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Apple Yanks Mac Virus Immunity Claims From Website

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-hard-to-be-humble dept.

Businesses 327

redletterdave writes "Apple quietly switched out a statement that claimed its Mac computers were completely immune to viruses with a less-forward statement: 'It's built to be safe.' The PR shift comes in the aftermath of the Flashback Trojan, which affected hundreds of thousands of Macs back in early April. From the article: 'Apple strives for perfection, but stating something is perfect when it isn't is ultimately bad for PR and company morale. Jobs used his reality distortion field to "rally the troops," so to speak, but "Mountain Lion" will ensure Apple can tout its closed, highly-secure operating system for the foreseeable future in a much more realistic sense. Just because a product isn't impervious to sickness doesn't mean it isn't "insanely great."'"

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The first crack in the shell! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440697)

It's over, Apple is finished!!!!!!

FROSTY PISS TOO

Suprising that no one has sued. (5, Insightful)

allaunjsilverfox2 (882195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440709)

I mean, that type of statement COULD be construed as false advertising? Or am I completely wrong?

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440749)

Perhaps people are becoming more sane when it comes to advertising complaints. Over here you'd report it to the watchdog who would investigate the claim and act accordingly (as they did with the false 4G claims). No need to jump to a lawsuit.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440807)

My, what big pockets you have!

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440787)

of course it isn't - it's a feature

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440803)

They were careful to say that Macs are immune to Windows viruses. It's sort of like saying that Ford cars are generally unaffected by Toyota's engineering flaws. Doesn't mean that they don't have any of their own.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (4, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440847)

Still seems a fair comparison. Hey, folks, product X is plagued with such and such problem. Ours isn't. Come buy ours.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (5, Insightful)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440921)

It's saying that, but in such a way that it's strongly implying "we don't have that problem" when they actually do. What if Ford put out an advertisement saying "Are you afraid of your Toyota skidding off the road into a tree? Then come buy a Ford!"? Sure, if you're driving a Ford then your Toyota probably won't hit a tree... but your Ford still will.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (0, Offtopic)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440979)

It depends on what safety features are installed. Lots of cars nowadays have electronic disaster mitigation to prevent slides and going out of control. The car will actively apply brake and retard throttle at the right places to keep the car stable.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (3, Informative)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441079)

Imagining a situation in which the analogy isn't perfect is easy; it's an analogy. If it were exactly like the actual situation then it wouldn't be an analogy, it would just be us talking about the actual situation. The point is that Macs aren't immune to viruses. There are probably browser-delivered Java viruses containing code for both Mac and Windows (although undoubtedly few of them, possibly just proof of concept, etc.) so the claim that "Macs are immune to Windows viruses" is less than truthful as well.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (0)

JonySuede (1908576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441091)

let me proclaim: WoooooSHHHHH !
And that is from someone who's wife calls him : my sexy autistic freak

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441141)

I still have yet to really look into whether the "Flashback Trojan" is a virus or not, as it's monicker indicates that it is a trojan. So it may still be true that there isn't a virus out in the wild, eventually there will come the sad day that OSX will have its first virus.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (4, Informative)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441331)

The first OS X malware in the wild was in 2006 - a worm/trojan: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leap_virus [wikipedia.org]

As far as a true virus, in the sense that it infects a file and then replicates, is increasingly rare in Windows as well. In my experience, Trojans are by far the most common malware threat out there now - mostly because they rely on user stupidity/uneducation, which is something that is very difficult to patch.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (2)

ZeroSumHappiness (1710320) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441195)

It's like saying, "Buy a cat! Cats are not vulnerable to fin rot!"

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (0)

CyberLife (63954) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440953)

This is exactly it. Everything I ever saw from Apple on this subject said their products were immune to the large volume of PC viruses out there, which is completely and totally true. They probably changed their tune in order to avoid a waste-of-time lawsuit from people who can't read.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441237)

This is exactly it. Everything I ever saw from Apple on this subject said their products were immune to the large volume of PC viruses out there, which is completely and totally true. They probably changed their tune in order to avoid a waste-of-time lawsuit from people who can't read.

