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McAfee Feigns Fear at Mac Security 403

conq writes "BusinessWeek reports that McAfee has just come out with a report which asks the question 'Is Mac OS X the Next Windows?'." They appear to be attempting to scare consumers into buying anti-virus software for OSX. Blogger Arik Hesseldahl breaks down their claims: "First off, Mac users on average pay more for their computers, are self-selected because they tend to know more about technology than your average PC buyer, and by and large are a bit more affluent than those who buy cheapo commodity Windows PCs ... When you take into account the ongoing growth in general PC ownership, even if Apple pushes its annual unit sales to 12 million or more by 2010, its share of the overall market will still account for about 4%, leaving Windows the far more tasty target."
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McAfee Feigns Fear at Mac Security

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  • I'm not so sure... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by SScorpio ( 595836 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:42AM (#15269974)
    I'm not so sure after seeing the new Apple commercials saying how PCs have all of these Viruses; however, Macs are not susceptible to them. This could get more people to purchase Macs and while it might not be as large a target, if the majority of the community isn't being cautious it could be seen as an easy target. You will see outbreaks of Mac viruses. It's only a matter of time. As for Mac purchasers being more computer savy. I don't really consider the majority of the artsy, yuppies that are the majority of the Mac audiance to be over savy.
  • by nagora ( 177841 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:42AM (#15269975)
    self-selected because they tend to know more about technology than your average PC buyer

    I don't know a single person who I would call knowledgeable about IT who has a Mac. All the Mac users I know (roughtly a dozen) know, and care, nothing about IT. That's pretty well why they wanted a Mac in the first place.


  • self-selected? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by gEvil (beta) ( 945888 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:43AM (#15269979)
    "...are self-selected because they tend to know more about technology than your average PC buyer..."

    While this is true in some segments of the market (*nix geeks migrating to OS X), it is by no means true of other segments. There are many designers/graphics pros who choose to use Macs. However, this in no way implies that they actually understand technology. Some do. Many don't. The choice to use Macs is typically because either they have always used Macs or that is what they were trained on.
  • by pubjames ( 468013 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:44AM (#15269983)
    The antivirus companies are scared. Why? When Vista comes out, potentially their market is going to quickly dry up. So they are trying to convince Mac users that they need their software.

    Personally, I don't trust any of the antivirus companies one inch. It's big business, and it is in their interests that there are security threats and viruses around. Talk about conflict of interest...
  • by Gary W. Longsine ( 124661 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:44AM (#15269989) Homepage Journal
    The Witty Worm [] demonstrated that a market niche as small as perhaps 12,000 systems can be vulnerable to a worm based attack. The Macintosh is not inherently safe due to niche status. Anybody making this claim is seriously not keeping up with the field of information security.

    Worms that have targeted other niche platforms including web servers and database servers of various kinds have also demonstrated that platforms with a few hundred thousand deployed systems (much smaller than the deployed base of Macintosh systems) are vulnerable to worm attacks.
  • by Crazy Man on Fire ( 153457 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:44AM (#15269993) Homepage
    Seems to me that virus writers would want to target Macs because of all the talk about how Macs are less succeptable to viruses. It would be more prestigious to create a virus that spreads like wildfire through the "impenetrable" Mac community than to create one for the "wide open" Windows community.

    Just my $0.02...
  • Huh? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by realmolo ( 574068 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:45AM (#15269997)
    "... are self-selected because they tend to know more about technology than your average PC buyer..."

    You've got to be kidding. Mac users are even MORE clueless than the average PC buyer, in my experience. They buy Macs specifically to *avoid* having to know anything about technology.

  • by XXIstCenturyBoy ( 617054 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:49AM (#15270032)
    Yeah i'm not sure where that comes from. From my (limited) poll of friend with Mac, they tend to be artists or the artistic type, not technological inclined people.

