Mac users 'too smug' over security

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacBytes, Jan 16, 2006.

  1. MacBytes macrumors bot

    Jul 5, 2003


    Category: Opinion/Interviews
    Link: Mac users 'too smug' over security
    Description:: "Mac users demonstrate an indefensible smugness when it comes to the dangers of having their systems compromised by malicious software and opened up to exploitation by others. It's time they started behaving a bit more responsibly."

    Posted on
    Approved by arn
  2. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005

    I bought a Mac so I don't have to put up with Windows. That's pretty responsible right there.

    Here's to the Crazy Ones [​IMG]
  3. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    As soon as I here news reports of a virus I will start being cautious. I do keep a monthly backup of my home dir so nothing should phase me.
  4. winmacguy macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    I have a feeling that if a Mac specific virus ever did make it into the wild that
    a. it would be shut down by Apple very quickly and
    b. it would only be complete idiots who would install it on their systems due to Apple's setup
    c. it would be hidden in a freely distributed application as it would require user intervention to install it so it would have nowhere near the same effect as a Windows virus.
    d. It would have been written by a fairly clever Unix admin that had some issues with Apple :rolleyes:

    Almost forgot:
    e. the huge web based safety net of Mac forum users (/., MR, OS News etc) would discover it within minutes and post an alert and a work around warning and advising users about the viruses existance.
  5. asif786 macrumors 65816


    Jun 17, 2004
    London, UK.
  6. G5Unit macrumors 68020


    Apr 3, 2005
    I'm calling the cops
    I agree with Lacero. Windows users are just trying to make it seem as if Macs are in danger.
  7. Stella macrumors 604


    Apr 21, 2003
    I couldn't more with this article. The attitude of some mac users when it comes to security is, well, sickening.
  8. jvaska macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2002
    Ummm...bring it on.

    And then we'll see how the community (include Apple) reacts. Too bad they don't have game yet so we've never had to even be on the court.

    Articles like this are so stupid.
  9. bbyrdhouse macrumors 6502


    Oct 2, 2002
    Elm Grove, LA

    I too bought a Mac because I got fed up with all of the spyware, malware, virus, trojan horse stuff. Seemed like every week there was something else that would require me to go to a website and download a tool to run on my computer and then give me a list of instructions as to how to get rid of the virus or whatever.
    It got to a point to where I was spending WAY to much time trying to get my computer to be usable as opposed to using it.
    So I did what I think was a "responsible" thing to do. I switched to a much safer, secure OS environment. And now for the last year I have not had even 1 virus, malware, adware, trojan horse, or worm. I am able to spend musch more time using and enjoying my computer instead of having to pretend that I am "Neo" and have to protect the whole world from evil Mr. Smith (MS for short);)
  10. revisionA macrumors 6502

    May 27, 2005
    I have had PCs since 1988.... and as soon as they went on the web... their lifecycle accelerated and reformatting and reinstalling became an annual chore. (semi-annual if you are a performance nut.)

    Even before the general public understood spam and spyware, they had to deal with it. This is counter-marketshare loss propaganda... Winhoes whine that macs arent that secure, that fast or that fun... Macusers whine that... umm... we are misrepresented.


  11. adicarter macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2006
    The fact is we keep getting these articles that are essentially hoping for something bad to happen to the Mac community.

    There are some journalists who are just foaming at the mouth waiting for some kind of viral attack on OS X. It's essentially to make them feel better about the fact that they spend all their time fixing and patching thier systems rather than actually using them.

    When the day comes, you can just imagine the Windows fraternity reaction, even one virus will suddenly paint us as "vulnerable" as them.

  12. eazyway macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2003
    30 yrs and counting

    Well I have beeen a Mac user for 30 years and have yet to encounter a virus that gave me a problem with lost , deleted files etc.

    Now my Windows machines its another story. Sure at some point there willbe a Mac virus, Thus I have always backed up important files. But until then, yes I am smug and lovin it.
  13. danp macrumors member

    Sep 26, 2005
    Cambridge, UK
    Its bare-faced vanity to assume that Mac OS X is beyond these kind of vulnerabilities. And fobbing off the "security through obscurity" argument doesn't cut it, I'm afraid.

    The facts speak for themselves; Apple already have to release security patches for Mac OS X as they're discovered. They also have to patch iTunes and Quicktime. In short, they don't write perfect code, and are not immune to the need to fix holes.