Not necessarily. It isn't that hard to imagine someone has created a virus (or malware, Trojan, worm) that can infect both Windows and Mac. There wouldn't be much point to it, besides "just because I can", but someone probably has.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441025)

However, even that would be inaccurate since "Mac" usually refers to the actual computer and not OS X and Windows runs quite well on that hardware.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (2)

Kenja (541830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441103)

Much like all those adds claiming "Ours is the only product with TERM WE TRADEMARKED!"

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441305)

Like Retina displays? Only available from Apple!

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441231)

Even that isn't true. Certain classes of viruses (program-specific usually, like office macro viruses) can infect any system running the vulnerable program. These I would call these "windows viruses" considering they still largely infect windows, to which Apple OSes have always been susceptible. Even Linux is, to some extent.

Even ignoring the above, it is still pretty scummy to imply your system is secure against viruses when it isn't. Tricky wording doesn't make it any better. Indeed, it makes it worse, since they knew what they were doing.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (4, Informative)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441291)

No, it is correct that Windows is the only OS that can get a virus (and I'm not sure they still can get them). The International Business Times is a terrible source of tech news; wtf does an MBA know about computers?

They show their ignorance when they state

Microsoft had its Schadenfreude moment in early April, when a Russian antivirus company discovered that hundreds of thousands of Macs were infected with a variant of the Flashback trojan horse, which reportedly was able to exploit several vulnerabilities in Java, allowing itself to install onto the user's browser without any intervention or action on the user's part.

They're confusing the Flashback Trojan with Trojan BackDoor.Flashback, which is a worm. Worms and trojans can and often do contain viruses (most of the boot sector viruses in the '80s and '90s were also trojans).

The wiki article on this worm says "The trojan, however, will only infect the user visiting the infected web page, meaning other users on the computer are not infected unless their user accounts have been infected separately. This is due to the UNIX security system". NOT a virus. It has to be able to self-replicate and spread by itself to be a virus.

Any computer can get a trojan, and Unix systems have been hit by worms (an example is the Morris worm [wikipedia.org] that almost took down the internet back in the '90s).

Unix and its bretheren, like BSD, Linux, and Mac, were designed from the beginning to be for networked, multi-user machines. Windows was never designed from the ground up to be for network computers, and MS now pays the price. Apple was smart to move to a Unix-like system when internet access became normal.

I just "fixed" an old "virus-laden" Dell last week that ran so slowly it would barely boot. But there were no worms or viruses, just useless memory-eating toolbars (I consider these to be malware, they do nothing or very little for the user and eat your performance for corporations' sake). It runs like a top now.

Odd how Norton won't warn you about that kind of crap, which slows your computer down as badly as being on a botnet.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (4, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441399)

I don't see how you could be, after all they made the statement to sell units and the statement is pretty blatantly false. The scarier part to me though is how many actually believed it. I mean I have sat here on this very forum and been gobsmacked as an otherwise perfectly sane individual would argue that since Flashback is a trojan it "didn't count" like a child on a playground demanding a do over.

In the end folks there is no such thing as a general purpose OS that doesn't get malware, period. Apple, Linux, Windows, ALL THREE have bugs and if one uses only the tiniest bit of logic you would know why, it is because Operating Systems are now some of the most complex software ever written, millions of lines of code designed to interact with a myriad of hardware, and that isn't even counting all the millions of lines of code for the third party software running on top. To expect any company or group to be able to build something THAT complex and not have a single error? I'm sorry but that is simply ridiculous,humans are simply incapable of that level of perfection. There is simply too many interactions going on and no one person can keep up with it all.

Couldn't be sued (4, Informative)

SilverJets (131916) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441519)

Here is a link showing the before and after of the Apple web page in question.

http://sophosnews.files.wordpress.com/2012/06/mac-osx-before-after.jpg [wordpress.com]

I don't think they could be sued, there is no false advertising on their part. It blatantly states "A Mac isn't susceptible to the thousands of of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers."

That is a completely accurate statement. Mac OS X cannot be infected with a Windows virus.

Re:Suprising that no one has sued. (1)

History's Coming To (1059484) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441525)

Exactly - I worked for an Apple reseller and I would never tell people they "couldn't get viruses", I told them we'd had all the demonstration models running with no security beyond the router's bog standard firewall for three years and never had a problem, that you were very unlikely to have problems, then give them a quick spiel on still having to be aware of phishing scams and the like. Would social engineering be any more effective on the average Apple user because of complacency? Very possibly.

