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AppleCare Reps Told To Skirt Malware Questions

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the neither-confirm-nor-deny dept.

Apple 389

Dominare writes with this bit from ZDnet: "'A confidential internal Apple document tells the company's front-line support people how to handle customers who call about malware infections: Don't confirm or deny that an infection exists, and whatever you do, don't try to remove it.' So basically, now that Macs have their own equivalent to XP Antivirus the best you can hope for is to be pointed at the store where you can buy something that may or may not fix your problem ... nice."

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OSX (-1, Troll)

BmlA (2179336) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185230)

To be fair, I have never had any malware with OSX and I'm certain I will not. OSX by its roots (BSD) means it doesn't get the kind of malware that plagues all those M$ Windows computers. I feel safe with OSX and have no need for antivirus. If you give our your root password to a random program, well, you're stupid. But if you use Windows you get infected just by connecting to the internet. I've never had such experience with my Mac.

Re:OSX (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185278)

You, sir, are an idiot.

Re:OSX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185280)

Privilege escalation?

Re:OSX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185282)

Right, because root privilege escalation bugs don't exist in OSX.

Fan boy tool.

Re:OSX (2, Insightful)

mrnobo1024 (464702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185286)

If you think Apple software is inherently secure, read up on some of the past Pwn2Own [wikipedia.org] contests.

Don't kid yourself - the only reason OS X doesn't have much malware (yet) is that Windows is used by far more people and is therefore a juicier target.

Re:OSX (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185318)

Yup. And Linux's dominant market share in the server space means that it's an even juicier target. Which is why you hear about so many pwnt Linux boxes on the web.

Re:OSX (3, Informative)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185418)

To be fair, poorly configured linux servers are pwned all the time.

Re:OSX (1)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185630)

to be fair, linux isnt sold to soccer moms in mass

Re:OSX (0)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185440)

Yes, because, as a lazy sysadmin *I* never had a box "pwnt". Guess what: I had. Never leave a Linux box running for over 1 year with no patches, on the public net, with WWW and SSH running in default ports. Get real, anonymous fag: linux is open source, and its release cycle is much faster than the other OS's. It's a moving target.
That, and no fanboy geek will ever admit he had a Linux box owned.

Re:OSX (1)

Kalidor (94097) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185516)

Yep, people seem to forget how much "Hackers looooooooooooooooove noodles". http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramen_worm [wikipedia.org]

Re:OSX (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185966)

I do agree, a correctly configured and updated linux server is a great moving target, and a non-updated one that just sits there, is a marvelous broad side of a barn target.

White Boxes on FC1. I rest my case. (1)

Jon.Laslow (809215) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185538)

Seriously, if you knew how many websites were running on un-patched Fedora Core 1 installs you'd shit your pants. And the thing is, they don't usually make the news because the 'sysadmins' (often web developers who know just enough to be dangerous) have no idea their boxen have been rooted.

Re:OSX (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185602)

And Linux's dominant market share in the server space means that it's an even juicier target. Which is why you hear about so many pwnt Linux boxes on the web.

Sure, see for example how Sony got their PSN servers rooted and cored. Serves them right for running Windows in the server space. Now if only they had run an inherently safe OS, like Linux...

Re:OSX (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185946)

The reason Sony got bent over backwards was they were running out-dated, unpatched apache web servers with no firewall, not really because of the OS they were using.

Re:OSX (1)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185660)

Most malware relies on stupid users clicking on, surfing to, and installing crap, something that generally doesn't happen on a modern server of any OS unless the admin is an idiot.

Re:OSX (1)

d1verse (141918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185288)

oh just you wait.

Re:OSX (3, Insightful)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185296)

if you use Windows you get infected just by connecting to the internet. I've never had such experience with my Mac.

I've never had such experience with my Windows box nor have millions of other Windows users. If they did, they would leave Windows by the millions a day looking to either OSX or word of Linux would spread like wildfire (like Facebook did for millions of people).

You may not have noticed... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185332)

but windows do have millions of PCs infected with various malware.

