Happy Halloween: Mac users get their first malware

posted at 11:26 pm on October 31, 2007 by Bryan

It had to happen eventually, but calling OS X “the new Windows 98″ has got to hurt. The first-ever Mac Trojan is a nasty little bug.

The OS X Trojan, which infects a computer after a user chooses to download a proprietary codec, hijacks the infected computer’s DNS settings. Internet-connected applications use DNS settings to figure out how to translate URLs, such as Wired.com, into the physical address of a server, according to Intego’s alert. By hijacking the DNS, the Trojan is able to redirect visits to sites such as banks, eBay and PayPal to fake websites that attempt to harvest user’s logins and passwords to commit financial fraud.

The days of Mac’s imperviousness to every last hacker with an attitude may be over.

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It’s a Trojan Horse, from which Macs have never been immune – basically you download a package and it asks for permission to install itself; if you grant it root access, then it does all sorts of nasty thing.

It’s not a virus per se because it relies on explicit permission to install itself, like a regular program.

As far as OS X being the new Win98 – um, no. The Unix core pretty much guarantees it’s not nearly that bad. I’m not saying viruses will never hit the Mac platform, but they won’t be nearly as easy to get as in Win98. Nowhere near.

Mindcrime on October 31, 2007 at 11:32 PM

So, you need to go to a porno site and it asks you to download a program ?
So easy to avoid ,donthca think?

bbz123 on October 31, 2007 at 11:41 PM

Gotta agree with Mindcrime – Mac Virus? Nope, another “stupid human exploit” is a better label.

btw – it’s usually best to write off just about anyone saying that Macs aren’t hit as hard simply because they’re not as numerous as Windows machines as someone that’s just demonstrated their fundamental lack of understanding of underlying operating system architecture.

Are Macs invulnerable? Nope – they’re still have the weakest component of any computer – they’re operated by humans, the most gullible components of the internets.

Yes, I said internets. plural. Bush was right, actually.

Wind Rider on October 31, 2007 at 11:42 PM

Oh for crying out loud Bryan, the only reason MAC’s have been so virus free for so long is that most virus writers….are MACNAZIS…

doriangrey on October 31, 2007 at 11:43 PM

You make OSX a bastardized version of Linux and you suffer with the trade-off penalties. Period.

Ryan Gandy on October 31, 2007 at 11:43 PM

I agree with Mindcrime. Macs have a whole invincibility complex that is built up by the elitist users and the company itself. (I’m a Mac owner, but I’m a realist.) I am not surprised that some things are beginning to pop up. Apple’s market share is growing, and it makes them a more viable target. Why spend time writing malware that can get at 6.38% of computer users, when the overwhelming majority of the remainder use the same system? It’s a pragmatic decision. But I’m also confidant that Unix will be easier to patch up if bigger problems do arise. In the meantime, user savvy will have to do.

Deas on October 31, 2007 at 11:44 PM

OS relativism is as discredited as political relativism. Platforms simply differ in their level of security.

AtomicAmish on October 31, 2007 at 11:45 PM

Well, apparently I’ve just flaunted my fundamental lack of understanding of underlying operating system architecture. Guess I’m out of this conversation. Ha ha.

Deas on October 31, 2007 at 11:45 PM

Apple’s market share is growing, and it makes them a more viable target.

Bingo!

This malware ought to be easily avoidable, but the fact that it targets Macs is significant.

Bryan on October 31, 2007 at 11:53 PM

The only thing invulnerable on the Macintosh is the arrogance of their users.

I have toyed with the idea of buying a mac, but to any hobbyist, the Intel/Microsoft platform blows circles arounf Macintosh. I prefer real computers.

A real computer is one that I can build from scratch, select every component myself, assemble it, and install the OS and all software. In 15 odd years of using microsoft software, I have never had a virus or a trojan on one of my home machines that I built and used.

JayHaw Phrenzie on October 31, 2007 at 11:55 PM

The only thing invulnerable on the Macintosh is the arrogance of their users.

I prefer real computers.

Such irony here.

Mindcrime on October 31, 2007 at 11:58 PM

I love irony. Great stuff.

JayHaw Phrenzie on November 1, 2007 at 12:11 AM

Inconceivable!

