04-16-2012 09:45 AM
For a very long time, Apple has waged a campaign against other vendors around the issue of security. Apple has encouraged Mac owners to believe that Macs are safe by design. In truth they were safe because the economics of malware writing meant that a Mac was too expensive to bother with, there simple were not enough of them out there to make it worthwhile writing a piece of malware to infect them. Well, haven't times changed? The recent furore around the Flashback malware which has reportedly infected over half a million Macs has highlighted that the malware writers attitudes have changed, and it has shown that Macs are computers after all, prone to security issues and used by people who can and do fall prey to scams, social engineering and other attacks.
So what can we do if we own a Mac, and want to start being a bit safer online? Well all the advice that has been doled out to Windows owners over the years is equally valid for Macs. If you are offered something on the Internet that is too good to be true, it is a scam and potentially somebody trying to infect your machine. If you get email from someone you don't know asking you to open a file, don't open it. You have to update your machine regularly for security patches as well as updating those pesky applications such as Adobe, Microsoft Office and so on to ensure you are not vulnerable to attacks via those applications. Yes, you should also run some antivirus software. It is not a failsafe protection against malware, but given Apple's speed in patching, it is likely the AV vendors will offer protection before Apple get around to issuing their patches. Comcast offers Norton for Mac for free and if you dont like that one, there are some other good ones like Clam XAV or Sophos that are free that you can use.
When you go to the Apple Store, ask the bue shirted "Geniuses" what you should do about security. You may run into one for whom the Koolaid has not worked and get some good advice.... well you might also see a flying pig Apple needs to be told that they have security issues. It is not a mark of a Mac being a "bad" machine, it is just a reality in terms of cyber security. They have made it in the world of cybercrime, they have become worth attacking. The trouble is the average Mac user has been conditioned to believe they are invulnerable, so in the words of the military, they are a part of a "target rich environment".
04-16-2012 11:51 AM
For a very long time, Apple has waged a campaign against other vendors around the issue of security. Apple has encouraged Mac owners to believe that Macs are safe by design...
Apple has repeatedly told Mac owners to use anti-virus software. Like this note which dates back a decade. Mac users have for the most part simply decided not to.
The recent furore around the Flashback malware which has reportedly infected over half a million Macs has highlighted that the malware writers attitudes have changed, and it has shown that Macs are computers after all, prone to security issues and used by people who can and do fall prey to scams, social engineering and other attacks.
I don't know that there was a "furore" (furor?) over the recent issue. It made the news because it was so unusual. I sorta' doubt Mac users are converging on Cupertino to exact revenge.
So what can we do if we own a Mac, and want to start being a bit safer online? Well all the advice that has been doled out to Windows owners over the years is equally valid for Macs....
Mac users aren't idiots. Really? You think they don't know not to open files from ppl they don't know? You think they don't know that there is bad stuff out there on the internet?
When you go to the Apple Store, ask the bue shirted "Geniuses" what you should do about security. You may run into one for whom the Koolaid has not worked and get some good advice.... well you might also see a flying pig
That's a pretty cheap shot for someone that works for Comcast.
Apple needs to be told that they have security issues.
I think Apple might be a little more on the ball than you think they are.
...The trouble is the average Mac user has been conditioned to believe they are invulnerable...
Really? Who is the "average Mac user"? Are they so feeble-minded that they are "conditioned"? There are Mac loyalist that lack common sense, but most Mac users are perfectly intelligent and will most likely make changes to their security scheme as times change.
04-17-2012 10:50 AM
First of all, no-one would say that Mac owners are idiots or stupid. However they are average human beings and the experience with Windows machines shows that average human beings fall victim to scams, social engineering and this is a major vector for the introduction of malware. The problem is that Mac users have been conditioned via massive marketing campaigns, via the attitude of the vendor Apple and by reinforcement from other Mac users via word of mouth that Macs are invulnerable.
Anyway, another piece of malware rolls out the door, have you heard about Backdoor.OSX.SabPub.a, this is a piece of Mac malware that operates via Word in this case.
The reason for my post is not to poke fun at Apple, although humour often helps in a message. It is to get Apple users to realise that they are not invulnerable. As for "Apple being on the ball", sorry to disappoint you. The Apple attitude to security is comparable to Microsoft a number of years back when they were very uninvolved in security. Apple does not get involved in many security events, reacts to security warnings often by vigorously discouraging researchers from talking about the issues and does not participate in many of the various forums where security issues are discussed.
I want the Comcast Mac users to be safe, to be protected and to be aware and as such I post as I do.
Thanks for your response though
04-17-2012 01:21 PM
I hear it all the time. I'm a Windows/Linux guy, but I like the Mac platform and I understand why ppl use it. Your attitude it typical of Windows users that think Mac users are complete brainwashed idiots. Apple has infamously been lousy at updating everything including security patches. This is not news to Mac users. Why do you think Mac users don't know that? Apple will make adjustment eventually. Many Mac users have run their machine for years w/o a need for an antivirus. That does not mean that they think their Mac is "invulnerable" nor does it mean that they won't adapt if needed. I found your initial post to be extremely condescending and would have removed it for trolling if you weren't a Comcast employee.
PS: Duplicate posts aren't permitted on the forums either.
04-17-2012 04:18 PM
I'm a longtime Unix user who moved to Macs when Apple took over NeXT. I'm also the president of my local Apple user group. We discuss security at almost every meeting. Some people run anti-malware software. Some don't.
It isn't like there's no security as part of the operating system. Apple is not Microsoft. Yes, Apple can be slow to update software, but they usually get it right.
The malware-detection/repair folks have cried wolf many, many times over the years. I don't trust them. I don't run any extra anti-malware software.
Yes, I keep my operating system up-to-date even though I realize Apple is sometimes slow in updating it. I'm careful with where I click and what I install. I have backups.
Yes, I might get infected with something someday. But I'm not trusting Comcast or the anti-malware folks to tell me what I should add to my machine.
And, yes, your tone was insulting. It doesn't reflect well on the company.
04-17-2012 05:06 PM
<<And, yes, your tone was insulting. It doesn't reflect well on the company.>>
Beth, I resisted the temptation to respond to his comments. Some of them reflect the "common wisdom" that Macs had been immune from viri due to its lack of popularity instead of the more obvious fact that dos/windows was wide open and unlocked due to the incompetence/stupidity of corporate administrators who purchased the cheapest product that could perform the immediate tasks. In another thread, I recommended Lil Snitch as it performed an outside audit of the system looking for faults and announcing them. We used such monitors to detect failures that affect safety in the real world.
04-22-2012 09:16 AM
The original poster's comments are an unfortunate broad brush analysis, considering that many (if not most) Mac users either came from Windows, or also use Windows and are all too aware of how that platform has been malware-infested over the years.
There is no such thing as an immune operating system.That said, Comcast needs to seriously get its own act together and refrain from sending out spam-like Bot warning emails to users who are readily able to confirm that their systems are not bot-infested.
Personally, I have found that Intego'sVirusBarrier x6 (while not a free app) has worked well...not intrusive, and actually was on top of the FlashBack incursion 6 months ago.
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