’ll be subject to the same attacks that plague the Windows world. So be sure to keep it updated with the latest Microsoft Windows security fixes.“
And, Boot Camp is a beta; it won’t be the same in Mac OS X Leopard.
As we just wrote regarding Apple’s new “Get a Mac” ads, it bears repeating: Apple has debuted a very strong ad on the virus issue; now we know why the FUD campaign was revved up again lately. If you think it was just coincidence that several news outfits generated stories about “Mac viruses” on and around the day that Apple launches a TV ad stating that last year there were 114,000 known Windows viruses and none for Macs, you’re naive. Microsoft and those that suck on the Redmond teat have long arms, lots of cash, and a desperate desire to protect their Windows money machine. From the mom and pop shops in every town that charge pigeons $99.99 per box to wipe and reinstall Windows on up to corporate IT bigwigs with multimillion dollar budgets and huge, bloated, MCSE-festooned staffs, we must assume that they’ll defend the Windows hegemony to the death, by any means possible, facts be damned. They’ve done it in the past. They’ve done it even today. And they’ll certainly do it in the future.
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Network World: Apple’s Mac OS X is significantly more secure than Windows – May 01, 2006
Anti-Mac FUD machine shifts into overdrive – 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
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
eWeek: Intel transition a ‘security non-issue’ for Apple Mac – January 30, 2006
ZDNet Australia publishes latest Mac OS X security FUD article – January 26, 2006
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