Did the uber-geeks get bored with trying to hack into Windows 24/7?

reaganaut on November 1, 2007 at 12:17 AM

Their market share is almost in the low to mid single digits now, it was just a matter of time.

They were never “impervious” to hackers, it’s just no self-respecting hacker would bother writing a virus that only affected 3% of the market. Where’s the point in that?

Spassvogel on November 1, 2007 at 12:17 AM

This should go on for days…not unlike one of the atheist threads.

And yeah, most Mac fans are as annoying as militant vegetarians.

Asher on November 1, 2007 at 12:26 AM

I think it is rather a broad assumption to say that hackers would not come up with a virus for something based on its market share. I admit that there is certainly a level of pride that a hacker gains the more computers their virus infects and the press that goes along with it.

To me, I would much rather make the assumption hackers hack because they can and they like the challenge. It seems more bottom-line and Occam’s Razor-ish to me than the assumption based on market share.

Weebork on November 1, 2007 at 12:45 AM

Dude Mac have been in the bullseye for awhile. It was only a matter of time. It is the marketing. The hubris. “Oh you are so secure huh?! Watch this!”

Apple still does not have enough maretshaer to make them a better target than windows.

Theworldisnotenough on November 1, 2007 at 12:49 AM

Yeah, Happy Halloween, poltergeists! Lucky there’s no PRoN on THIS website!

RushBaby on November 1, 2007 at 12:53 AM

The real question is:
Does this “malware” affect the iPhone?? ‘Cause that could only end in tears for a certain person who will remain nameless on this site….

mjk on November 1, 2007 at 12:56 AM

Linux!
Ubuntu!

186k on November 1, 2007 at 12:56 AM

A real computer is one that I can build from scratch, select every component myself, assemble it, and install the OS and all software.

Do you write and/or compile your own kernel and all software yourself? If not, does that mean it isn’t “real”?

VerbumSap on November 1, 2007 at 12:57 AM

Weebork’s point about why the hackers seem to go after the Windows platforms with a vengeance does have some validity – I’ll grant that.

But, actually, it’s sort of like the choice of running around loose in the unfenced orchard grabbing low hanging fruit, or actually going to the trouble to break into the supermarket. Most will just cruise the orchard.

JayHawk is hilarious. Never had a virus on ANY of your Win32 platforms? Ever? (pictures Gene Hackman in his copper coop from Enemy of the State) Well, good on ya, dude!

Wind Rider on November 1, 2007 at 1:08 AM

Macs are PCs now – they run Windows and Linux with ease in addition to Mac OS X, which regular PCs will not run without hackery.

Mibrilane on November 1, 2007 at 1:10 AM

Theworldisnotenough – whaaaaaaat! a company that sells antivirus software making a claim you should buy their product!

Well they wouldn’t say it if it wasn’t true, I’m sure!

I’ll stick to my original point that ANY machine is vulnerable – as long as gullible humans are operating them. The VAST majority of malware, for any platform, usually relies on human intervention at some point for successful payload delivery/execution/effect. That being said, Windows platforms, even the pig with the new lipstick called Vista, offer a much, much broader range of exploitation options than any of the Unix based operating systems, due to basic structural reasons.

Probably one of the most effective computer security steps anyone can take, other than educating themselves on how not to be the ‘human trigger’ for malware, is to completely abandon the Microsoft product line, and get something -anything- else. And Macs do have such a schweeeet interface.

Wind Rider on November 1, 2007 at 1:26 AM

Wind Rider,

I agree with your orchard analogy. Very illustrative.

Weebork on November 1, 2007 at 1:39 AM

It’s a Trojan Horse, from which Macs have never been immune

Mindcrime on October 31, 2007 at 11:32 PM

My horses like apples. Could it be….

Mac users have to be arrogant or militant about how good the machine is. How else would you explain paying the inflated price for it?

Blow a part in a Mac, how far do you have to drive and what do you have to pay to replace it?

91Veteran on November 1, 2007 at 1:39 AM

Surprise, surprise — we have morons with an agenda posting on a subject about which they know nothing. Imagine that.

Take notes, Apple bashers:

1) A trojan horse is not a virus.

2) A successful trojan horse is not evidence of a security vulnerability.

3) No OS or security software can protect a computer when the user is stupid and/or ignorant.