    If course they say "average PC buyer". I guess if you add the sum of all PC buyer tech knowledge and make an average... But thats like saying that 90% of all Mac user who drive have a Volkswagen. It seems true (it really does) but its not.
  • by Electric Eye ( 5518 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:49AM (#15270035)
    Bullshit. McAfee and Symantec have been engaging in a mis-information campaign against Mac security for the past year trying to get people to buy their junky wares. Is the Mac 100% impenetrable? No, but given that OS X has now been around for 5 years or so and no script kiddie has been able to create ANYTHING remotely close to dangerous (yeah, there are a few small, barely threatening programs), then why all of a sudden are certain people with a VESTED interest in selling AV software trying to scare Mac users into spending money unnecessarily? Let's just stop saying "Oh, when OSX is more popular then it will be a popular target." That argument is CRAP. What bigger ego booster could you get if you created a successfully propogating worm or spyware app for Mac OS X, a supposedly supreme Fort Knox of operatin system?

    I'm a long-time Mac admin and user. I don't have AV software on my home machine and as of now have no plans to either. I think Symantec, McAfee, Gartner and a few others are teh ones who have a hidden agenda.

    All to pr0n you need: m?ID=1765 []
  • by MMC Monster ( 602931 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:51AM (#15270053)
    Just because you pay more for your computer doesn't mean that you are more computer-savy.

    Mac users tend to be mac users because they want things to "just work". If anything, they may be less tech-savvy, since they don't need to delve into the inner working of the OS as much. And, therefore, they should be *more* prone to get viruses/trojans. Except, of course, Mac OSX is built with security in mind, as opposed to Windows 95/98/98SE/ME/NT/2K/XP/etc.
  • by webdog314 ( 960286 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:52AM (#15270060)
    I'm sorry, but McAfee putting out a security report is like Exxon putting out an environmental assessment for Alaskan drilling. Slight conflict of interest there. It doesn't matter who they quote. They simply cannot be trusted because making a profit will always be their number one priority.
  • by DigDuality ( 918867 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:55AM (#15270076)
    The guy is flat out wrong. Most Mac users are no more tech savy than your average Windows user. The walk into the Apple store and see shiny computers/pretty OS X is a damned secure OS. Especially with it's default root account disabled, among other things. I don't know what sickens me more though. The FUD from McAfee and Symantec as they salivate to capture another market, or the snottiness of a bunch of geek-wanna-be's in black turtle necks sipping red wine and eating cheese acting like they are invincible.
  • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05, 2006 @10:56AM (#15270089)
    As long as they turn off the administrator account and back up their personal files it doesn't matter. It is incredibly hard to write a Mac virus that does anything malicious, especially to the system. The easiest thing a virus could do (and it would not be easy at all) would be to mess up a user account and delete personal files Mac users are also not the cutsey dumbasses you see in Apple commercials. For the most part they educated and know their way around their computer. Most would know something wrong is happening if the administration security prompt pops up asking for their password. The ones that don't know wouldn't even know how to access and turn on their administration account.

    And forget about the old market share argument explaining why Macs don't get malicious viruses. Don't you think there would be some prestige for any writer who could create the first malicious Mac virus? Especially with Apple and others touting it's security for years? How come it hasn't happened yet?
  • by Jace of Fuse! ( 72042 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:03AM (#15270143) Homepage
    Seems to me that virus writers would want to target Macs because of all the talk about how Macs are less succeptable to viruses. It would be more prestigious to create a virus that spreads like wildfire through the "impenetrable" Mac community than to create one for the "wide open" Windows community.

    Don't worry, McAfee and Norton are working on it as we speak. As soon as they can put together something more fearful than the cute little proofs of concept that have been floating around expect them to announce a full "epidemic".

    It's not legal? It's not ethical? It's not honest? It doesn't matter. Their business model REQUIRES them act in this way. Though not officially, of course.
  • by porneL ( 674499 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:07AM (#15270177) Homepage
    Saying that anti-virus is vital piece of protection on platform that hasn't yet seen any serious viruses IS spreading FUD.
  • by PhreakinPenguin ( 454482 ) * on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:10AM (#15270210) Homepage Journal
    I work for an IT outsourcing company and we handle a TON of medical offices as well as their home stuff. Almost ALL of the docs have Mac's and have no idea how to use them. Sure they know how to do their basic email, web surfing, music stuff but beyond that they have no clue. They use PC's at their offices and have no issues. It has nothing to do with being smarter in doctors cases. It's all about being an elitist for them. They look at Mac's and say if I get one of those i'll be cool. The exact same way they purchase a car.
  • Essentially... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by voice_of_all_reason ( 926702 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:11AM (#15270216)
    Nice Mac you got there. Would be a shame if anything were to... you know... "happen" to it. Just sayin'...
  • Re:I disagree (Score:4, Insightful)

    by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:11AM (#15270218)
    Please, stop with the FUD already. Most mac users keep up to date with news on mac security issues on mac news sites.