Re:You may not have noticed... (1)

Skidborg (1585365) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185430)

That's irrelevant. The only reason a Windows computer get malware on it is because the user does something stupid. The number of stupid users doesn't make the product itself inherently infected with malware.

Re:You may not have noticed... (0)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185472)

That's irrelevant. The only reason a Windows computer get malware on it is because the user does something stupid.

Like connect to the internet without first spending some money on one or more anti-virus packages? Windows is the only current OS which connects to the internet with its legs wide open.

Re:You may not have noticed... (3, Informative)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185512)

Like connect to the internet without first spending some money on one or more anti-virus packages? Windows is the only current OS which connects to the internet with its legs wide open.

Every Windows OS since XP SP2 has had the Firewall built in and turned on by default.... Nice try though

Re:You may not have noticed... (1)

uniquename72 (1169497) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185524)

Avant? Antivir? If you don't know what you're talking about, it's probably best to say nothing at all.

Re:You may not have noticed... (3, Insightful)

RazzleFrog (537054) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185528)

I'll never understand why people like you spread so much FUD. I mean if you don't like Windows - don't use it. Why make stuff up? And if you make stuff up at least make it logical.

Re:You may not have noticed... (2)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185624)

Welcome to our world. I agree that the OP is spreading Windows FUD like it's going out of style, but I guess you just got a taste for what it;s like to be a Mac/iOS user for a few minutes on slashdot. You just have to roll with it - some people just get set in a "xxx sucks/is evil!" mindset and you can't really argue with it.

FTR, I am ambivalent about other people's operating system choice: use what works for you. I do find though, that I have to defend my own choice of OS far more often than I ever give a negative opinion of any other OS out there, especially on slashdot. It does get wearisome.

Re:You may not have noticed... (1)

Jon.Laslow (809215) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185588)

Which is funny, because the last install of OS X I did (10.6.7, I think) didn't have it's firewall turned on out-of-box. If you connect your machine -- doesn't matter the OS -- without some form of hardware or software firewall to the internet, you're asking for trouble.

Re:You may not have noticed... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185652)

You are correct, the OS X software firewall is off by default, and it should be on. However, it is mitigated somewhat because all the remote services (file sharing, ftp, ssh, remote login etc) are all off by default. This doesn't excuse the lack of default on, however.

Re:You may not have noticed... (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185802)

Like connect to the internet without first spending some money on one or more anti-virus packages?

You're obviously doing it wrong, if you're getting viruses or malware by simply connecting to the internet then you're an idiot.

Re:You may not have noticed... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185892)

No... I've seen windows systems compromised by the MS antivirus scareware on non-administrative accounts, where the users did not ever install a single piece of software... the only thing they used the internet for was surfing the web, checking facebook, and reading email. At no point were the users cautioned that a program was going to be installed on the computer.

Re:OSX (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185346)

I have. The original XP did not spin up its firewall by default, and also started it after networking. I've seen people reinstall XP to get rid of some malware, only to have software popping up ads on their box before they finish the first boot.

Re:OSX (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185374)

I've never had such experience with my Windows box nor have millions of other Windows users.

Weird. I remember a co-worker doing a clean install of Windows XP on a PC a few years ago and it had been remotely infected by a worm before it even managed to install all the security updates from Windows Update.

And yes, giving it an unfirewalled network connection was probably a bad idea.

Re:OSX (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185596)

I've never had such experience with my Windows box nor have millions of other Windows users.

Weird. I remember a co-worker doing a clean install of Windows XP on a PC a few years ago and it had been remotely infected by a worm before it even managed to install all the security updates from Windows Update.

And yes, giving it an unfirewalled network connection was probably a bad idea.

The final straw for me was the nice Microsoft support person (in India, from the accent) telling me that I'd have to disable my firewall in order to install XP SP1. This was despite me telling her that my cable link was getting several intrusion attempts per second (bad route requests, login attempts, etc.), and I doubted that an unprotected Windows could survive the hour or so that the upgrade would take. AFAIR this was back in 2003-ish, in response to my email complaints that the XP SP1 install failed on my laptop with rather unhelpful messages.
Instead of installing XP SP1, I installed SuSE linux, which later got supplanted by Warty Warthog.