4) As you’re gloating, you might consider why a single trojan horse for the Mac makes headlines. I’ll give you a hint: it’s not because it was a slow news day.

Splashman on November 1, 2007 at 1:49 AM

Mac users have to be arrogant or militant about how good the machine is. How else would you explain paying the inflated price for it?

Blow a part in a Mac, how far do you have to drive and what do you have to pay to replace it?

91Veteran on November 1, 2007 at 1:39 AM

Ah yes, the old “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” gambit.

You believe simply asking questions, whose answers you obviously do not know, will lend you credibility? Please.

See the first sentence of my 1:49 post. That means you, bub.

Splashman on November 1, 2007 at 1:56 AM

You actually have to download it and install it using your system password.

That’s about as sophisticated as a writing an application that erases your user account and naming it “jessicaalbanude.app”

dougless on November 1, 2007 at 1:57 AM

I’m in a quandry about Macs:

I really like OS X (it’s the best *nix distro in the wild, period), but I don’t want to use Apple’s overpriced hardware or, even more so, have to be associated with people who use Macs.

Both the Apple and Microsoft user bases are mostly made up of people who don’t know dick about computers, their OS, or software. All they know is that when they click on this shiny picture-thingy they can read their email, and when they click on that shiny picture-thingy they can look at their 10,000 out-of-focus photos of their cat.

The key difference between ignorant Mac users and ignorant Windows users is that the Windows users know that they don’t know what they’re doing, whereas the idiot Mac users all seem to think that simply owning a Mac has made them demigods of the digital universe.

Ever watch the employees who work for Apple? My cousin’s dating one right now. Pretty girl, very nice, but if you ask her about Apple stuff, she switches into MacBot mode. No lie: I’m a little worried about the next comet set to fly by. I’ve told my cousin to hide the Vodka and Nike sneakers, just in case.

I know not every Mac user is like that…but enough are.

Harpazo on November 1, 2007 at 2:02 AM

unrelated news:

China fuel crisis spreads
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071031/ts_nm/china_oil_shortages_dc_1

Question? Is the recent runup in oil the US’s way to get China to unpeg their currency? Think about this. As long as the Yuan is pegged to the dollar and the dollar continues to fall their oil cost on the world market will continue to go up. The only way out of this cycle for China is to unpeg their dollar from ours right? This would also explain why gasoline in the US is not going up with oil price. Any thoughts?

unseen on November 1, 2007 at 2:02 AM

Ah yes, the old “Have you stopped beating your wife yet?” gambit.

You believe simply asking questions, whose answers you obviously do not know, will lend you credibility? Please.

See the first sentence of my 1:49 post. That means you, bub.

Splashman on November 1, 2007 at 1:56 AM

Little touchy there Splashman? Oops, another question.

I have priced Macs, and peripherals for Macs when found. Would I opt for a Mac over a clone? Depending on the application, otherwise I would stick with Linux.

91Veteran on November 1, 2007 at 2:03 AM

Harpazo on November 1, 2007 at 2:02 AM

+1

Splashman and Mindcrime must be in total ecstasy right now. The quantity of smugness is dripping over this thread like tar. I must admit; I lol’d…..

liquidflorian on November 1, 2007 at 2:15 AM

So, lemme get this straight. I have to go to a pron website, download an executable, install it and THEN I’m at risk? That’s a malware issue? No, that’s called: “stupid user syndrome.”

Can the software download itself and install itself in the background? If not, I see no reason to call it a Mac vulnerability.

As for the marketshare argument: There’s far more people on Mac’s now than at the end of the OS 9 days–but there are viruses that infect OS 9. Not a one for OS X that I’m aware of, though I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. There have been proof of concept things, but nothing in the wild, and the proofs of concept have been patched pretty quick.

Vanceone on November 1, 2007 at 2:43 AM

…but I don’t want to use Apple’s overpriced hardware…
Harpazo on November 1, 2007 at 2:02 AM

Credibility? Out the window.

News flash: it ain’t the 20th century any more. Save the FUD for Windows-only forums.