    As a cross-platform user I'm tired of these popular memes on slashdot. Do you think all those affluent mac users work in creative areas? A number of us work in IT developing and/or supporting software on the windows platform but prefer macs at home.

    Let me try to get this through your thick head. OS X has a completely different security model from windows. It is based on a BSD and System V. You will find both open source and closed source unix components on OS X.

    There is always a risk of some virus appearing and wiping out your personal data or some catastrophic hardware failure and because of this, you should backup often. It would require a great deal of user interaction to compromise the entire machine as nobody runs as root unlike XP.

  • by suwain_2 ( 260792 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:12AM (#15270230) Journal
    To play devil's advocate, a lot of malware these days seems to want to infect as many hosts as possible, without caring about 'rarity' of hosts. Things like botnets and info-harvesters just want maximum victims.
  • by slashdotwriter ( 972437 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:13AM (#15270244) Journal
    Before everyone gets too excited, perhaps this claim can be read to refer to 'non-technical knowledge'. Being in the minority, even average - i.e. 'non-technical' - Mac users at least tend to know about alternatives. That is to say, they tend to know something about the 'other' operating platform, for either they are switchers or they use Windows at work or they were strongly advised not to buy a Mac by Windows users who claim that there are no programs for the Mac, that Macs are slow, that they suck etc. Moreover, I would venture to guess that Mac users tend to know what a web browser is, i.e. that there are alternative browsers such as Safari, Firefox, Explorer, Camino etc. In my experience, many Windows users at the same 'non-technical' level of expertise don't even know what a browser is even though they use it every day. This is because IE is so tightly integrated into Windows (desktop icon, can't be uninstalled) that many users simply equate the internet with IE, just as AOL users used to equate the internet with what was offered by their service provider. Mac users, I would say, generally don't have this non-reflective sense of 'givenness'.
  • by oudzeeman ( 684485 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:13AM (#15270245)
    I have a M.S. in computer science. I've worked on avanced research funded by the US Army, NIH, and NSF. I participated in research that was used to justify the worlds largest Apple cluster, deployed at another subcontractor's facility.

    I consider myself primarily a Mac user, even though I typically use Linux, OS X, and Windows every day. I do the vast majority of my work on my Apple laptop, and it is the platform I feel most comfortable with. The interesting thing is I've only been a Mac user since the summer of 2004. At my last job we purchased a large XServe G5 cluster (256 nodes), which at the time was probably the 3rd largest Apple cluster in a university. I used a Linux workstation at this point, and I was having doubts about running OS X on a cluster. I flew out to the WWDC while the ink was still drying on the PO. I was impressed with the developers tools I saw at WWDC, and with the whole OS experience. I ordered a iMac G5 for my desk the very day they were available for sale. We had to work at porting some applications to OS X, and there were a few issues with being one of the earliest large HPC clusters (especially one that ran large MPI applications over Ethernet - lots of early Mac clusters ran embarassingly parallel stuff, or infinniband line VT). I took a new job where I spend a good chunk of time writing scietific sofware for Linux based clusters - I insisted my employeer provide me with a Mac (we have about 1,200 employees and run about 40% Mac desktops, but no one in my group had a Mac).

  • by Gary W. Longsine ( 124661 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:14AM (#15270254) Homepage Journal
    Hmm... I'm sympathetic to your position, but not your reasoning. Except for the occasional trust funder, just about everyone here is selling their services in exchange for cash. If you leave one job for another, higher paying job, are you profit motivated, and thus no longer to be trusted?

    I suspect that rather than their motivation to make a profit, it is really the years of strangely incongruous (for a security company) and untrustworthy behavior like pioneering the pop-up browser advertisements and so forth that have caused you to trust not McAfee.
  • by Fluk3 ( 742259 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:19AM (#15270290)
    There is no way I'm going to shell out money for anti virus software for my macs when there is currently no real risk to me.