Re:OSX (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185550)

He's referring to XP Service Pack 1 and before, and most likely the blaster worm. Before MS got their crap together. Real techies know to stay away from any new OS until the second major round of patches come through. That applies equally to Windows and OSX.

Re:OSX (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185322)

To be fair, I have never had any malware with OSX and I'm certain I will not. OSX by its roots (BSD) means it doesn't get the kind of malware that plagues all those M$ Windows computers. I feel safe with OSX and have no need for antivirus. If you give our your root password to a random program, well, you're stupid. But if you use Windows you get infected just by connecting to the internet. I've never had such experience with my Mac.

It's a new thing for Apple. They haven't had to deal with this much at all before, and a lot less than in the Mac OS 9 days and before. So there's some growing pains while they get their procedures worked out.

Meanwhile, if you get a rootkit or malware on Linux, well, you'll get a lot less support than Apple is giving right now, unless you have a contract with Red hat or someone ... and maybe not even then. So it's not like this kind of support is easy to provide by default.

Remember that EULA what you got with your software? Software provided "AS-IS"? The GPL has that clause, too. It's the state of the industry. It's not an easy problem to deal with, like unplugged power cords or using the wrong mouse button.

Re:OSX "Yawn" (1)

mrwolf007 (1116997) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185360)

To be fair, I have never had any malware with OSX and I'm certain I will not..

Welcome to relevant market share.

We Linux guys got the problems long enough, i also had to reinstall a VM because i forgot to change a default password.

You think XServe is dead because it was better?

Re:OSX (-1, Troll)

hjf (703092) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185368)

But if you use Windows you get infected just by connecting to the internet. I've never had such experience with my Mac.

Well, better get used to it, fanboy.

Re:OSX (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185420)

But if you use Windows you get infected just by connecting to the internet.

What utter nonsense. Any version of Windows from XP SP2 onwards has a built in firewall. For earlier versions of Windows a program like ZoneAlarm will do an exceptionally good job (arguably better than the built in Windows Firewall, depending upon what you want). Modern browsers have anti-phishing and anti-malware stuff built in. You have to go out of your way to get infected these days.

Since I started using Windows in 1994 (after being an ignorant Unix using Windows hater) I have not had one virus/trojan/rootkit infection. Not one, in 17 years. Sure if you go to the wrong sites and download the wrong stuff, or download stuff you know has been hacked/cracked/pirated then you open yourself up to problems (as my brother in law did and ruined his PC, but that was his own fault, nothing to do with connecting to the internet, everything to do with his behaviour).

I still use Linux and Windows. Both are great. I don't use a Mac as I don't see the point paying a huge premium to have incompatible hardware that performs no better than a decent x86 PC that can run Windows or Linux.

Re:OSX (2)

thegarbz (1787294) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185456)

OSX by its roots (BSD) means it doesn't get the kind of malware that plagues all those M$ Windows computers.

Security by association? Many windows holes aren't a direct attack on the kernel either. Most expose vulnerabilities in network services or commonly used apps. If you think that OSX is immune from infection due to some mystic link to an OS written by bearded folk you're delusional. Every programmer at some point leaves a bug that could be exploited in a network attached program. Even programs like OpenSSH (with your precious BSD heritage) have had their fair share of vulnerabilities in the past.

Malware is a money making industry. If it becomes profitable to attack OSX, and if OSX becomes common enough to allow viruses to spread (if a certain percentage of a population is immune viruses are often prevented from spreading) you can kiss you sweet security by link to bearded men goodbye, as well as security by lack of motivation.

Heck there was a denial of service attack that could be performed on Windows as a result of the Bonjour service. What is Bonjour service? Something written by Apple installed with iTunes.

Re:OSX (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185612)

OSX by its roots (BSD) means it doesn't get the kind of malware that plagues all those M$ Windows computers.

