The Microsoft Tax: How to avoid the WannaCry virus if you’re slumming it with Windows on your Mac

“WannaCrypt [WannaCry] may be exclusively a problem for Windows users, but the worm/virus combination could hit a Mac user with a Boot Camp partition or Windows virtual machines in VMware Fusion, Parallels, or other software,” Glenn Fleishman writes for Macworld.

“It’s critical that you don’t start up a Windows XP or later installation that’s unpatched and let it connect to the Internet unless you’re absolutely sure you have the SMB file-sharing service disabled or firewall or network-monitoring software installed that will block any attempt from an outside connection,” Fleishman writes.

“Also, if you use Windows XP or a few later releases of Windows that are past Microsoft’s end of support since mid-March, you wouldn’t have received the security updates that Microsoft was reserving only for corporate subscribers until last Friday,” Fleishman writes. At that point, they made these updates generally available. If you booted any of those systems between mid-March and Friday, you’re unprotected as well.””

How to avoid the WannaCry virus if you’re slumming it with Windows on your Mac explained here.

MacDailyNews Take: Microsoft has infected the world with insecure garbage.

Microsoft faulted over massive ransomware cyberattack – May 16, 2017
North Korea thought to be behind worldwide cyber attack on Windows PCs – May 15, 2017
Tim Cook’s refusal to create iPhone backdoor for FBI vindicated by ‘WannaCry’ ransomware attack on Windows PCs – May 15, 2017
The Microsoft Tax: Rapidly replicating Windows PC worm spreads as experts try to limit damage; Macintosh unaffected – May 15, 2017
The Microsoft Tax: Leaked NSA malware hijacks Windows PCs worldwide; Macintosh unaffected – May 13, 2017
USB Kill 2.0 can destroy any Windows PC in seconds, Apple Macintosh unaffected – September 12, 2016
The Microsoft Tax: Malicious worm on Skype lets hackers hold Windows PCs for ransom; Macintosh unaffected – October 10, 2012
The Microsoft Tax: Critical Windows flaw affects millions of high-value PCs with self-replicating attacks – March 13, 2012
The Microsoft Tax: Virus infects Windows PC control systems of US Predator and Reaper drones – October 8, 2011
The Microsoft Tax: ‘Indestructible’ botnet attacks millions of Windows PCs; Macintosh unaffected – July 1, 2011
The Microsoft tax: Stuxnet computer worm infects Microsoft’s porous Windows OS; Mac unaffected – September 27, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: New undetectable Windows trojan empties bank accounts worldwide; Mac unaffected – August 11, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: Windows zero-day flaw exposes users to code execution attack; Mac unaffected – August 09, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: Critical flaw lets hackers take remote control of Windows PCs; Mac unaffected – August 07, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: New attack bypasses every Windows XP security product tested; Mac unaffected – May 11, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: McAfee correctly identifies Windows as malware; Macintosh unaffected – April 21, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: DNS Windows PC Trojan poses as iPhone unlock utility; Mac and iPhone unaffected – April 15, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: 1-in-10 Windows PCs still vulnerable to Conficker worm; Macintosh unaffected – April 08, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: 74,000 Windows PCs in 2,500 companies attacked globally; Mac users unaffected – February 18, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: Widespread attacks exploit Internet Explorer flaw; Macintosh unaffected – January 22, 2010
The Microsoft Tax: Windows 7 zero-day flaw enables attackers to cripple PCs; Macintosh unaffected – November 16, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Windows 7 flaw allows attackers to remotely crash PCs; Macintosh unaffected – November 12, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Windows virus delivers child porn to PCs, users go to jail; Mac users unaffected – November 09, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Worms infest Windows PCs worldwide; Mac users unaffected – November 02, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Banking Trojan horse steals money from Windows sufferers; Mac users unaffected – September 30, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Serious Windows security flaw lets hackers to take over PCs; Macintosh unaffected – July 07, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Windows Conficker worm hits hospital devices; Macintosh unaffected – April 29, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Conficker virus begins to attack Windows PCs; Macintosh unaffected – April 27, 2009
The Microsoft Tax: Conficker’s estimated economic cost: $9.1 billion – April 24, 2009


  1. A Mac running Windows to use a specific serial numbered application, like CAD, in BootCamp is THE safest way to go.

    Once Windows & the application is installed on Boot Camp, you never turn on networking, period. The only exceptions are to update Windows prior to updating that key application,.