    I won't waste my CPU cycles, time and money on a virtually non-existant problem for the sake of protecting stupid Windows users. If they get infected that's their fault - if they choose to use a plagued OS, then they should be responsible for the potential reprocussions.

    For the time being, all I have to do is run in a non root account, behind a firewall and only download files from trusted sources and don't enter my password when I double click a jpeg. That and keep an eye out on the mac community web forums and news sites for any new (real) threats - the recent (broken) bonjour/ichat proof-of-concept trojan is of no real concern.

    If the tiime comes when REAL virii start to infect OSX, non admin/root accounts without any user interaction (social engineering) then I'll consider anti virus software.

    But I'm not wasting my time protecting windows users from their os.

  • by AppleTwoGuru ( 830505 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:19AM (#15270292) Homepage
    I do not run any anti-virus software on my Macs, Linux, or Solaris boxes. The security that is part of the OS is THAT good. (MS-Windows does not have this built-in security. Anti-Virus is security for Windows systems.) The bad thing about any technology is, if one does not know how to properly configure it, one will not realize the full potential of the software. Anti-virus is a band-aid fix. I did not use Linspire Linux when it was Lindows because they ran the desktop in root mode all the time. I will use Linspire now because they configure it with privileged accounts. Mac is configured right from Apple to run an account as an Administrator with out too much fuss to change the account type. So yeah, then Apple users would need Anti Virus software because they run the computer in admin mode. But why? Configure the Mac to use privileged accounts and forget about Anti-virus! Then it is as good as Unix. With Linux, all distrubutors configure Linux to use privileged accounts. So again, why bother with Anti-virus.

    Creating an OS without adequate security built into the kernel and file system is like selling a car or a house without door locks that can be added later as an option. This is what Microsoft does. Mac sells the door locks with the house, but expects the user to install them.

  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:20AM (#15270296) Homepage
    Well, Macintoshes could be infected by a virus. There's no reason why Macintoshes are immune or anything. However.....

    Symantec, McAfee, and the like have been urging Mac users to buy antivirus software for years. There's always this threat that someone might write some very bad viruses soon, and those viruses never materialized. So if you bought an anti-virus 4 years ago, and paid for all the updates, you've pretty much wasted your money.

    Also, I think it's worth noting that for anyone who knows what they're doing, viruses tend to be a relatively small problem. I've been using computers for over 20 years, and do you know how often I've had a virus scanner on my personal computer find a virus? Once. And that was back in the day when I was trading 3.5" floppys with friends to get Doom. If you run windows with a decent firewall and don't run programs that unknown people e-mail to you, you'll generally be fine. And that's on Windows.

    So, yes, I do think it's a little over-dramatic to claim that OSX users should rush out and buy a virus scanner, because you'll just be waiting for the virus scanner will have viruses to scan for, and even when they come, chances are you won't get them unless you're a retard.

  • by saleenS281 ( 859657 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:22AM (#15270316) Homepage
    I'm sorry, I'm sure I'll get 'modded down' like it appears the others have, but that is the single worst statement I have ever heard. We sell enterprise level hardware at my work and recently started supporting Mac's. I've yet to have a user call in who even knew how to set an IP address. Terminal, what's that? At least the windows users know what I'm asking for when I tell them to open up a command prompt...
  • by hunterx11 ( 778171 ) <.hunterx11. .at.> on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:24AM (#15270323) Homepage Journal
    I'm totally unsympathetic to your lack of reasoning. The GP was referring to trustworthiness with respect to reporting something which could influence people to pay the reporter. Saying that everyone works for cash is a smokescreen. He never said you shouldn't trust that their anti-virus software works, which is the strawman your reply addresses. Saying that you shouldn't trust people when they are better off telling you a particular thing regardless of its truth is just good sense.
  • Re:In London... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DragonWriter ( 970822 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:26AM (#15270334)
    Most Mac users are not tech-savvy... many claim to be, but believe me they are not. :) There are, though, some real tech-savvy mac users, but they're in the minority.