Any *nix system is going to be very resistant to malware, but to say 100% immune is asking for a visit from Mr Murphy and Miss Irony at the very least.

Reality Distortion Field (0)

Bigby (659157) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440717)

What is a Reality Distortion Field? Is that like a full-scale resurrection? Or does it just re-animate the dead with 1 HP?

Re:Reality Distortion Field (0, Troll)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440837)

The reality distortion field is what causes Apple fanboys to think that Apple invented the mouse.

Re:Reality Distortion Field (0, Troll)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440865)

It's the "silly" field that causes Microsoft fanbois to keep talking about one button mice over 20 years later...

Re:Reality Distortion Field (2)

gman003 (1693318) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440995)

Twenty? I used a one-button Mac six years ago - one of those ugly uncomfortable puck mice. It was made maybe ten years ago, probably a bit less.

Not to mention that *technically* their current touchpad mice have only one "button"...

Re:Reality Distortion Field (5, Insightful)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441361)

Yeah, now you've got... this thing: http://www.apple.com/magicmouse/ [apple.com] . No humor to be found there. That said, get your timeline straight: the one button mouse was discontinued as Apple's official mouse in 2007. Not 20 years ago.

I think you'll find most people who do not think highly of Apple here think just as little of Microsoft. I know it can be hard to get out of the mentality that it is Apple vs. Microsoft and you have to pick one, but there are, in fact, people who have legitimate reasons to dislike both the company you love and the company you hate.

Re:Reality Distortion Field (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441375)

Re:Reality Distortion Field (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440869)

As opposed to the reality-distortion field which causes *some* people to think that Apple 'fanboys' think that Apple invented the mouse.

Re:Reality Distortion Field (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441133)

The reality distortion field is what causes Apple fanboys to think that Apple invented the mouse.

Wow I've never actually heard this. I've never heard that Apple has invented the smartphone or the mp3 player, either. I sometimes think people think they heard the word 'invent' when the word used was 'innovate'.

Re:Reality Distortion Field (4, Funny)

QuantumRiff (120817) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441351)

Blame Al Gore, for innovating the Internet :)

Re:Reality Distortion Field (1, Informative)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441143)

And Microsoft fanboys to think that MS invented windows.

Re:Reality Distortion Field (4, Insightful)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441323)

The reality distortion field is what causes Apple fanboys to think that Apple invented the mouse.

No true Apple fan believes Apple invented the mouse. The story of Steve Jobs visiting PARC and exclaiming "you're sitting on a goldmine!" in exasperation when they said that they had no intention of commercialising it then rushing back to Apple and calling the hardware guy in and told him to drop all current projects because "*this* [the mouse] is what we've got to make".

I mean, if we're being truthful about what the RDF is.

It would be more accurate to say that it's the effect that gets people to cheer during the keynote when Jobs announced that they had updated iOS4 to enable the volume-up key to work as the shutter release in the camera app (and yes, that did happen. I eyerolled with amusement - I mean, it's a nice feature but it received a round of applause for goodness sake).

Re:Reality Distortion Field (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441345)

*missing words. "The story of Steve Jobs visiting PARC is famous...."

Re:Reality Distortion Field (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440853)

It's like when your Pokemon uses Confusion. It makes fanboys rabidly attack anyone and everyone near by while mostly just hurting themselves.

Re:Reality Distortion Field (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440879)

HP is getting out of the re-animation business to focus on printer ink.

Re:Reality Distortion Field (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440955)

Re-animating the dead had nowhere near the profit margins as printer ink.

Re:Reality Distortion Field (1)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441087)

It's like a Someone Else's Problem (SEP) field run in reverse; instead of people subconsciously avoiding the problem, they're all drawn to it.

Re:Reality Distortion Field (1)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441283)

It deflects all attacks of Logic and Fact type targeted at Apple while in use. Probably the most effective resistive spell in all of computing, even better than RMS' "shroud of bizarre."

Apples are for Homos (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440725)

...and homos get viruses. 'Nuff said.

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:Apples are for Homos (2)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440817)

And everyone that ever used Linux will eventually die.

Re:Apples are for Homos (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440951)

And everyone that has used one SAP's systems, but it will be a death by confusion.

How could they have gotten away with that claim? (5, Insightful)

SailorSpork (1080153) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440769)

Apple viruses have been around for awhile. Linux viruses exist. Viruses exist even for obscure, closed computer systems (look at STUXNET). Statistically, were they less likely to get viruses because Apple's OS is on a lower percentage of the computers out there? Yes. Immune to all viruses? Laughable.