Security by association? Many windows holes aren't a direct attack on the kernel either. Most expose vulnerabilities in network services or commonly used apps..

Among those: Norton's Antivirus.

"saw him good" celebrity software (2)

epine (68316) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185948)

Even programs like OpenSSH (with your precious BSD heritage) have had their fair share of vulnerabilities in the past.

Clue me in, what is the "fair share" for a program such as OpenSSH? A zero-day on OpenSSH is the rough equivalent of raising the Libyan flag at the center of the Pentagon.

I can't stand the thinking that buffer overflows are a fact of life. Only if you believe that shoddy workmanship is a fact of life. Subtle edge cases in a tricky protocol account for maybe 1% of the buffer overflows out there. The majority are copy first, ask questions later. There are plenty of these people out there programming computers; very few of these people are accepted into med school. The root cause of most buffer overflows in commercially important applications with large, well-resourced development teams is the network effect. There's a hideous pressure to be first, rather than right, or solid and tight.

Imagine if PC Magazine back in the fat 1980s had a penetration testing department that stamped "did not qualify" on every beta software product tested where any serious failure mode was tripped. But no, if the software could do one important function correctly 10% faster than the next piece of software (by hook or by crook), it was stamped "editor's choice".

In sports forums where there is serious discussion about prospects, this is ridiculed as "saw him good". There's always a contingent out there drooling over the next hockey jesus with the flashy stick move who leaks the puck in his own end ten times per shift, and wailing with incomprehension over why the professional hockey minds have his ass stapled to the bench or racking up demotion miles to a lower league.

The only difference is that in software, your pimply hockey jesus is referred to as the next "killer app". A certain type of consumer is busy drooling over the 30 second highlight reel without any real concern over whether the kid is willing to learn how to play a two-way game for sixty minutes.

Moral of the story: you get what you drool over.

Re:OSX (1)

Bobfrankly1 (1043848) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185506)

To be fair, I have never had any malware with OSX and I'm certain I will not. OSX by its roots (BSD) means it doesn't get the kind of malware that plagues all those M$ Windows computers. I feel safe with OSX and have no need for antivirus. If you give our your root password to a random program, well, you're stupid. But if you use Windows you get infected just by connecting to the internet. I've never had such experience with my Mac.

...and the Steve was God, amen.

Re:OSX (1)

commodore6502 (1981532) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185532)

>>>OSX by its roots (BSD) means it doesn't get the kind of malware

NICE SARCASM.

(You were being sarcastic right? Every OS gets malware, because no machine is perfect. There are always loopholes to exploit.)

Re:OSX (-1, Troll)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185656)

If you give our your root password to a random program, well, you're stupid.

Isn't being stupid a qualifier for owning Apple products though? I mean, who else would pay such inflated prices for mediocre hardware and locked down software?

Re:OSX (1)

exomondo (1725132) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185832)

To be fair, I have never had any malware with OSX and I'm certain I will not. OSX by its roots (BSD) means it doesn't get the kind of malware that plagues all those M$ Windows computers. I feel safe with OSX and have no need for antivirus. If you give our your root password to a random program, well, you're stupid. But if you use Windows you get infected just by connecting to the internet. I've never had such experience with my Mac.

This is the problem Apple is going to have when it gains a respectable marketshare, the masses seem to think OSX is magically safe from viruses and malware, when in actuality it's just too tiny of a target.

in other words... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185272)

apple buries their heads in the sand just like most of their computer users....

Re:in other words... (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185304)

Most likely yes, but without knowing to what extent Apple has looked into the issue or what the status with that is, it might be a legitimate policy when they don't have firm answers. Bad information can definitely be worse than no information.

Re:in other words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185306)

As was aptly demonstrated by the post above this one.

Re:in other words... (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185366)

No, it was a reasonably observation. I don't own any Apple products, never have and likely never will, but you have to recognize that if they haven't finished whatever investigation they need to do, they can easily make things worse by making the wrong recommendation.

