Apple pimps AV: Mac bloggers shocked, PC bloggers mock

In Tuesday's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches Apple tell Mac users that they should use anti-virus software. Not to mention the Slinky Kitteh...

Brian Krebs reports:

Apple logo
In a notable shift, Apple is now recommending that Mac users install anti-virus software to help users secure their systems ... This is news to me. Just under three months ago, I asked an employee at our local Apple store whether I needed anti-virus for my MacBook, and was told not to bother, that it was not necessary.

...

[I] hear from readers constantly wondering whether they should secure their Macs ... I always tell people that the best advice is to enable the built-in firewall, and to keep the machine updated with the latest patches from Cupertino - in addition to fixes for add-ons like Adobe Flash and Reader.

But more importantly, Mac users should be more cautious about the programs they choose to install on their systems. After all, the majority of all malicious software designed for Macs doesn't use security flaws to break into systems: It tricks the user into agreeing to download and install it.
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Steve Ragan stares at the screen, open-mouthed:

Let this sink in for a second. Apple, the company that uses their marketing department to push forward the notion that Mac’s are immune to pretty much every system flaw found on the planet, honestly said in a recent Tech Note that, “Apple encourages the widespread use of multiple antivirus utilities so that virus programmers have more than one application to circumvent.”

...

It is a long held, hard core stance that for most Mac users, security applications are mostly optional ... It is still nice to see that [Apple] are taking security seriously and debunking the rumor that the Macintosh is simply immune from Virus related problems.

Yet, one has to wonder if the new “I’m a Mac” commercials will mention this.
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Steven Hodson taunts and teases:

Mac users have loved being able to lord over us poor ol’ Windows users how they don’t need to worry about things like malware and viruses. This obnoxious attitude hasn’t been helped either by Cupertino.

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For years Windows users have had to suffer the better than thou abuse from Mac users and now; as more than a few Windows users have said - myself included, the tables have indeed turned. So all you Windows users out there bookmark that Apple advisory. Then the next time some Mactard starts making fun of you because of things like viruses and how they don’t have to worry about such mundane things - slap them with that link.

Neener Neener - it looks good on them.
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Robert Lemos channels Adam J. O’Donnell:

One researcher used concepts of game theory to estimate that attackers will not be enticed to write malicious code for the platform until Apple accounted for more than one of every six computers.
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Gareth Halfacree has a theory:

This change of heart from the company seems to be a direct response to the spread of the RSPlug trojan, which is often found disguised as a key generator or software cracking tool. The trojan is designed to alter the configuration of an infected system to use a hijacked DNS server, potentially diverting users to phishing sites in place of legitimate destinations.

In a move that mirrors advancements made in the world of Windows malware, the most recent version preceeding the anti-virus advice from Apple featured an auto-downloading update process through which the virus author could distribute new and potentially more damaging payloads to already infected systems.
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And FoamingSolvent has another:

It's not a technical issue, but the Apple legal department, that has caused this.

Apple has been advertising the lack of viruses for Mac ... rapacious lawyers will be quick to file class-action lawsuits against Apple, to wit: "You said there were no Mac viruses, and our clients bought Macs in good faith based on that assertion. Now we see there ARE Mac viruses. Give us lawyers tens of millions of dollars, and give our clients in the plaintiff class coupons for five dollars off the purchase of a new Mac." But by saying "You should use antivirus software," Apple establishes a legal defense.
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And finally...

Buffer overflow:

Other Computerworld bloggers:

Like this stuff? Subscribe to the RSS feed. Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 23 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email: blogwatch@richi.co.uk.

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