“Mac computers are known for their near-immunity to malicious computer programs that plague PCs,” John D. Sutter reports for CNN in a story that, for some reason, has been the largest and topmost story on their “Tech” section’s front page for days now and sat on the site’s front page all day yesterday. Call us cynical, but it’s enough to make us wonder what Microsoft’s ad buy is on CNN and its sister networks this month.
MacDailyNews Note: So, “Mac computers are known for their near-immunity to malicious computer programs that plague PCs.” No, John. Not trojans. Trojans are applications (programs) that pretend to do something a user might want, but are really designed to do somethng else; malicious or otherwise.
Here’s our usual oft-repeated reminder for Mac users and anyone who’s trying to use any other platform: Do not steal software. Do not download and authorize the installation of applications (Trojans) from untrusted sources. No OS can protect users from themselves (or we wouldn’t be able to install any software). Those who grant attackers access to their Macs, should not be surprised to find their Macs are compromised in any number of ways, including being subsumed into botnets.
CNN’s full article which contains nothing new, but certainly has a lot wrong, such as calling this “the first harmful computer program to strike specifically at Mac” (it’s not the first Mac trojan, nor is it the last), repeating the “Security via Obscurity” myth (refuted below), and quoting antivirus peddlers as if they aren’t trying to sell Mac users their wares – Think Before You Click™ – here.
MacDailyNews Take: Once again, it is utterly illogical to state or imply that the Mac platform is secure via obscurity. Why, if obscurity means security, in April 2007 was there a virus for iPods running Linux (a few thousand devices total, to wildly overestimate, in all the world), but there are no viruses in 7+ years for the over 30 million Mac OS X computers that are currently online? And, why would criminals not target the most affluent personal computer users, the tens of millions of Mac users around the world?
We’ve asked those and similar questions for years, yet the silence remains deafening and telling. Instead we get a steady stream of lies and/or ignorance and what seems like an agenda, a particular specialty of CNN’s.
The idea that Windows’ morass of security woes exists because more people use Windows and that Macs have no security problems because fewer people use Macs, is simply not true. 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, Richmond’s colleague, The New York Times’ David Pogue, provides a concise mea culpa on the subject of the “Mac Security Via Obscurity” myth here.
Simple logic is certainly not what AV software peddlers, Windows PC box assemblers, and the leeches affixed to the Windows ecosystem want people to hear. Fear is what they’re after. The sheep must be kept in the Windows pen, no matter the cost to reputations, reality, productivity, sanity, etc. Far too many have far too much invested in Microsoft Windows for them to stand idly by and let it all slip away due to a vastly superior, vastly more secure solution from Apple. But, slip away it does nonetheless.
Like clockwork, every single time there is a Windows virus outbreak, the “Security Via Obscurity” myth gets trotted out. This time it’s Conficker and the massive Windows botnet currently in action. This is done for a reason, even though it gets more ridiculous with each passing year.
“Security via Obscurity” is a defense mechanism for the delusional and also tool for Microsoft apologists and/or those who profit from Windows that’s designed to be used when attempting keep Windows sufferers from straying. 30 million Mac OS X installs is not “obscure” at all, but over seven (7+) years of Mac users surfing the Net unimpeded certainly is “secure.” Besides social engineering scams (phishing, trojans; no OS can instill common sense) 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 even more insecure Windows boxes.
The. Problem. Is. Windows. Get a Mac.
Contact CNN via Web form here.
[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]