    Tech-savvy users of any consumer OS are, always have been, and always will be the minority. Wheter Mac users are more tech-savvy than PC users is a matter of degree, not a matter of the trend being reversed.

    I suspect that it is the case that Mac users are at least a little more tech-savvy, overall, than PC users, if only because Pcs are so dominant that they are pretty much the default choice of the average buyer, and for the most part there is generally a glimmer of comparative featre awareness that goes into finding a reason to reject that default; especially given that most people can find a usable Wintel box with similar sticker specs for less money than a Mac, and it takes some tech savvy to know why those numbers might not tell the whole story.
  • Re:I disagree (Score:5, Insightful)

    by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:27AM (#15270346)
    Mac users by and large have become complacent when it comes to basic security principles. They are even more at risk of infecting their machine when viruses and other threats start to spread on the Mac platform.

    I think the problem wasn't that Mac or Windows users were any more complacent than each other, but one system was more prone to viruses and malware.

    One of these systems had the following problem:

    1. Getting spyware by visiting webpage with default security options
    2. Getting viruses just by opening or previewing an email
    3. Getting a Virus just by being connected to the internet.

    Both systems still can have:

    1. Viruses from opening attachments from email
    2. Viruses from opening files downloaded from the internet

    The first set of issues was nothing that you would consider to be safe security practices. That is unreasonable to think the user could not do these things within reason (Yeah... Back when the Outlook express viruses were going around I turned off my preview pane and avoided unknown senders like the plague but this is a hard practice to keep 100% reliable (you know accidentally opening an email from someone you know or hitting enter key at the wrong time).

    Yes, one of those operation systems developers did fix the problem with many various security patches, but the other one never had such widespread issues and was usually quick to address any security hole.

    I use OS X primarily for my surfing and email, but I still keep my habits from the windows days.

    Don't download files from questionable sources.
    Don't open emails attachments from questionable sources.

    If I don't do either of those, then I believe I should not have to have an anti-virus.

    Plain. Meet simple.
  • by vertinox ( 846076 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:31AM (#15270377)
    There is, but they're going to have difficulty because of the Macs LOW MARKET SHARE. Until a large percentage of machines your Mac would communicate with when transfering the virus are Macs too, a Mac virus isn't going to get off the ground.

    OS 9 had a ton of viruses and they had even a smaller market share than OS X.

    For some reason I don't think market share is related to this.
  • Niche status... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tavor ( 845700 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:48AM (#15270495)
    Niche status is essentially Security through Obscurity. It may be a more obscure platform with different means and ways, but it still can be taken down like any other of man's creations. The goal is likely the same as anything targeting windows: Denial of Service, Information theft, etc. Just because it *only* has 12,000 systems like parent mentioned doesn't mean it can't be an attractive target.

    Consider this: If something as important as the Fed used an obscure platform, don't you think people would be dying to get into it? While I think the whitepaper and TFA are no more than 'FUDvertising' there is a serious threat to leaving yourself with minimal security... no matter what you use.

    Heck, lets chuck the PC metaphors all together. Condoms are only one layer of security (like security through obscurity) and if you have nothing to fall back on when that fails... you are screwed.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05, 2006 @11:51AM (#15270514)
    Building your own computer makes you technically competent in the same way that paint-by-numbers makes you an artist.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 05, 2006 @12:09PM (#15270665)
    Hi There!

    I was a Windows NT / IIS Security Administrator, professionally. Yes, that's like saying "Nuclear Submarine Environmental Protection & Safety Officer." I slogged through adminstering and securing an NT domain, upgrading it to an Active Directory, securing that. Anti-Virus deployment & updating & emergency response. 15000 leaf nodes & 300+ servers, Fortune 500 retailer. Got to legally read the Win2K source code, and was part of a corporate alpha-test for WindowsXP.

    I now use a Mac, exclusively - it is technologically superior to /any/ OS Microsoft has yet offered, and far more secure - I've never seen the OS X source code and I do not /need/ to because the underlying Darwin source code is

    A: Open to the good guys, not closed;
    B: Checked widely for bugs by many people, not by a few people who are mostly ignored;
    C: Implements security /first/ instead of as a tack-on.