Re:in other words... (2, Funny)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185932)

Actually, it's finely-ground silica glass, imported from Tibet, verified to contain no particles thicker than 9.3 mm.

religion (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185294)

I have faith that Apple will remove any malware from my Macs. I believe this with all my heart and I pray that Apple will deliver me from temptations.

Re:religion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185388)

Jobs 3:16 For in this way Apple loved the world: that he gave the unique OS, so that all the ones trusting in Apple would not perish, but have eternal life.

So? (0, Troll)

NiceGeek (126629) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185320)

Microsoft doesn't support removal of the hordes of malware on it's platform either.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185364)

Microsoft doesn't support removal of the hordes of malware on it's platform either.

Microsoft sells computers now?

Re:So? (2)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185436)

Yeah, for a while now. [microsoftstore.com]

Re:So? (1)

paradox11 (1435803) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185584)

And you actually click on a link, and it goes to a page featuring HP/Toshiba/Samsung/Sony laptops (and Asus netbooks)

Re:So? (2)

Kitkoan (1719118) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185720)

All sold by Microsoft.

Its like when you buy office software from an Apple Store and they showing you Microsoft Office. They didn't program it, but they will happily sell it to you, thus the the Apple store does sell office programs. And games, music, movies on iTunes but they didn't make any of them.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185370)

The difference is, I don't pay Microsoft $300 extra when I buy my computer for higher class support.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185426)

Support my ass, give me an example where apple's support was more than simply "Macs form dummies" training for confused great-grandparents.

Re:So? (4, Informative)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185590)

They gave me a free GigE card (at their suggestion) when I had problems with the built in ethernet on the logic board on a Powermac G5 and didn't have the time to take it in for repair because it was an edit machine.

They replaced my brother's iBook, 3 days out of warranty, because it was close to the expiry date and it was unfortunate.

They shipped a fresh set of Universal Binary Final Cut Studio disks to me for postage cost when the Intel switch came about, so we wouldn't have to buy the newer version of the suite to be able to run it natively.

Oh I'm sure I have a few more.

They also do "Macs form [sic] dummies" for those who yank their power cord from the wall socket by the cable and wonder why it frays and catches fire, or who throw their laptop in a bag with no case and wonder why the surface gets all scratched and so on.

They also deal with regular people who have hardware and software problems.

Re:So? (1)

mlts (1038732) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185928)

Apple's CS by itself, is a big sell in its favor. Bought a Mac, bad RAM... they did a machine exchange on the spot. iPhone had some bad flash storage... 10 minutes, the SIM card was swapped and I was good to go with a replacement unit.

For nontechnical people, being able to call one number for a problem, be it hardware, OS, or even the app makes the Apple Tax worth it, especially if they make their living from the computer.

PC makers also offer good support, but you have to buy their business line of machines (Precisions, Optiplexes), and their top tier support contracts. This is the par for companies, but for individuals, Apple has the best CS for the large computer makers.

Re:So? (4, Informative)

Megor1 (621918) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185386)

From the article: "Microsoft provides free telephone support for security issues to all customers, regardless of whether the software was purchased at retail or as part of a new PC. Microsoft Support Article 129972 (last updated May 17, 2011) contains these instructions:"

Re:So? (4, Insightful)

DurendalMac (736637) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185690)

And if you RTFA, you'll find that Apple and MS do the same damned thing: Tell the user to get some antimalware software to get it out.

Re:So? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185856)

Are you reading the article on Zdnet, because that is the opposite of what it says. It says that Microsoft wants you to install antimalware software BEFORE you call them. " 1.Before you contact a support engineer, make sure that you run updated antivirus software and updated spyware removal software on the infected computer.For more information about how to obtain a free computer safety scan, visit the following Microsoft Web site: http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/(http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/) [microsoft.com] For more information about antispyware software, visit the following Microsoft Web site:http://www.microsoft.com/protect/computer/spyware/as.mspx(http://www.microsoft.com/protect/computer/spyware/as.mspx) 2.Call 1-866-PCSAFETY or call 1-866-727-2338 to contact security support."