Splashman on November 1, 2007 at 2:45 AM

This dude lays it down accurately.

liquidflorian on November 1, 2007 at 2:46 AM

…and the guys at rooster teeth..

liquidflorian on November 1, 2007 at 2:50 AM

I’ve always found it interesting how such astoundingly ignorant Windows users like to attack OSX and Mac users. It’s similar to non-Americans trashing America and Americans. We’ve got the better system, and everyone else is jealous. Rather than actually (gasp!) try the better system, it’s easier to spread FUD and kick back in a blissful fog of ignorance.

Take a look around. Just about everyone who actually tries the Mac ends up switching, and it ain’t because they like spending money. Oh, and after you check out Chris Pirillo, feel free to send me links to all the techies who are switching from the Mac to Windows.

Splashman on November 1, 2007 at 2:57 AM

I’ve always found it interesting how such astoundingly ignorant Windows users like to attack OSX and Mac users.

Splashman on November 1, 2007 at 2:57 AM

Too long; didn’t read

You mactards get so torqued off its comical. Your smugness makes it all the more fun, the more above it all you try and act the lower you sink; and I absolutely love it. You like mac, big deal. Get over yourself and your craptastic O/S.

liquidflorian on November 1, 2007 at 3:43 AM

Blow a part in a Mac, how far do you have to drive and what do you have to pay to replace it?

91Veteran on November 1, 2007 at 1:39 AM

’bout a block, and not a penny under warranty.

Mac user since first Mac SE in 1987. Let’s see … had a virus once … ummm … I think it was … what? …maybe 1991.

Still buyin’, usin’, lovin’ my Mac!

leepro on November 1, 2007 at 3:59 AM

I’m in a quandry about Macs:

I really like OS X (it’s the best *nix distro in the wild, period), but I don’t want to use Apple’s overpriced hardware or, even more so, have to be associated with people who use Macs.

You’d be amazed at who uses Macs.

Both the Apple and Microsoft user bases are mostly made up of people who don’t know dick about computers, their OS, or software.

I’ve used computers for 24 years, from Commodore through PC/Windows and for he last 7 years, Windows & Mac. I prefer Mac. My job is as an ISP Tech Support Technician and I support both Windows and Mac users. My preferred computer at the end of the day is a Mac. The one I carry in my computer case is a MacBook. For getting things done without having to worry about the OS fritzing out on me, or my hardware breaking down all the time, or having to constantly tweak the system settings all the time, is Mac. At home I do video editing, sound editing, Photoshop, plus all the usual mundane stuff like email, web browsing, chat, ebay, photos, and *gasp* games.

The key difference between ignorant Mac users and ignorant Windows users is that the Windows users know that they don’t know what they’re doing, whereas the idiot Mac users all seem to think that simply owning a Mac has made them demigods of the digital universe.

Not true. I have dealt with more arrogant, self-aggrandizing “demigod” Windows users over the years…and for a time, I was one of them. Does this ring a bell?

I have toyed with the idea of buying a mac, but to any hobbyist, the Intel/Microsoft platform blows circles arounf Macintosh. I prefer real computers.

A real computer is one that I can build from scratch, select every component myself, assemble it, and install the OS and all software. In 15 odd years of using microsoft software, I have never had a virus or a trojan on one of my home machines that I built and used.

JayHaw Phrenzie on October 31, 2007 at 11:55 PM

While I congratulate JawHaw on his success, his attitude seems more than a little condescending towards Mac users. Most Windows users have never tried a Mac. Most Mac users have used both, and chose a Mac. Something to think about, eh?

Ever watch the employees who work for Apple? My cousin’s dating one right now. Pretty girl, very nice, but if you ask her about Apple stuff, she switches into MacBot mode. No lie: I’m a little worried about the next comet set to fly by. I’ve told my cousin to hide the Vodka and Nike sneakers, just in case.

I know not every Mac user is like that…but enough are.

Harpazo on November 1, 2007 at 2:02 AM

At the beginning of your post you said “I don’t want to use Apple’s overpriced hardware or, even more so, have to be associated with people who use Macs.” and yet you base everything you know about Macs off the people you know who use them. Have you ever tried a Mac? I mean really tested a Mac to it’s fullest? It’s worth it just to see the difference. Plus, not that Macs can also run Windows, they have full access to all software programs. Everything runs on a Mac now. I tell everyone who asks me my serious opinion about buying a new computer, to go to an Apple store, play around on their Macs for a while. If after they see what the Mac can do, they still decide to buy a Windows machine, at least they made an informed decision.