Re:How could they have gotten away with that claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440961)

Because they are rich, and that in itself makes them evil sorcerers. Damn evil profiteers!

Re:How could they have gotten away with that claim (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441099)

The false duality; the logical fallacy of choice for the discriminating moneygrubber!

Re:How could they have gotten away with that claim (3, Informative)

etresoft (698962) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441147)

I think one of the reasons for the re-wording was to remove the word "viruses" since it so obviously confuses people who don't know the difference between viruses and trojans and think the handful of Mac malware in 12 years is equivalent to over 17,000,000 for Windows. Sorry, but market-share doesn't account for that discrepancy.

Re:How could they have gotten away with that claim (1)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441333)

I think one of the reasons for the re-wording was to remove the word "viruses" since it so obviously confuses people who don't know the difference between viruses and trojans and think the handful of Mac malware in 12 years is equivalent to over 17,000,000 for Windows. Sorry, but market-share doesn't account for that discrepancy.

And why not? When you can design a virus (Trojan, whatever, no one outside the tech community gives a crap what term you use) that hits 20 times as many targets, many used in industrial or commercial settings (such as what Stuxnet targeted), why would you bother trying for a Mac virus? The point of most malware isn't to hit a specific target (there are exceptions of course, but as I said before, many of them run Windows, and are usually targeted in more precise attacks anyways), but to hit as many targets as possible. In that light, it's almost stupid to bother making a Mac virus at all.

Re:How could they have gotten away with that claim (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441517)

Because Mac OS X has an actual security model, whereas the default on Windows (pre-Vista) has always been the same as MS-DOS security.

"Windows viruses" (2)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440773)

IIRC, the claim was that Macs were immune to "Windows viruses".

Re:"Windows viruses" (4, Insightful)

lightknight (213164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441109)

Yes, and Windows is immune to Mac security bugs.

Still an impressive record (4, Insightful)

Grayhand (2610049) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440781)

How many viruses are there for Windows? "Apple quietly switched out a statement "? What are they supposed to do have a press release? Would any company on the planet do that? Just because they got nailed by a virus doesn't make them worse than a PC. So many people are desperate for a chink in Apple's armor that they overreact to things like this. Put it into perspective. They are still very resistant to viruses. I have more legitimate issues like searching for files on a Mac is a joke and they aren't as stable as they used to be, especially since Lion came out.

Re:Still an impressive record (4, Insightful)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440903)

Because was gots ta hates on the Applez! GOTTA HATEZ! Kill! Kill! Hate! Faster LOLCat! Kill! (pant) (pant) (shakes fist)

Geek cred must be constantly watered by the dripping spittle of hate against a gadget company, and refusing to let others (The Sheep!) like what we don't like!

Re:Still an impressive record (2)

Greenspark (2652053) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440985)

This argument is as old as the sun. Apple has had a very minor part of the personal computing market share for a very long time. The distribution of 'apple' viruses was really not worth anybody's time. Virus writers are looking for huge impact -- why would they limit themselves to the smaller piece of the pie? Now Apple's got themselves a much bigger piece the action than before. And guess what, people have started writing Apple viruses. Their claims of immunity have always been inappropriate. The problem isn't that they 'quitely switched a statement'-- it's that it was ever there to begin with.

Re:Still an impressive record (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441041)

They are not resistant to viruses. They cannot get a Windows virus, that's about it. It was an idiotic statement to begin with, and unfortunate how many people really believed that Macs could not get a virus. They have had plenty of viruses over the years, but if you are designing something for maximum impact or potential you do not start with the smaller install base. You go where there is a lot more potential, the larger the pool, the more idiots you have. Now that Macs have gained more attention it will only get worse. Now there are millions of idiots with iPads and iPhones and that people are using them to pass credit cards and private info so you can only guess what they intend to do...

Don't lie (0)

jamesl (106902) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440799)

... stating something is perfect when it isn't is ultimately bad for PR and company morale.

And it's a lie.

Re:Don't lie (0)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441049)

Worse, from Apple's POV, it's a lie that people can catch them on.

Re:Don't lie (2)

geekmux (1040042) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441217)

... stating something is perfect when it isn't is ultimately bad for PR and company morale.

