Mac Malware Mania: Chicken Little works for antivirus peddlers. You’re the only problem. Fix the problem.

“Sulfur’s burning in your nostrils. The heavens grow darker. Far off you hear a voice you think might be Chicken Little,” Rixstep writes. “‘It’s really trivial to infect a Mac these days’, Chicken Little tells you. Scary! ‘The only difference is that for historic reasons, there’s so much more malware on Windows. That may not always be the case.'”

“OK, thanks, CL. Cos there sure is a lot of malware on Windows! Millions of strains. But there’s a reason for that, right? Bill Joy understood why, and Bill Joy should know. He’s one of the fathers of BSD Unix, which is one of the forefathers of Apple’s OS. Bill simply can’t understand how Microsoft could (in good conscience) put a standalone system on the Internet,” Rixstep writes. “Not many people can either.”

“The cries to equip yourselves with new improved antivirus suites are going to grow louder. Much of the passive personal computing world has migrated to thumb scrolling and tap-tap. The AV cottage industry, born out of the endemic depravity of Microsoft products, is going to hurt more and more. Let them hurt. Not your problem,” Rixstep writes. “The weak link is you. These supposed ‘system hacks’ on macOS don’t attack the system per se – as is the case with Windows. They attack you. They try to fool you. Imagine you’re the sole caretaker of Fort Knox (or the NY Federal Reserve, you pick it) and you have complete access to the security system – and then some huckster in a cheap polyester suit comes along and tricks you into giving away the keys. Is it the system’s fault? Or is it yours?”

“You’re not running Windows,” Rixstep remidns Mac users. “Be glad for that.”

Tons more in the full article – highly recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: Bingo.

If you steal software and/or frequent dodgy sites and/or click spam emails, and you subsequently download something that’ll run on your Mac and authorize its installation, then the fault for being infected by a trojan is yours and yours alone. No OS can prevent such things or, of course, you wouldn’t be able to install new applications at all.MacDailyNews, January 29, 2009

The Mac Malware Myth perpetuated by – surprise – anti-virus software peddlers – January 29, 2009
Symantec: Macs just as vulnerable to viruses as Windows – August 27, 2007
Symantec details ‘Macarena’ Mac OS X ‘proof-of-concept virus’ – November 03, 2006
ZDNet’s Kotadia: Symantec’s Mac OS X spyware prediction in flames – September 28, 2006
Symantec report fails to mention any threat of ‘Mac OS X malware’ – September 27, 2006
Symantec warns of new proof-of-concept ‘trojan horse’ for Mac OS X 10.4.6 – June 30, 2006
McAfee blows more smoke, says Intel Macs vulnerable to ‘chip-level’ threats – May 22, 2006
Analyst: McAfee’s recent Apple Mac security report is ‘sloppy scaremongering’ – May 08, 2006
McAfee announces virus protection for Intel-based Apple Macs – May 05, 2006
Patched in mid-2005 by Apple, Symantec warns ‘Inqtana-A’ worm could be ‘beginning of a trend’ – February 20, 2006
Why pay Symantec for flawed ‘security’ app designed to protect Apple Macs from nonexistent threats? – December 27, 2005
‘Highly critical’ flaw in discovered in Symantec AntiVirus for Mac OS X – December 21, 2005
Why Symantec’s ‘scare tactics’ don’t worry Mac users – September 28, 2005
Symantec announces Norton AntiVirus 10.0 for Mac OS X Tiger and Mac OS 9 – May 10, 2005
Symantec details flaws in its antivirus software – March 30, 2005
Motley Fool writer: ‘I’d be surprised if Symantec ever sells a single product to a Mac user again’ – March 24, 2005
Symantec cries wolf with misplaced Mac OS X ‘security’ warning – March 23, 2005
Symantec’s Mac OS X claims dismissed as nonsense, FUD – March 22, 2005
Symantec warns about Mac OS X security threat – March 21, 2005


  1. But, but, but,,,,,, Justin Long told me flat out that Macs don’t get viruses.
    (Don’t bother with the dissertation on the various forms of malware. Anyone that would have believed it doesn’t know the difference, they were sold.)