As for cost and replacement parts, let me make this point perfectly clear. Macs now use Intel. Ram, Hard Drives, CD-Rom/Combo/DVD/DVD-RW drives, Mice, External Devices are the SAME between Windows PCs and Macs. If a part breaks on the Mac, or you want to upgrade it, you can drive to the same store, buy pretty much the same parts, and upgrade or fix (in most cases) your Mac yourself. the only things you can’t just buy off the shelf are the Main Logic Boards, and that can usually be said for most any manufacturer. No, you can’t build your own Mac the same way you can build your own PC. But when all you want to do is get your work done, be it a word document (Office for the Mac or free NeoOffice/J) or a movie (Adobe Premier or Apple’s Final Cut Pro), at least on my Macs, I don’t have to think about the Hardware or the OS. I just do what I need to and get on with my life.

DakRoland on November 1, 2007 at 4:09 AM

Plus, not that Macs can also run Windows, they have full access to all software programs.

should read

Plus, now that Macs can also run Windows, they have full access to all software programs.

That’s what I get for not proofreading at 4 in the morning. >.

DakRoland on November 1, 2007 at 4:12 AM

Too long; didn’t read

You mactards get so torqued off its comical. Your smugness makes it all the more fun, the more above it all you try and act the lower you sink; and I absolutely love it. You like mac, big deal. Get over yourself and your craptastic O/S.

liquidflorian on November 1, 2007 at 3:43 AM

“Too long; didn’t read.” And yet you are qualified to trash Splashman’s experience?

I suspect you’ve never tried a Mac, either!

leepro on November 1, 2007 at 4:18 AM

Reality final catches up to Apple’s arrogance. yes this will make the Mac zealots defensive, but the reality is what others have said above. As Apple’s success continues, the attention from the hackers will grow equally.

The whole argument the Apple’s are better is like the cola wars… use what ever you like, and don’t belittle those who won’t drink the same cola. There is one big difference in how both sides argues this. Mac user are always berating PC/Windows, whereas PC user berate the Mac users… and not necessarily Apple. Although there’s plenty to make fun of Steve Jobs and Apple.

I for one cannot use an Apple… there are NO high end CAD FEA Analysis software written for it. So for me Apples are simply an expensive device to write emails and listen to music.

One of the best ways to shut a Mac head up when they go on and on about how much better Apples are then the PC is to tell them that ALL of Apples products are designed on PCs… yup all those lovely iPods and iMacs are engineered on Windows machines. It really breaks their little hearts to find that even in the hallowed walls of Apple, Bill Gates is still their Daddy!

Bob on November 1, 2007 at 6:24 AM

Linux!
Ubuntu!

Ubuntu? F#* that sh*t! BeOS!

/frank booth

Just kidding. Microsoft BOB is the rizzle dizzle, fo shizzle.

saint kansas on November 1, 2007 at 6:24 AM

You like mac, big deal. Get over yourself and your craptastic O/S.

Ooh, them’s fightin’ words! Like I said in another thread, I’m not nearly the Apple evangelist I was, say, 15 years ago. But no one talks smack about OS X.

Here’s my smack talk: people who defend Windows do it retrospectively, after buying the same machine as everyone else does. Too bad there aren’t “blind taste tests” for these things.

Me, I run on Windows all day at the day job, and run OS X at home all night for the freelance work. I use ‘em both extensively, they both do what I need them to, but OS X is so very much classier.

I don’t mind if the majority run Windows, but the Mac OS is by no stretch of the imagination craptacular.

saint kansas on November 1, 2007 at 6:34 AM

This proves a point I made several years back in a rare defense of Microsoft (I’m more a Unix/Linux guy, myself). The point I made to someone who was deriding Windows for its susceptibility to malware was that the only reason there was so much Windows malware was because there are so many Windows-based computers. Nobody’s going to go through the effort of writing malware that’ll infect such a relatively small number of computers.