And it's a lie.

No it's not.

All depends on your definition of "perfect" vs. theirs.

And as our bullshit legal system can attest, there are so many ways to skin that cat that if it were carried out literally, the feline species would be extinct.

Re:Don't lie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441339)

No it's not.

All depends on your definition of "perfect" vs. theirs.

And as our bullshit legal system can attest, there are so many ways to skin that cat that if it were carried out literally, the feline species would be extinct.

Then again, if you are just re-skinning that one cat the feline species is fine, but that one cat is pissed.

PC vs. Mac (-1, Troll)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440801)

Hey Apple, don't forget all of those smug elitist clips [youtube.com] too. Might want to get a bigger mop.

Small Numbers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440813)

I love how people talk about this flashback incident like it's a major event, a few hundred thousand macs is nothing compared to the millions of windows machines that get infected with all kinds of malware all the time, in the long run they still have a better track record for security. sure they botched the response this time but every time something like this happens they take it as feedback on what to do to prepare for next time.

Less people use Macs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441117)

Apple marketshare = 5% approximately. Windows marketshare = 94% approximately.

Given that, malware makers pay attention to it as well: Thus, it makes FAR MORE SENSE to attack the most used, because that's where the MOST POSSIBLE VICTIMS TO EXPLOIT ARE - because malware makers/hacker-crackers are JUST LIKE PICKPOCKETS (who also frequent crowded areas unsuspecting & usually un-security conscious users are), & thus - They go to those crowded city streets, shopping malls, bus + train stations, for the SAME reasons (more "easy meat" to steal from)...

* So - what else illustrates that concept perfectly as well, validating it more? Heck even despite Linux underpinnings??

Android on the smartphone...

APK

P.S.=> That's the TRUE reality of it... period!

... apk

Re:Small Numbers (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441169)

They have a better track record for not being targeted. That comes with a smaller market share. You can't objectively evaluate security, since you don't know how or when/if things will be exploited, but the general consensus in the security community seems to be that OSX has more security holes that Windows 7. Windows is just targeted more because it's more economical.

So yeah, sure, the expected value of using Mac over "PC" is currently more personal security due to less exposure to attacks. But that doesn't mean that OSX itself is more secure.

Here's the before and after (4, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440815)

Here are before and after images of the marketing text [macrumors.com] .

Also, contrary to the summary, it never claimed complete immunity to viruses, merely immunity to Windows viruses, which is, admittedly, a trivial and silly distinction to make, but I like playing the pedant.

Re:Here's the before and after (0)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440891)

Also, contrary to the summary, it never claimed complete immunity to viruses, merely immunity to Windows viruses

Really, is that what it said? Hm, let's look at the link that you yourself posted, and see what the statement was:

With virtually no effort on your part, Mac OS X defends against viruses...

Download with peace of mind

Yeah, looks like they are claiming to be secure against viruses in general, not just Windows viruses.

Re:Here's the before and after (4, Informative)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440981)

Immediately after it, they expanded on the statement you quoted with, "A Mac isn't susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers," which you apparently neglected to read.

Again though, as I said, I'm playing the pedant, since it's not much of a distinction.

Re:Here's the before and after (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441225)

"A Mac isn't susceptible to the thousands of viruses plaguing Windows-based computers,"

That assumes their isn't a single cross-platform virus out there, which I highly doubt. Absolutism is stupid, even if there really isn't much risk from some browser/Java/whatever cross-platform bug.

Re:Here's the before and after (1)

YodasEvilTwin (2014446) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441241)

Damn it, missed a / in my closing block. I was not trying to doublequote myself :P

Re:Here's the before and after (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441003)

I have to agree with Anubis - they were only claiming total immunity to Windows-based viruses. Against malware in general, they're just claiming excellent security... but not perfect. It's a valid claim and doesn't do the tap-dancing around terms that the original claim did. Some could say that because Macs are technically personal computers, claiming to be immune to "PC viruses" like in their original statement was an outright lie.

In short, they've gone from tapdancing around terms and implying things that are outright false to standard marketspeak that's at least valid.

Re:Here's the before and after (1)

spire3661 (1038968) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441015)

That marketspeak you quoted is factually correct. OSX is designed to be virus resilient. There is nothing wrong with that claim.