    1. I do not recall any such assertion. My recollection is that Apple stressed that the vast majority of malware infections occurred on Windows PCs. The Mac *is* inherently more secure.

      As far as disregarding the importance of terminology, I wholeheartedly disagree. If the unwashed masses are too lazy to gain a basic understanding of the difference forms of malware – especially the forms that are dependent upon the exploitation of users to gain access – then they deserve to suffer for their ignorance. I am a believer in personal responsibility.

        1. You said “Justin Long told me flat out that Macs don’t get viruses”, and that’s simply not what is said in the ad video you posted. I can write it out for you if you’re having trouble hearing it. PC guy says “Last year there were 114,000 known viruses for PCs”, then Mac guy says “PCs, not Macs”. Certainly the message being conveyed is that viruses are way less of an issue on Macs, and that is true, but Justin Long did NOT tell you Macs don’t get viruses. You choose to interpret the ad that way because you’re a troll.

      1. As a believer in personal responsibility, you appear to be correctly espousing a fundamental principle of political conservatism: when a poor life choice results in an unfavourable outcome, government shouldn’t be expected to pick up the tab. The individual needs to own it. Such unfortunates can find relief by turning to the church or to bleeding-heart charities. However, the element of suffering brings in morality, something that political conservatism embraces, but in a troubling, nebulous way: life is precious, but only under certain circumstances; happiness is our birthright, but only under a proper regime of work and duty; everyone deserves justice, except the poor who deserve their lot because they commit the sin of laziness. I don’t recall laziness being identified as a sin in the Bible. Is it a peculiar Americanism, a moral stand-in for rugged individualism, or is it just what it appears to be—an excuse for doing nothing for the unfortunate because no one cares?

    2. It is my understanding (correct me if I am wrong) that there are ZERO self-replicating malware (worms or viruses) in the open for the Mac. There are trojans, which the user must (unwittingly) install. Windows has thousands upon thousands of worms and viruses in the open.

    3. Seriously applecynic? [ReSTrAiNinG MySeLF]

      What Apple, via Justin Long said was that Macs don’t get Windows viruses [malware]. I think you know that and were being sarcastic.

      Meanwhile, I’ll gladly provide a list of the most recent Mac malware. There are a few. Apple has diligently been stamping them out via their XProtect system built into Mac OS. Most recently, I’m happy to report, Apple has been catching up on malevolent adware as well. Hurray.

      And who is ‘The Weakest Link’? It really is US. Almost all Mac malware comes in the form of Trojan horses, stuff we inadvertently install ourselves either through coercion or foolishness. Remember to have a back up so you can restore your system after you’ve mangled it. Backing up is the #1 rule of both computer security and computing in general.

      1. First of all, thank you for the restraint, recognition of sarcasm, and opportunity to discuss.

        Of course, OSX doesn’t run Windows viruses. It doesn’t run any Windows program natively.
        The real reason for Long’s statement was to capitalize on uninformed users perceptions, not to be a treatise on malware. This was about sales, nothing else.

        1. Not so fast troll, sarcasm or not you seem to be putting forth the notion that the Apple ad was false advertising, that the virus situation between Macs and PCs is roughly the same. That isn’t true, and you know it. Macs have always had far fewer issues with viruses, malware, etc. Same is true of iOS vs Android. Apple’s approach to this issue gives them a legitimate competitive advantage, I don’t see the problem with Apple advertising an advantage. Is it that you think it’s unfair on Apple’s part to do so?

          1. Let me make it even easier for you. I did NOT equate the malware landscape of Windows with that of the Mac. But there is no such thing as an impenetrable PC.

            You are catching on though, Apple’s ad did present a false sense of security. That it wasn’t as bad as Windows is irrelevant. Windows users know they have to be careful, should have a security suite, etc.

            1. People are after you because you presented Apple as cynically using security as a selling point. Naïve users, children, will be lulled by their message! If and when these users become compromised, it’s Apple’s fault because the ads were crucially misleading..

              Apple may be as duplicitous, manipulative and amoral as the next company. I think that’s your main point. Others wish things were different, and have reasons to think so.

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