Re:So? (4, Informative)

Urd.Yggdrasil (1127899) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185412)

Microsoft Malicious Software Removal Tool? Microsoft Security Essentials?

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185458)

Microsoft doesn't support removal of the hordes of malware on it's platform either.

There's Microsoft Security Essentials.

At least they try. Apple's ethos is "deny everything".

Re:So? (1)

Hatta (162192) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185644)

I agree. If you read the memo, installation of the "malware" requires authorization from the user. If you choose to do that, the OS vendors hands are clean. Apple isn't responsible for removing software you installed.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185936)

No, but why leave those users who call in for support in the dark? Apple won't even confirm or deny that the user might have a malware problem. What are they, the frickin' CIA? How hard would it be for the Apple Care rep to ask some basic questions and then say, "Base on the answers you've given me, it does sound like you may have a malware problem. Please go to so and so site to get malware removaltron etc., etc." This fiasco just smacks of Apple trying to maintain the illusion their software isn't vulnerable to malware. As shareholder I would be pissed that Apple is passing up a golden opportunity to sell their own anti-malware software to the worshipful users. They could call it AppleCrate or iCrate , you know.. to box in those nasty malware wormy doodle-hickeys.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185738)

Microsoft doesn't support removal of the hordes of malware on it's platform either.

True, but Windows users are accustomed to the idea that they will have to deal with their own problems. This is a real bubble-bursting, there-ain't-no-unicorns sort of message for Mac users ;p

Yes but Dell does (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185812)

The problem is Apple is NOT an OS maker, they are a system maker. In particular they make a unified system where they do it all. If you talk to a Mac head this is one of the things they talk about being so great, that Apple creates a "unified experience" and supports everything. They push the model of "Just bring it to the Mac store," as how you handle support and all that.

Fine but that means that you are going to get questions about malware and the like. They can't play it off with "But MS doesn't help!" They are selling the "We are the company that takes care of you and makes everything," they get to deal with the support calls.

Also, MS DOES in fact help with that shit. If nothing else they publish the malicious software removal tool (which Windows get automatically) and make Microsoft Security Essentials available for free. While they don't do everything, they do provide free tools to help.

Ignorance is strength (2, Insightful)

mirix (1649853) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185392)

Certainly the best way to deal with a problem is to deny that it exists altogether. I guess so long as people have faith that a mac is somehow immune (be it to actual virii or user error induced malware installs), and they keep selling, that's all that matters.

Steve must have been taking lessons from some govn't agencies.

Re:Ignorance is strength (1)

PhxBlue (562201) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185526)

Certainly the best way to deal with a problem is to deny that it exists altogether.

Seems to have worked well enough for Arnold Schwarzenegger and for Sony. :)

primates more valuable than humans now? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185398)

they must think so, evidenced by they don't massacre each other. of course if they had secret deals to buy (on credit) billions of WMDs, then they might have to kill each other off, just to get out of debt. we're smarter than that?

Apple: "Fuck it, we're evil" (2, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185446)

Apple declares: Fuck it, we're evil [newstechnica.com]

"But our stuff is sooo good. You’ll keep taking our abuse. You love it, you worm. Because our stuff is great. It’s shiny and it’s pretty and it’s cool and it works. It’s not like you’ll go back to a Windows Mobile phone. Ha! Ha!"

Re:Apple: "Fuck it, we're evil" (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185478)

Apple malware - because it just works

Re:Apple: "Fuck it, we're evil" (1)

IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185740)

Thanks for your insight, but I'm pretty sure everyone has seen that link before. If you study the URL really carefully, you can see it's actually more than two and a half years old.

Re:Apple: "Fuck it, we're evil" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185804)

He knows that. It's his site that he's linking to.

Re:Apple: "Fuck it, we're evil" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185994)

The OP owns that site. He's using Slashdot to pimp his own site and drive up clicks.

What Problem? (2)

tropgeek (1945298) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185460)

I hear that Sony has some "recently available" security engineers, maybe Apple should hire them to work the phones.