    What doesn't currently exist is the interest from the hardcore hacker community - who don't run the right hardware, who don't have sufficient knowledge in the systems, and (as hard as it might be for true Mac fans to accept), aren't all that interested in the platform. Now OS X is available for x86 hardware, these hackers have an easier route to dissect the OS and find the flaws.

    The question is, will Apple be able to keep up with the rate at which they're discovered and push out the (tested) fixes to stop any infection spread?

    I believe Bill is incorrect when he states such vulnerabilities already exist. However, its equally foolish to assume they never will.
  14. Gasu E. macrumors 68040

    Gasu E.

    Mar 20, 2004
    Not far from Boston, MA.
    Quite right. It is an economic condition that no viruses currently exist for the Mac, not an absolute one.

    Corollary-- the Windows monoculture improves the "cost/benefit" for virus writers. If, say, Windows had only a 50% share, MacOS 30%, and Linux 20%, the payoff for a virus writer would be smaller and there would be fewer viruses overall.
  15. winmacguy macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    Vulnerabilites are somewhat different than Viruses, trojans and spyware. As long as both Mac and Windows are written by human coders who make coding errors and various 'string varible funtions' that enable things such as buffer over flows from certain computing functions or process there will always be a requirement for security patches on both systems to correct or adjust the 'flaws'. However due to the lack of 'root user' access by default on Unix and Mac OS unlike Windows this eliminates about 95% of viruses that are Windows. Unless they have some understanding of computers about 95% of Windows users run their systems as Administrators with full access privilages enabled pretty much by default from the manufacturer which is very helpful for Viruses etc

    It is not impossible to write a virus for Unix - the first virus ever written at was a Unix virus written at Berkley, it is just very hard to get it to spread and install itself on OS X like a windows virus does on Windows systems.
  16. akb macrumors member

    Feb 16, 2004
    30 years, huh?

    So, do we have hoverboards in 2014?
  17. winmacguy macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    We might if your going to make one ;) considering that 2014 is about 8 years away. We did have Light Sabers back in 1976.
  18. p0intblank macrumors 68030

    Sep 20, 2005
    New Jersey
    This article writer sounds like the typical Windows user trying to dis the Mac OS. There may be a virus one day, but I don't see this happening anytime soon. Or it may never happen. This fact still stands no matter what anyone says: Mac OS X is years ahead of Windows as far as security goes.

    And I'll smug about it if I want. :p After all, we Mac users do have the right to do so.
  19. iIra macrumors member

    Oct 19, 2005
    Atlanta, GA
    I want to know what he suggests a more responsible course would be. Antivirus software is useless, due to the lack of viruses.

    He was saying that in order to have been a mac user for 30 years, you would have to live in the year 2014.
  20. lalcan macrumors regular

    Sep 8, 2003
    Left of the center
    Someone should send a free mac to Bill Tompson so he can experiment with our OS reliability, i'm sure sooner than you think he would become addict to the RDF and enjoy the benefits... btw perhaps he could use some friendly written mails at his e-mail: bill at
  21. dejo Moderator


    Staff Member

    Sep 2, 2004
    The Centennial State
    And yet Apache is still more secure than IIS even though it has a larger marketshare. Hmm...
  22. winmacguy macrumors 68020


    Nov 8, 2003
    New Zealand
    The Apple I came out in 1976. Ok it wasn't called a Mac but it is still part of the Apple family. It is now 2006 so that makes 30 years of Apple computers unless he is refering to the release of the Mac in 1984 which would make it 30 years in 2014.

    That would be an economic condition of OS X called no root user access. :rolleyes:
  23. sjk macrumors 6502a

    May 2, 2003
    Only monthly? The contents of your home directory mustn't change much if losing a month's worth wouldn't phase you. I wouldn't want to lose even a day's worth in my homedir.
  24. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Jun 25, 2002
    Gone but not forgotten.
    It's not a surprising conclusion. Mac users have been smug about a great many things all along. It's unfortunate, but it's part of life. As long as someone isn't being a Mac-o-lyte, what's the big deal?

    I was just reading today how the U.S. government was presenting seminars concerning dissecting Linux and Mac OS X to determine vulnerabilities. It was said that there were many exploits for Mac OS X. I was wondering who created all of these exploits and why we haven't seen any of them.

    It's all about discrediting something other than Windows so that Windows doesn't lose its users. Yes, Mac OS X has had many security issues--and they're patched.

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