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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The 'I'm a Mac, and I'm a PC' commercials always pointed out how impervious Macs were to malware, but it was only a matter of time before the age of innocence for Mac users would come to an end.

The Trojan horse identified as OSX.Trojan.iServices was first brought to the limelight by Mac antivirus developer Intego way back in January. Apple's OS X has traditionally been considered one of the most secure consumer operating systems right out of the box, but the emergence of a malware threat could potentially expose Mac users who don't have antivirus software.

Read full story at Macworld Canada.

ehMax Comment - I think the specific 'I'm a Mac ads' were referring to Mac's not having viruses.

There is a big difference. Malware is software intended to damage or cause harm to your computer. I could write an AppleScript right now and make it available for download in this thread. I could tell you the mayor wrote an awesome screen saver and you should install it on all your Macs right now. The AppleScript could be malware in that it could delete some files on your hard drive. Or, I could disguise it as a copy of iWork... You get what I mean. The program you downloaded would affect just your computer. It wouldn't suddenly replicate to other Macs.

On the other hand, a virus is a program that can self replicate. You folks from ehMac download my little program, and it starts self replicating to people in your address book etc...

Let's be clear... OSX.Trojan.iServices is not a virus. Correct me if I'm wrong, but OS X has not ever had a true virus. The day somebody writes a malicious program that starts self replicating over the internet or on Mac networks... That's when I'll start singing Bruce Hornsby "End of Innocence."

But for now, to quote Our Lady Peace.... We are, we are all innocent, we are all innocent, we are, we are. :) (Unless you download pirated copies of iWork or Adobe Creative Suite - Then shame, shame)
 

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mmmm FUD (Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt) in the morning! There's nothing like a computer security company's marketing department pushy press release to make things sound dire unless you buy their product.
 

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I'm with Chealion. A lot of the FUD out there is the product of frustrated, angry Windows users who can't stand it that we don't have any viruses (and are unlikely to EVER have viruses) so they claim we are "unprepared."

This also isn't true.

Most of us don't run an anti-virus, that's true, but the vast majority of Mac users are very plugged-in, internet-savvy people ... the Apple publicity machine works relentlessly to keep us posted about any little upgrade, change, or bug out there, and it would do the exact same thing if an actual threat ever developed. Indeed, it would be hard to escape, because the rarity of a bona-fide widespread threat would get the PC "journos" sounding the alarm as well.

Bottom line: in my professional judgement, Mac users need do NOTHING to protect themselves from malware apart from not pirating software, which of course they shouldn't be doing anyway. Worry more about that underpaid waiter who takes your credit card off out of your sight for ten minutes then brings it back for your signature; watch out for the phishing emails and websites; avoid deceptive and scammy "mac anti-virus/security check" ads and nonsense; look for the "lock" icon (encrypted) when you visit sites that claim to be secure; don't do your banking on the coffee shop's free wifi. If you're not already doing those things, you're just asking for trouble.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
To our credit, the author wrote:

Secondly, the tight security layer built into OS X prevents the Trojan from self-propagating itself to other computers. So unless you've been downloading pirated software illegally for your Mac, you've got little to worry about.
Still... I don't think we need to get too smug. But, we are still innocent. :)
 

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In fairness, it was a reasonable article, I thought.
 

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In fairness, it was a reasonable article, I thought.
The article? I'd be more inclined to agree if it weren't for the title. The blame of FUD can be placed nearly squarely on the security company's marketing departments, throw in a bit of media hype and a catchy title and you get a lot of resentment for a story really about nothing. I have no sympathy for those who have got burned (getting hit by the trojan) playing with fire.
 

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Not enough people are aware of malware on Macs. Of course, the people that have been around Macs for some time are wise to crazy things, like installing Codecs (the most common vector for attacks in the last year), or by installing software that contains a trojan, because Mac users would think it is unusual to need a special "Codec", or are suspicious about strange Agree buttons that come up in the middle of something. But so many Mac users now are refugees from the Windoze world, where this stuff is not only common, it is part and parcel of an OS that has weak core libraries that do not support common, open formats. They are the ones targetted because they do not know any better, and thus, any kind of article that can show these weaknesses to the newbie Mac users is a good thing.

Not that one has to have fear, but that the new converts are more prone to the same old treatments dished out by Windoze. And one thing is true, Macs have very high immunity to attacks, but a socially engineered attack that cons a user into agreeing to install something has the potential to turn a Mac into a vicious virus distribution hub - since the Mac is not going to crash with any of the viruses it is pumping out to Windoze type folk. And it is not just a Mac thing, *Nix machines have been purlioned for this very same purpose. The only thing that keeps it a smaller issue on the Mac is the fact that many users know that the Core Libraries support a wide range of formats, and those that aren't are supported by common packages like Perian or Flip4Mac - so they are clued in faster when some website complains about something...
 

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The only time I have had a real problem so far was when I actually thought I was helping my computer security by installing something from SmithMicro as part of its Spring Cleaning package. After I thought I had uninstalled it, odd NetBlockade icons started showing up randomly on web pages in place of the graphics that were supposed to be there. And I'm talking normal web sites, not milf.com. It took some extra steps to rid the references from the system folder. Now I go clean. Unencumbered, baby!
 

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I knew my mac wasn't so innocent the time it came home drunk.
 

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By the way End of the innocence is by Don Henley :D
 

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