But now that OS X is so widely used, it was only a matter of time before malware for that OS started showing up.

flipflop on November 1, 2007 at 6:48 AM

Mac, the big ticket, Liberal paperweight that you can fudge to run PC based software

(yawn)

Hening on November 1, 2007 at 7:42 AM

The OS X Trojan, which infects a computer after a user chooses to download a proprietary codec…

really, this whole argument is retarded. strike that; it’s strictly based on the user of the computer being retarded, and there’s really no way for an OS to guard against that and still be usable.

The days of Mac’s imperviousness to every last hacker with an attitude may be over.

Macs, like any computer, have and always will run any program that the user wants to run (most of the time, heh); the difference that hackers have always exploited is that there are ‘relatively’ easy ways to get Windows machines to run programs without the user’s permission.

Here’s an analogy: With Windows someone can shoot you (sure it’s much harder than it used to be but they can still do it); with the Mac you’ve got to pick up the gun that someone thoughtfully left lying there, put it to your head and pull the trigger.

Mr. Bingley on November 1, 2007 at 8:04 AM

Hahah, my science is better than your science.

Well I can’t find a clip on the all new, crappy Youtube… all I hear is, “I drive a Dodge Stratus!”

reaganaut on November 1, 2007 at 8:13 AM

…OSX a bastardized version of Linux…
Ryan Gandy on October 31, 2007 at 11:43 PM

Isn’t that an oxymoron?

Tennman on November 1, 2007 at 8:20 AM

This malware ought to be easily avoidable, but the fact that it targets Macs is significant.

Bryan on October 31, 2007 at 11:53 PM

“Ought to” and “is” are two different things. I can think of a very easy way to inject a trojan into just about any computer (I will not go further than to say that it came via an ad displayed on a trusted site, and no, I did not click on said ad to have it try to inject itself on my computer).

steveegg on November 1, 2007 at 8:26 AM

This malware ought to be easily avoidable, but the fact that it targets Macs is significant.

Bryan on October 31, 2007 at 11:53 PM

I’d also like to add, that this malware *is* avoidable. Downloading and installing ANYTHING from a porn site is simply begging for trouble, be it on a Mac or Windows PC. There have been proof-of-concept malware for the Mac before, and nothing came of it. The fact that Intego is recommending people buy Intego and install it tells me where their priority lies. How widespread this becomes remains to be seen. Frankly I don’t think this will affect very many Macs at all.

DakRoland on November 1, 2007 at 8:39 AM

I’m probably the least tech savvy Mac user on the planet. I switched from PCs last year, because I was tired of the endless work my PCs took to run properly–even PCs that were only a year old, and had no malware (that I could find). For me, the Mac is just easier–I know I’m never going to understand computers the way many of you do, and I’m willing to pay an inflated price–if it is inflated–to have a computer that doesn’t require more of me than I’m willing to give. If Macs are less susceptible to malware than PCs, even if only slightly, I consider myself better off.

For people like me, I think the Mac is preferable. I will never be a Mac zealot. It has been my experience that these Mac vs. PC vs. Other debates always end up looking like some really lame bar fight where everyone has thick glasses and asthma.

DrMagnolias on November 1, 2007 at 8:48 AM

This minor security threat has been around for about two years now. You really have to want to get infected.

Valiant on November 1, 2007 at 8:50 AM

Why has Mac been immune to hacking?
There aren’t enough Macs to entice hackers.
Why in the he’ll would anyone want to break in to a Mac? To play a Boy George I-tune or design a brochure.

TheSitRep on November 1, 2007 at 9:18 AM

Why are people so emotional about Mac vs. PC? I don’t get it. It’s just a market choice–if you value what a Mac offers, you’ll pay more for it; if you don’t, you won’t. Why pound the other guy for the choice he made? Is it a testosterone thing, like cars? Is your computer an extension of yourself? Hmmmm. Maybe I’ll design a large, torpedo-shaped computer and see if I can get men to buy it and then argue endlessly about how much larger and more torpedo-like their computers are than other men’s computers. ;-)

aero on November 1, 2007 at 9:28 AM

aero on November 1, 2007 at 9:28 AM

These kinds of pissing contests have been going on for evah. I’m actually a little dissappointed to see that the essential style/content of attack/riposte hasn’t really changed over time. It would be nice to see something new.

I don’t have a horse in this race myself…I’m a longtime Intel/AMD boxmaker and linux geek…I can screw a system down pretty tight.