Front-line support (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185480)

Shouldn't front-line support people actually know if it's actual bad malware or not? If it is, this is remarkably stupid to neither confirm nor deny that it even exists. That seems like it came from marketing, not tech support. sigh.

Re:Front-line support (3, Informative)

IrrepressibleMonkey (1045046) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185696)

Shouldn't front-line support people actually know if it's actual bad malware or not? If it is, this is remarkably stupid to neither confirm nor deny that it even exists. That seems like it came from marketing, not tech support. sigh.

You should probably read the article. Apple is not telling its staff to deny that the malware exists, it is directing that the support staff should not confirm or deny that the software is installed on a specific Mac and should not try to remove it. Instead Apple is directing the customer to a specified documentation providing general information about malware. Apple is declining to remove software, which the customer has installed and subsequently changed their mind about. Sigh.

Ed Bott "unbiased" article. (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185496)

Enough said, although the internal memo from Apple smacks of "cover our ass" legal hot footing - they pretty much say "go look this up on the internet", which is not a great response, although this isn't actually a public response. No doubt there will be something forthcoming soon.

AppleCare techs *have* responded to people about how to remove it, although I guess that's not policy now, although given that it's still "an issue in progress" I expect these are temporary policies while they hammer something out - like a malware tool, or some specific legal thing. No doubt it will be trotted out every time a security issue comes up, along with the trolls saying things like "it takes years for apple to respond to any security vulnerability" (+5 insightful). mmm. Tasty truthiness!

It's not that hard to remove.......... (5, Informative)

FullMetalJester (887382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185522)

All you have to do is go into Safe Mode. http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1455 [apple.com] Then go into the Applications Folder > Choose MacDefender.app > Move to Trash. (in Safe Mode) Reboot normally and reset Safari.

Re:It's not that hard to remove.......... (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185680)

Don;t even need to do that - just pop open the terminal and kill the process then trash the app, or use Activity Monitor to kill it. Don;t even need to reboot. Reset Safari to kill any porn links or malware bookmarks it added and job done.

Re:It's not that hard to remove.......... (1)

FullMetalJester (887382) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185752)

yeah i posted the simplest way since it seems the average mac user is too freaked out to do anything remotely complicated....

Fool proof way to hack nearly any system. (5, Interesting)

Roskolnikov (68772) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185548)

hey, this is a web page claiming that your infected, click ok!!
umm, you clicked cancel, you really want to click ok, ok??
you know, it doesn't matter which button you push, both result
in the continuation of this racter like discussion.

wow, you clicked ok, wait while I install some software to 'help' you.
oh, while installing I noticed that I will need your password to continue....

wow, you gave me your password, can you google pwn3d ?

works on PC, works on Mac, likely works on every other modern OS.

this isn't an exploit via bug, its an exploit via user, if you drop your pants in front of a glory hole......
that said Apple isn't really helping by avoiding the topic.

Wow (1, Insightful)

pudge (3605) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185572)

Apple employees are directed to not help you fix a problem with a bad application you chose to install AND chose to give root privs to.

And ... ?

Re:Wow (1)

CharlyFoxtrot (1607527) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185650)

Please refrain from using logic, it interferes with the Two Minutes Hate.

MS finally released Mac malware 3.0? (1)

AmazinglySmooth (1668735) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185600)

I was waiting for MS to release such malware. Initially, I was surprised that it took so long, but it had to get to 3.0 before being adopted.

This submission is a troll. (0)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185648)

No manufacturer covers malware as part of their warranty. Fun to see all the righteous indignation of this topic, but getting upset about it is utter nonsense. You put it on there, it didn't ship that way. If you run a red light and get smashed into, are you going to expect Ford to cover the costs of it? No, most rational people wouldn't that why there's insurance. If you infect your computer with some malware, well there's anti-malware for that. Guess what, you have to pay for it just like you do insurance.

Call any of them (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185664)

Dell, HP, Microsoft, take your pick. They will say the same thing, not our problem. Why are you people defending idiots who allow malware in their system? Or can't figure out how to remove it, or rebuild their computer? Calling a CSR asking for help is about as good a solution as banging your head on a brick wall, and feels worse.

