The Financial Times tries spreading some Apple Mac security FUD

“After years of relative safety, the Apple Mac is becoming an increasingly tempting target for malicious computer hackers, according to a new report published this week,” Kevin Allison reports for The Financial Times.

MacDailyNews Take: Somehow this is “news” yet again. The same “report” has been published annually for the last half a decade. Yet, somehow, we manage to survive and surf the Web unimpeded on our Macs in the face of all of these “reports.”

Allison continues, “Over the past few months, however, the number of malicious programmes has increased, according to a report published this week by F-Secure, an internet security company.”

MacDailyNews Take: Oh, F-Secure, again. What do they sell? You’d think the “reporter” would take the source into account and ask, “Do you have anything to gain by ratcheting up fear, uncertainty, and doubt over a weak social engineering trojan and its variants?” But, nooooo! Allison instead reports it as gospel, because he’s a hack.

Allison continues, “The rising security threat could present a challenge to Apple, which has long touted the security advantages of its platform over those of Microsoft, whose software is a perennial target for hackers. ‘As Apple’s platform becomes more visible, it will increasingly come under the gun,’ said Roger Kay, an analyst at Endpoint Technologies.”

MacDailyNews Take: That the Mac is secure via obscurity is a myth. Did our intrepid “reporter” Kevin Allision ask why, if obscurity means security, in April was there a virus for iPods running Linux (a few thousand devices total, at most, in all the world), but there are no viruses for the 25 million Mac OS X computers currently online? Nooooo, of course not! He seems to print whatever he’s fed without even questioning things that are blatantly illogical, because he’s a hack.

“Security via Obscurity” is a defense mechanism for the delusional and a tool for Microsoft apologists and/or those who profit from Windows to keep the sheep in the pen. 25 million Mac OS X installs is not “obscure” at all, but 6+ years of users surfing unimpeded certainly is “secure.” The only thing by which Mac users are really affected are large swaths of compromised Windows machines slowing down the ‘Net with spam and nefarious botnet traffic targeted at exploiting more insecure Windows boxes. Get a Mac.

The idea that Windows’ morass of security woes exists because more people use Windows and that Macs have no security problems because less people use Macs, is simply not true. Mac OS X is not more secure than Windows because less people use OS X, making it less of a target. By design, Mac OS X is simply more secure than Windows. Period. For reference and reasons why Mac OS X is more secure than Windows, read The New York Times’ David Pogue’s mea culpa on the subject of the “Mac Security Via Obscurity” myth here.

Allison continues, “Mr Runald said the jump in attacks against Apple appeared to be the work of a single gang of professional hackers. The group, known in security circles as the ‘Zlob gang,’ makes programs that infect PCs by tricking users into thinking they are installing software needed to view copyrighted video files. As with other attacks against Apple, the Zlob gang relies on tricking users to install its malicious software, rather than on exploiting any inherent software vulnerability.”

Full article, Think Before You Click™, here.

MacDailyNews Take: Allison actually “reports” something correctly, proving that miracles do happen — even if they are hidden within deeply buried ledes. The entire foundation of Allison’s piece is built upon one flimsy Trojan Horse that requires users to be tricked into entering their password to install and run it.

As usual with these increasingly tiresome pieces, there are three factions at work: (1) Anti-this/Anti-that software peddlers, (2) entities looking to stem the tide of Windows to Mac defectors, and (3) the painfully ignorant. Sometimes they originate from separate and distinct camps and other times they occupy two or all three groups at once. As a side effect, we also often get morbidly ignorant morons parroting stupidity, too.

It should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: If The Financial Times printed articles about every Windows trojan, the world would have run out of trees years ago.

This is not the first Mac trojan, nor will it be the last. As always: Do not enter your Mac OS X admin password to install anything from an unknown and/or untrusted source.

37 Comments

  1. “This is not the first Mac trojan, nor will it be the last. As always: Do not enter your Mac OS X admin password to install anything from an unknown and/or untrusted source.

    Yeh-heh-hehesssss . . . more or less de same rules us macho canines use in de real world: Use your “trojans” correctly and don’t “enter” anything “untrusted”.

    It’s always worked for me . . . though there was that one time with the neighborhood shitzu . . .

  2. The last line of the article.
    “F-Secure said it had detected 500,000 viruses, trojans and worms in 2007, compared with 250,000 last year.”

    That’s incredibly irresponsible to imply that the Mac is vulnerable to half a million viruses, trojans and worms.

  3. Same thing was written up at bloggingstocks.com, and I left behind a few paragraphs of my own. Your rebuttal was better tho.

    Here the author was Douglas A. McIntyre, an editor at 247wallst.com. Looks like he just copied & pasted.

  4. Similar dopey article at:

    http://www.crn.com/it-channel/204701733?cid=CRNFeed

    I could write this stuff in my sleep:

    1. Macs and Apple products are more popular now

    2. Somebody showed that if downloaded/installed some suspicious software on your Mac, bad things might happen.

    3. Ergo sum, Macs might become a huge security risk over the next year if people keep downloading and installing suspicious software.

    Just unbelievable. Once you get beyond all the posturing, all they are saying is that the Mac might have a security problem or two in the upcoming year.

  5. To get the REAL story on Mac Security you should all go over to
    opendoor.com

    Alan’s Blog is my only source I trust on Mac Security.

    Great guy. Used to work for apple many years ago. Trust me. Go there, get eduacated, you’ll never regret it.

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

  6. Can anyone recommend a MDN like website that doesn’t bombard you will their thoughts? Most of the time I agree with MDN but I still don’t need to hear it…it makes me feel like MDN is telling me what to think. In this article for example, MDN calls the writer a “hack” because he doesn’t question the source or do his own research. Probably true, but MDN…you don’t seem to question anything that is pro-apple do you? Before you point fingers, be sure they can’t be pointed back at you. So, in all seriousness, I must stop going to this site. Please give me a recommendation to a comparable site. I appreciate it.

  7. Hey, i’m just coming back from a multimedia assembly. Main talks: security and anti-viruses!! Damn! Amongst the 57 present members, we where only 2 to lagh out loud… 2 with Macs vs 55 running windoze… Wouarf!

  8. F-Secure says something mildly interesting here:
    http://www.f-secure.com/2005/2/f-secure_2005_wrapup.zip

    I suggest you fast forward the video about 9 minute so you don’t have to deal with to much pain and suffering from the accent. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

    However the days of Mac Security are ending. I installed MS Office and now my hard drive is flooded with spreadsheets. I fear there’s no saving it.

  9. MDN likes to feed stupid quotes back to us, such as the frequently repeated Michael Dell’s earlier today.

    Better keep an eye on your rear view mirror on this one boys… virus protectors may be FUD today but they are going to be right sooner than later.

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