    Files get transferred between Mac & Boot Camp partition, so any data files come and go to the outside world on the Mac.

  2. It’s a great shame on M$ that they forsook their most popular OS (XP) in their greed to sell newer and worse systems (Vista in particular), at the point when their long-sufferering users managed to get the thing fairly stable-ish, customised and to their liking.

    It’s a cursed company and a cursed operating system. Even the fairly competent Windows 10 has miles of legacy DOS code still wrapped inside its innards.

    Surely they will all now finally realise that almost any other platform would’ve been the wiser choice for home and work — and belatedly agree that “We shoulda bought Macs — and spent the money”, instead of being cheap bastards and buying flaky rubbish.

    Shadenfreude is fine, despite feeling a bit sorry for these hapless users, but shouldn’t preclude any one of us from warmly inviting them to switch over from the Dark Side.

    The time has come for these decisions: it must have. How much more can they take?

    1. Windows 7 is vastly better than XP- more stable, more secure.

      Windows 10 may have UI issues, but MS removed a lot of spaghetti code and it is far better underneath than anything they have done since NT.

      What is a tragedy is that Apple’s EULA is written in such a way as to discourage Enterprise from using it. The UNIX base is a great asset and Apple keep dumbing down the UI to make it more friendly for Prom Queens and Frat Boys.

  3. Use a Mac as both your work and Internet machine. But if PC only stay disconnected from the Internet, except for updates. Then buy a Mac just for going online safely. (A PC is like an unprotected sexy naked lady in a room full of highly agitated horny men.)

  4. If you are running Windows 10 on a Mac or have a properly patched version of Windows 7 or 8 you are OK. For the record, Microsoft issued the patch for Windows 7 & 8 in March.

    Not an apologist for Microsoft, but the Bullshit around this is tremendous. I worked all weekend in a Radiology Department full of various Windows Computers running Windows 7 Professional and Windows 7 Embedded- all connected to the public Internet and private networks. Not one machine was impacted as all had the proper software updates applied.

    X-Ray Machines, CT Scanners, MRI machines, Nuclear Medicine Cameras, C-Arms, Digital Fluoroscopic Rooms, Computed Radiography Stations, Digital Radiography Stations, Hospital Information Systems, Radiology Information Systems, Picture Archival And Communication Systems (PACS), etc. All running on Windows platforms and none were impacted.

    A good IT Department could have stopped this by doing their job. Ours did.

    1. Security patches can’t be installed on FDA approved patient care devices Willy nilly…they have to be tested. I seriously doubt all of your rad stations and acquisition PCs are patched automatically.

      1. True, they are locked down like a chastity belt. A Field Software Engineer usually does that kind of thing, but vendors keep VPNs to that machines when they are under contract and can remotely apply patches if needed.
        The various systems were patched when Microsoft released them and they were vetted by vendors to not break functionality. That is why you pay for service contracts.
        The service contract for a CT scanner, for example, can run $75,000 a year for both HW and SW. That is why your CT Scan costs what it does. These are Million Dollar Machines that require monthly maintenance.

  5. With the billions, maybe trillions that Microsoft has cost the world in IT support, malware outbreaks, the millennium bug etc. I am staggered to this very day that Microsoft has not had a massive class action lawsuit launched against them to recover the costs incurred. I guess their end user agreement protects them from a lawsuit.

  6. A lot of server AV packages have what’s called app whitelisting. Essentially you build up your server and install what you need before enabling it. It allows only the binaries on the server at that time to run and no others. New binaries are added either by specifying them explicitly or by redoing the whitelisting process.

    I’m sure there must be a non-server equivalent of this; it might be worth looking into.

Reader Feedback

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