Could have fixed it over a year ago (5, Informative)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185670)

The crux of the current problem is a setting in Safari that allows the computer to open"safe" documents automatically. The issue with that checkbox has been known for over a year and its one of the things I remember to do is to uncheck it (as it has been defaulted to checked, open those documents.)

Apple could have done an update to uncheck that box, or better yet remove the feature, but it sadly remained and now they are going to have to pay for thier ignorance of the issue.

Re:Could have fixed it over a year ago (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185846)

The crux of the current problem is a setting in Safari that allows the computer to open"safe" documents automatically. The issue with that checkbox has been known for over a year and its one of the things I remember to do is to uncheck it (as it has been defaulted to checked, open those documents.)

Apple could have done an update to uncheck that box, or better yet remove the feature, but it sadly remained and now they are going to have to pay for thier ignorance of the issue.

You're holding it wrong. Right?

Re:Could have fixed it over a year ago (1)

Wovel (964431) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185904)

This would slow some own, but those bent on infecting their computers would still find a way...

It will be swept under the xprotect rug... (1)

Thaidog (235587) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185672)

Little know that OS X comes wit built in virus protect with the Xprotect.plist... Not advertised because Apple want to keep the impression that Mac's don't get infected.

How about reading the f***in article? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185728)

It clearly says "don't help remove". It does not say anything about not admitting that there is a problem, but obviously people read what they want to read. By the way - it's not an internal document, but an anonymous employee being cited. This article was also posted here earlier today....

My first 3rd party experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36185820)

A customer of mine had some trouble over the weekend and the genius fixed it no-charge

The headline is bogus, I don't read it that way. (1)

Timmy D Programmer (704067) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185860)

The headline implies Apple is skirting questions about the existence of malware. This is not true. They are telling their support people they must not confirm or deny that the callers particular machine is infected, because they don't do antivirus malware cleaning support, (Neither does MS).

hmm (1)

buddyglass (925859) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185880)

I don't see a problem. I'm guessing the vast majority of infections aren't the fault of the OS or hardware. So why should Apple be on the hook to repair some guy's machine who infected himself by running a porn dialer or some app he grabbed off a torrent site?

What's the big deal? (5, Insightful)

OffbeatAdam (960706) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185950)

Apple is trying to protect themselves from becoming a helpdesk, which is something they are not. They are very clear about this. The Genius Bar is also, very clear about this. They are not a help desk, and in advanced cases support comes at a price. Just as apple is not on the other side of the phone to teach you what each keyboard shortcut does, they're not there to fix every little computer problem you have. You can't call apple if you delete a photo, and all the same you can't call apple if you clicked a link and had your system violated.

The major problem is that we now have to recognize exactly what this means. This does not mean that the mac is more or less vulnerable, because it's not - it is exactly as vulnerable as it was before. The problem is that as the total users of Apple computers grows, the ratio of of (minority) secure users to (majority) vulnerable users grows in distance. As the Apple becomes more popular, the chance of the user interacting with the system is likely to follow a malicious link, open a malicious email, or fall for a malicious ad, is greater; there is a higher chance that this user is the type of user interacting with the system, as these are the most common users on the internet.

This is a trend that was not witnessed with PCs, as by the time Malware became a heavy component of the PC/Internet world, PCs had penetrated every aspect of the general public. Mom and little brother would follow any link to their hearts content, would want to help the Nigerian Prince, and would feel obligated to save the Penguins of North Africa. Apple has now begun penetrating this market as well, and it can only be assumed that the same ignorance will also affect the Apple community.

You can secure a computer all you want, it's very difficult to keep most people from clicking the latest joke link and falling for any one of the thousands of ads they'll see in a 5 minute time period. The only perfect solution, is to not let them on the computer at all.

Confidentiality fail (4, Funny)

drb226 (1938360) | more than 3 years ago | (#36185976)

A confidential internal Apple document

Speaking of security...

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