Aimed at the masses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440883)

That kind of ads was aimed toward the masses that know next to nothing about computers. Mac have had viruses for a long time now if not as long as Windows PC and the only reason why "mac doesn't have viruses" stuck for so long, is due to uneducated people that believe every propaganda their overlords at Apple says and the low user base compared to Windows PC users. Worst thing is, there are still people in denial even after this massive trojan fail.

Closed? (4, Insightful)

milbournosphere (1273186) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440885)

...its closed, highly-secure operating system...

Apple's OS is a lot of things, but it's still Unix based. If I want to do something, a terminal window is a click away. They've made the low level settings harder to get to via a settings window, to be sure; but at the end of the day, I can always issue the appropriate command. Closed might describe their mobile OS well, but that doesn't apply to their desktop OS (yet).

Re:Closed? (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440957)

Apple's OS is a lot of things, but it's still Unix based. If I want to do something, a terminal window is a click away

For now; I have been saying this for a long time, but Apple is moving towards a product line where only their most expensive workstations give users the freedom to open terminals or write their own software. People did not flee from iOS; they embraced it like it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Re:Closed? (2)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441243)

People did not flee from iOS; they embraced it like it was the greatest thing since sliced bread.

That would be because compared to everything out there, it was the greatest thing since sliced bread. That's more a statement about how bad the market was than how great iOS is. And the market hasn't really improved much, despite the wailing and whining of the Android crowd. Android as it currently exists is a disaster - no real standards, multiple versions, no defined upgrade path, essentially all the problems of the market when iOS debuted. For those that come by saying "but, I can root my Android device and install ICS.... well, you can do a lot of things if you have the proper knowledge. Most device owners will not have that knowledge nor the interest to take their device and "own" it since their main purpose is to use it to call or whatever people use Android tablets for.

Re:Closed? (1)

UnknownSoldier (67820) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441013)

> Closed might describe their mobile OS well, but that doesn't apply to their desktop OS (yet).

Closed can be read multiple ways.
1. Closed as in closed-source. Contrary to open-source. i.e. So where is the source for Finder or for Quartz or basically all the non-kernel functionality?
2. Closed as in API and what programs are allowed to run. You just can't add whatever API extensions you like to the OS, say like Linux / BSD. For right now you can run whatever programs you want (you don't need Apple's approval.)

OSX (desktop) is both closed source and open source. The app store is helping the OS move towards being closed API where in time it become a locked down platform. You will probably be given a big warning "This application has not been signed. It may be unsecure. Do you still wish to open / run it?"

Time will tell I guess.

Re:Closed? (2, Interesting)

CritterNYC (190163) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441089)

The next Mac OS release will block any software not signed with an Apple-approved digital certificate by default. Advanced users can go into options and untick the option. This is seen as the next step to an iOS-style lockdown of the whole OS. The first being the release of the app store (with some preferential placements of apps installed via said app store). The next step, in Mountain Lion, making it so all developers have to go through apple, pay a yearly Apple developer fee, and be approved through some process before their software is allowed to be installed by default. Likely, a later release will require app store software only by default with an advanced option to disable that.

Re:Closed? (1)

amiga3D (567632) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441215)

About the only thing I use on my Mac anymore is the video apps. Once the Linux versions get just a little better I wont give a damn what they do. My Mac Mini can run Linux too.

Re:Closed? (2)

alen (225700) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441281)

So? for techincal users this will be easy to undo

for people who just want a computer like they want a toaster this will mean the software they install has been checked for malware. this using the computer thing like a manual transmission was cool 20 years ago but at this point people just want to use the software on it and don't care about the monkey work

Re:Closed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441523)

Being UNIX based does not magically fix all the security holes in OS X. From what I have seen of the hacker contests, OS X was shown to be less secure than even Windows.

Then factor in the stupid nonintuitive UI (Finder? bawhahaha, nice app there dimwit) and well... it ain't so great

Re:Closed? (3, Interesting)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441541)

You know that "open" does not just mean "there is a CLI available", right ?

Yawn (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440911)

What fool thinks that any computer system is immune to one sort of malware or another?

Re:Yawn (3, Funny)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441371)

What fool thinks that any computer system is immune to one sort of malware or another?

Linux zealots.

It's built to be meaningless for propogation (-1, Troll)

BMOC (2478408) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440933)

Security through small market.