I do have my eye on one of these latest Mac notebooks though. It would be the first time in many years that I’ve bought an off-the-shelf computer…but _hot damn_ they’re sexy pieces of hardware ;-)

Great OS too…shame about this story, but it was inevitable. Humans really are the weakest link in the security fence, but this shouldn’t be used as a club to beat up Apple with. If you are conned into installing subversive trojan software, more fool you. There are improving low-level techniques for insulating users from the consequences of such mistakes, but they are far from perfect. SELinux is a good start, but it has a long way to go.

For now…education is key, together with raising the hurdle for allowing users to attempt privileged (root) operations.

I want a new spiffy Mac :-)

Ochlan on November 1, 2007 at 10:33 AM

I want a new spiffy Mac :-)

Ochlan on November 1, 2007 at 10:33 AM

Me, too! My husband bought a Macbook a few months ago, and I’ve been so jealous that he’s getting me my own next week! Woo-hoo! I get to pass my Dell desktop on to the kids now. We’re going to sell their current Vista machine–can’t get rid of it fast enough. When we replace the kids’ computer with a Mac, our transition will be complete. I’m so excited!

aero on November 1, 2007 at 10:44 AM

*jealous*

:-)

“The Boss” won’t let me spend that kinda money on a new toy!

Ochlan on November 1, 2007 at 10:55 AM

most Mac fans are as annoying as militant vegetarians.

Fixed that for ya.

Just fueling the fire…. heh.

mojojojo on November 1, 2007 at 11:02 AM

Internet-connected applications use DNS settings to figure out how to translate URLs, such as Wired.com, into the physical address of a server, according to Intego’s alert.

Intego’s alert says no such thing. How can an entity call itself “Wired” and not know the difference between a domain name and a Uniform Resource Locator? It’s almost like not knowing the difference between Assad and Bin Laden.

Note to Wired: A URL generally includes a domain name, but also a protocol (as we’ll see in a moment, this is important) and may include other information as well.

When explaining DNS to non-techies, I tell them that it’s like Directory Assistance for phones: It lets you look up “wired.com” and get back a listing:

Name:    wired.com
Addresses:  209.170.113.14, 209.170.113.25, 209.170.113.23, 209.170.113.16, 209.170.113.31, 209.170.113.9, 209.170.113.30, 209.170.113.15

If you don’t have a signed SSL certificate (which requires you use https:// in the URL instead of just http://, something a DNS server can’t change) with a validation chain to assure that it’s who it says it is, you’re always vulnerable to a man-in-the-middle attack.

Even if your computer isn’t affected, if someone can compromise your router/firewall, or any other router between you and your DNS server, they can inject bogus IPs into the DNS queries.

The Monster on November 1, 2007 at 11:04 AM

Mac users are often misinterpreted by Windows users as being arrogant, when in fact they are merely being humble. Mac users are very humble when it comes to their Apple products. Humble for merely thinking Mac’s operating system is better than Windows. Humble for letting the Windows users think their operating system is superior because it is available on more computers. Humble for accepting that there is more software available for Windows, whereas the Windows users prefer this fact in a Mac user’s face.

Mac users have been very humble over the past twenty years from having to hear from Microsoft loyalists that Mac will never succeed and will go bankrupt. Twenty years.

Mac users will continue their extreme humbleness into the future with the advent of the Intel Mac and release of Leopard.

Mac users are more humble than Windows users. :)

Weebork on November 1, 2007 at 11:30 AM

I don’t mind if the majority run Windows, but the Mac OS is by no stretch of the imagination craptacular.

saint kansas on November 1, 2007 at 6:34 AM

Well sure, but it really makes Splashman mad. :)

liquidflorian on November 1, 2007 at 11:31 AM

The Ron Paul of computers gets it’s comeuppance!

Master Shake on November 1, 2007 at 11:35 AM

Mac will never succeed and will go bankrupt

Let’s be honest…there was a while back there when Apple’s future was not so certain.

I have watched the transformation of the company with real respect…their brand has captured not only technical excellence, but fantastic style and elegance of design blended with a tangible ‘culture’. Powerful mojo.