    The crooks /have/ the Windows 2k & XP source code & object code & are well aware of where the vulnerabilities are. A tiny fraction of the 'good guys' have the same.

    Same scenario, two different platforms - a browser driveby install.

    Windows: Exploit reasonably-expected buffer overflow vulnerability that allows a process running with root permissions to install another process running with root permissions to access anything on a partition that has no user-level permissions enabled - by default. Don't worry about being stopped - anything & everything has permission to run unless it is specifically denied by AV software. Only one step in this process has been added since the days of INT13h-hooking viruses: "Exploit buffer overflow vulnerability...". The vast majority of these don't check, they just /do/ - shotgun virii/hijacking. Exploiting the underlying OS is irrelevant; Once the browser (which is widely pushed to everyone & has exploits spanning major revisions) is exploited, you're in. Same for Office. Same for IIS.

    Mac OS X:
    A: Figure out which Browser is being used. Hope that browser has an un-reviewed and un-patched exploit.
    B: Figure out which OS is being used. Hope that OS revision has an un-reviewed and un-patched exploit.
    C: Check to see if any known combination of exploits is possible with that Browser & OS version.
    C.5: Oh, yeah - that's just the overlying OS/GUI - Hope the kernel has an unreviewed and unpatched exploit too, or avoid that.
    D: Have a specially-crafted binary to exploit that.
    E: Hope that the user isn't prompted to allow you to run, because only things the user specifies are allowed to have higher permissions & run.
    F: You're in! Infect three machines.
    G: Repeat.

    The entire point of viruses is that they should be small, widely-spread and /automatic/ - not requiring a huge database of possible exploits, not choking because the next machine to infect has one less or one more revision, and not picking its' nose as a proof-of-concept.

    If Microsoft had done things right the first time, second time (windows95), third time (win98), Fourth time (win2k), fifth time(winXP), sixth time (IIS), Seventh time (Outlook) or the Nth time (Office) - by addressing a security model & self-replication vectors & exploits - I'd never have picked up a Mac in the first place.

    Windows is a lush virus ecosystem.
    The Mac is a virus desert.

    Windows is Chernobyl.
    The Mac is five layers of proven hurdles.

    Someone wrote a non-robust, easily broken proof of concept that can be patched & which relies on people explicitly giving it permission to screw them - a hurdle for every machine to be infected.

    --- begin sarcasm ---
    Yes, please! Everyone needs to cripple their Mac with a third party Anti-Virus program!
    --- end sarcasm ---
  • by Haeleth ( 414428 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @12:13PM (#15270697) Journal
    If you compare the absolute numbers of exploits Apple trails a factor 1000 by Microsoft. It will take some time until Apple reaches par with Windows (if ever), even if all malware programmers dropped their Windows work ans started concentrating on OSX instead.

    What does Windows have to do with this? Nobody questions the fact that Apple is more secure that Windows. However, being better than the worst does not automatically make you good. Cuba is freer than North Korea, but that doesn't mean I'd want to live there.

    The simple fact of the matter is that it potentially only takes one virus to steal and/or wipe all your personal data. And if that happens, you really don't care how many other viruses there are out there for your platform. All you care about is the one that got you.

    So there is an argument to be made that it is worth having anti-virus software if the potential for a virus is sufficiently high. In practice, given that many people run Windows for years and never see a single virus, trojan, or worm, it does seem fair to say that the threat to Mac users is minuscule. But the argument remains valid. You have to evaluate the threat for yourself; you can't take McAfee's word for it that you'd be better off with AV software, but nor can you believe any random fanboy who asserts that OS X is immune and shall never, NEVER be hacked.
  • by idsofmarch ( 646389 ) <pmingram AT gmail DOT com> on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:07PM (#15271242)
    And Windows is for the family next door who can't figure out how to program their VCR.

    The appeal for Macs is different for each person, some people like Virginia Tech like to make super-computers, others like to composite special effects, and there are lots of people who just want to be able to use their computer with having the OS get in their way because of shoddy design. And some people just think the computers are pretty.

    Stop pretending that Windows users are somehow the salt of the earth while Mac users are elitist, especially considering you use the exact same techniques to try to convince people that Windows or Linux is somehow better.