Sheesh (0)

trifish (826353) | more than 2 years ago | (#40440935)

Nothing is inherently more secure about Mac OS X than Windows. All software can have software vulnerabilities, including Mac OS X.

The old (but still true) fact is that Mac OS X has less malware because it is a smaller target (about 10% market share) than Windows for the bad guys to be cost effective.

Re:Sheesh (0)

etresoft (698962) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441007)

It is precisely those unequivocal words like "nothing" that get people into trouble. Let's just say that there is only one thing more secure about MacOS X than Windows - the architecture.

Re:Sheesh (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441227)

It is precisely those unequivocal words like "nothing" that get people into trouble.

I like how you deride him for making a blanket statement, and then go on to do just that yourself. Are you just being ironic? The "architecture" is a sweeping generalization which you need to qualify. What about the "architecture"? What aspects?

Re:Sheesh (0)

tom229 (1640685) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441125)

Sheesh is right. The statement that OSX is more secure by apple fanbois has always ruffled my feathers the most. Whether you hit 'continue' on the UAC prompt in Windows, or type your password in for admin access on OSX, once you do either my software has complete control of your system.

Re:Sheesh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441145)

All software can have problems, but it doesn't mean that it does. After 10 years of Windows with plenty of viruses and bloatware slowing down my system after 2 years. Linux and Mac OS X are still running just fine.

I thought it was a 20% market share now. It would be a lot more if people valued the computing experience a little more.

Re:Sheesh (1)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441489)

According to Apple, there are only 66 million Mac users out there. This is in contrast to Microsoft, who sold over 600 million copies of Windows 7 alone, which does not count everyone still out there on XP, which is probably another couple hundred million. Let me put it this way: more people use Windows Vista than use a Mac.

Re:Sheesh (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441367)

It also has less legacy cruft.

Re:Sheesh (-1)

Relayman (1068986) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441461)

Apple's market share [macobserver.com] is 66% for all personal computers sold in stores for more than $1,000. In addition, Apple's market share as been increasing as sales of PCs as a whole have been dropping.

The best thing about Apple (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40440977)

They won't sell to dirty brown foreigners.

Go team USA!

Apple still the best. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441151)

This is all just lies and slander. Apple computers DO NOT GET VIRUSES. I've been exclusively using Apple products for 20 years now and they simply JUST WORK. You don't have to worry about viruses and trojans because Apple knows how to design software to be secure and safe. Nothing else can say the same thing, not Windows and certainly not Lin-sux.

Think different.
Think BETTER.
Think Apple!

Progress (3, Interesting)

onyxruby (118189) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441163)

I consider this to significant progress on the part of Apple and they deserve to get credit. Much as Microsoft has their head buried in the sand for years before they started making changes, we should applaud Apple for taking the first step. I welcome Apple to world of reality, a world in which operating system have security flaws, require patches and get viruses.

Now that Apple is in at least some small way acknowledging the real world, let's see if they can clean up their act the way Microsoft did years ago. Admitting you have a problem is always the first step, now we can always hope that they will start to embrace industry standards for dealing with security issues. Perhaps someday their users will no longer also have their heads in the clouds about security issues?

Kind of funny thinking about it, a decade ago I never would have imagined citing Microsoft as a company that can be cited as cleaning up their act for security. /responsible for securing an environment that is %50 mac, so I'm not trolling.....

Unix (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441223)

Yes, Unix, properly configured, is, indeed, highly secure. The underpinnings of the operating system that you bought are insanely great. That is what made and continues to make *nix operating systems so widely used and accepted in enterprise and government infrastructure. Sticking an Apple logo on it does /not/ improve the system's security. At all.

Just Compare It (0)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | more than 2 years ago | (#40441235)

All Apple needs to do is to flat out say, "If you run Windows you will be infected", it's not false, it's not a lie and it's bashing Microsoft. Apple is insanely more secure then Windows and only slightly less secure then Linux, I think they should use what they have and just call it like it is.

Untrue - HOW & WHY... apk (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441449)

I run Windows - & haven't had ANYTHING happen to my system since, oh, early 1996 (that's when I learned how to REALLY "security-harden" my computers' Operating Systems + wares used):

You can security-harden modern Operating Systems QUITE WELL, & it's even EASY TO DO, if you use a tool like the multi-platform + highly esteemed ( http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9018362/CIS_tool_aims_to_help_federal_agencies_check_Windows_security_settings [computerworld.com] ) based on "industry best practices" recommendations of CIS Tool -> http://www.google.com/search?sclient=psy-ab&hl=en&site=&source=hp&q=%22HOW+TO+SECURE+Windows+2000/XP%22&btnG=Search&gbv=1&sei=W53oT_jaLKbp6gGXoe3gDg [google.com]

That, along with a little end-user education (which it goes into a LOT on that note) on where threats come from, how to stop them, & to use common-sense (along with conscientious patching of OS &/or wares a user uses) goes a LONG ways...

* CIS Tool's also ready for Windows 7 + Server 2008!

However/Catch-22 (not really, & how/why) - it's not FREE like the ones for Windows 2000/XP/Server 2003 were, but, it has a 30 day demo (and you can make the alterations it suggests, & then, use regedit.exe to export those changes OR .inf files to merge too, & that way? You have the settings for "security-hardening" your rig that way, forever!)

---

"Apple is insanely more secure then Windows and only slightly less secure then Linux, I think they should use what they have and just call it like it is." - by Murdoch5 (1563847) on Monday June 25, @01:51PM (#40441235)

LOL, Apple didn't have EACH OF THE FOLLOWING before Windows did:

---

1.) PatchGuard
2.) ASRL
3.) DEP

---

So, what was THAT you were saying? By the by, outta the box/oem-stock??

NOT A SINGLE ONE OF THEM IS AS SECURED AS THEY POSSIBLY CAN BE:

Proof? Well, there's what CIS Tool shows you on both Linux &/or Windows, AND?? Apple puts out this security guide for MacOS X too:

http://www.apple.com/support/security/guides/ [apple.com]

SO, IF MacOS X is "so secure" AS YOU STATED, & RIGHT OUTTA THE BOX/OEM-STOCK? Why the security guide above & beyond the stock settings then??

(NO - not even SeLinux bearing Linux distros, which copied the idea of ACL's from Windows NT-based OS, in their MAC (mandatory access control) analog of it... Since Linux didn't even have anything REMOTELY close to being like it & yes, it helps, a lot...)...

APK

P.S.=> It's gotten results like the following quoted testimonials from a fellow that does PC Repair & more, from his family, himself, friends, & clients he's applied that guide's recommendations TO THE LETTER to:

QUOTED TESTIMONIALS TO THE EFFECTIVENESS OF SAID LAYERED SECURITY GUIDE I AUTHORED:

http://www.xtremepccentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=672ebdf47af75a0c5b0d9e7278be305f&t=28430&page=2 [xtremepccentral.com]

"I recently, months ago when you finally got this guide done, had authorization to try this on simple work station for kids. My client, who paid me an ungodly amount of money to do this, has been PROBLEM FREE FOR MONTHS! I haven't even had a follow up call which is unusual." - THRONKA, user of my guide @ XTremePcCentral

AND

"APK, thanks for such a great guide. This would, and should, be an inspiration to such security measures. Also, the pc that has "tweaks": IS STILL GOING! NO PROBLEMS!" - THRONKA, user of my guide @ XTremePcCentral

AND

http://www.xtremepccentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=672ebdf47af75a0c5b0d9e7278be305f&t=28430&page=3 [xtremepccentral.com]

"Its 2009 - still trouble free! I was told last week by a co worker who does active directory administration, and he said I was doing overkill. I told him yes, but I just eliminated the half life in windows that you usually get. He said good point. So from 2008 till 2009. No speed decreases, its been to a lan party, moved around in a move, and it still NEVER has had the OS reinstalled besides the fact I imaged the drive over in 2008. Great stuff! My client STILL Hasn't called me back in regards to that one machine to get it locked down for the kid. I am glad it worked and I am sure her wallet is appreciated too now that it works. Speaking of which, I need to call her to see if I can get some leads. APK - I will say it again, the guide is FANTASTIC! Its made my PC experience much easier. Sandboxing was great. Getting my host file updated, setting services to system service, rather than system local. (except AVG updater, needed system local)" - THRONKA, user of my guide @ XTremePcCentral

---

... apk

Hmm, no (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40441261)

Never having put the statement up in the first place would be ideal, but I think this story is worse PR than the trojan attacks themselves. It just draws attention and is basically a hefty bag of troll food.

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