    Accept the fact some people like the Mac, it's effective for what they want to do, and the hardware is not 2x as expensive and you know it and the G5 and Intel Duo Core are very powerful parts of very well-designed machines.

    If everyone who had a Mac sold it and bought a PC would life be suddenly better for you? If not, then shut up.

  • by Jodka ( 520060 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @01:43PM (#15271568)
    It's not legal? It's not ethical? It's not honest? It doesn't matter. Their business model REQUIRES them act in this way.

    Yes, in the same way that my desire for pizza REQUIRES that I kill you and take your pizza.

    In additions to the anti-virus business, here are other professions which REQUIRE unethical and illegal behaviour:
    - Medical doctors are REQUIRED to spread cancer, AIDS and hepatities.
    - Firefighters are REQUIRED to be arsonists.
    - Auto mechanics are REQUIRED to cause broken fuel pumps, flat tires, dead car batteries and leaking radiators.

  • Dear McAfee, (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jocknerd ( 29758 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @02:00PM (#15271731)
    Thank you for your concern regarding OS X and viruses. Because of this information you have put forth, I will pay more attention to the coming virus threat to OS X. If, and when that should happen, I will be sure to follow your advice and get some anti-virus software. Unfortunately for you, it won't be your product. I'll download ClamavX instead.

    Thank you for your concern,

    A very "frightened" OS X user.
  • by lelitsch ( 31136 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @04:22PM (#15273065)
    Ok, you are probably trolling, but anyway...

    You are selling enterprise hardware to companies that don't use DHCP? Also, if you sell "enterprise level" hardware, shouldn't there be some sysadmin on the other end setting it up and supporting it? If you have to explain IP setup to _users_ you or your customers have bigger problems than Mac users who can't find the command prompt.

    By the way, you might try to tell your Mac, Linux and Unix users to open a terminal instead of a command prompt.
  • by aristotle-dude ( 626586 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @07:23PM (#15274245)
    That is a load of horseshit. To say that MSFT makes software software difficult to use and install/configure to help users grow is preposterous. Their software has usuability flaws because they work by the the moto "barely sufficient". Given their marketshare, they do not feel the pressure to put in the effort to create better software.

    Having said all that, very rarely would you need to use the command prompt to install features. You must be thinking of hacking the UI through unsupported means. I used to do that when I was a windows user at home. You might be surprised to find out that much of the UI in OS X in far more hackable and Apple even provides you with the tools to do it in the form of the Developer tools.

  • by node 3 ( 115640 ) on Friday May 05, 2006 @09:15PM (#15274693)
    Two problems with your argument.

    1. McAfee isn't a person. Most people aren't profit-oriented. Yes, most people have to work, but the pursuit of profit is not the primary focus of most people. On the other hand, most corporations seek nothing *but* profits.

    2. While corporations have been known to do the right or promote honest facts, from time to time, this is not one of those times. Using fear is one of the most vulgar and appalling of manipulation techniques.

    Any time a corporation tries to spread fear, and that corporation just happens to sell a product that directly addresses that fear, it's wise to become weary, because it's in that corporation's best interest to overstate the fear.

    McAfee is just trying to build a market (which is a completely reasonable thing for a corporation to do), but in this specific case, they are trying to build a market which does not exist, and trying to force it into existence will have a net negative impact on the rest of us, as tends to be the case with FUD.
  • by grrrl ( 110084 ) on Sunday May 07, 2006 @09:43PM (#15283053)
    The biggest threat to OS X users are the 'virii' an AV will not protect you against - poorly written software and drivers.

    People trust the CDs that come with their latest printer/scanner/multi-function, but in my experience they are the biggest memory-hogging, system crashing, bloatware you could find.

    Examples: Brother multifunction drivers install a 'ControlCenter' that loads (in the background) and prompts EVERY user to set up the printer, even if it is already configured. It is hidden away in the printer driver directory (/Library/Printers - not obivous given it is an application - though one you can't launch or control or quit yourself). It loads about 3 or 4 'agents' that run in the background and use over 100 MB of memory footprint each! WTF!

    I found the HP scanner programs are just as bad - the acutal program to scan is great, but the bloatware you have no choice but installing (in random places) alongside makes me feel dirty inside.

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