Ochlan on November 1, 2007 at 11:39 AM

Ochlan,

I’m humble enough to agree with you! :)

Weebork on November 1, 2007 at 11:45 AM

Mac users are often misinterpreted by Windows users as being arrogant, when in fact they are merely being humble. Mac users are very humble when it comes to their Apple products. Humble for merely thinking Mac’s operating system is better than Windows. Humble for letting the Windows users think their operating system is superior because it is available on more computers. Humble for accepting that there is more software available for Windows, whereas the Windows users prefer this fact in a Mac user’s face.

So basically they are Democrats ?

LordDaMan on November 1, 2007 at 11:50 AM

Weebork on November 1, 2007 at 12:45 AM

Your understanding of “hacker” is about six or seven years behind reality. The average hacker out in the world is a 20 year old male from the Philippines and makes his living selling his malware or botnet to customers such as certain Russian mafias or the Chinese government.

They typically write for the MS OS because that is the biggest bang for the buck. Apple will see more mal-ware written specifically for it as its market share increases.

There is no “secure” OS. Only operator vigilence.

opusrex on November 1, 2007 at 11:52 AM

So, Uh… How many times are you brainwashed geeks going to say the same things over and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and OVER and

KMC1 on November 1, 2007 at 12:09 PM

opusrex,

I was talking about the hackers out there who write their programs for fun or because its a challenge. In general my point still stands, but coming from a business angle is a different argument and you make an excellent point regarding it.

Weebork on November 1, 2007 at 12:20 PM

LordDaMan,

I don’t think so, as Democrats have no sense of humor or irony!

Heh

Weebork on November 1, 2007 at 12:21 PM

Fun geek trick: if you hold Command-S while rebooting your Mac, you’ll boot into single-user mode, aka the command line.

Geek out!

saint kansas on November 1, 2007 at 12:22 PM

Fun geek trick: if you toggle your power switch on & off really fast for 30 seconds, you’ll charge your CPU for extra performance.

Ochlan on November 1, 2007 at 12:26 PM

*jealous*

:-)

“The Boss” won’t let me spend that kinda money on a new toy!

Ochlan on November 1, 2007 at 10:55 AM

Well, my husband is being economical about it. He paid full price for his Macbook, but he’s getting mine gently used from a developer buddy who’s upgrading to the biggest/best Macbook Pro after only a few months of owning the one my husband’s buying for me–which is still a very nice machine and more than up to meeting my needs. Hubby works with a bunch of developers who have recently re-discovered Macs and are one-upping each other. Means they don’t keep their hardware long before upgrading. And it means they add extra memory and other bells-and-whistles to their purchases. So buying their hand-me-downs for hundreds less than off-the-shelf is a good bet for someone like me. I was thinking of getting the kids a gently used Mac Mini off Craigslist or something just to finish the household’s transition to Macs more quickly.

aero on November 1, 2007 at 12:35 PM

As for cost and replacement parts, let me make this point perfectly clear. Macs now use Intel. Ram, Hard Drives, CD-Rom/Combo/DVD/DVD-RW drives, Mice, External Devices are the SAME between Windows PCs and Macs. If a part breaks on the Mac, or you want to upgrade it, you can drive to the same store, buy pretty much the same parts, and upgrade or fix (in most cases) your Mac yourself.

DakRoland on November 1, 2007 at 4:09 AM

This truly is a significant change then from the older, proprietary hardware Mac used to have.

As for the whole Windows/Mac thing, I think it all boils down to whether Gates or Jobs was a better businessman with better marketing.

Gates gained significant market share with what he did early on, while Jobs took the arrogant path, stumbled a bit, tried foisting them to schools, etc., before regaining some footing.

91Veteran on November 1, 2007 at 12:41 PM

Means they don’t keep their hardware long before upgrading. And it means they add extra memory and other bells-and-whistles to their purchases. So buying their hand-me-downs for hundreds less than off-the-shelf is a good bet for someone like me

Awesome deal. Now I’m _really_ jealous ;-)

Ochlan on November 1, 2007 at 12:50 PM

Ochlan on November 1, 2007 at 12:50 PM

Nothing better than being at the edge of a tech geeks’ feeding frenzy. Their leftovers are still better than what the rest of us might normally get for ourselves!

aero on November 1, 2007 at 1:06 PM

The XBOX 360 is better than the PS3.

reaganaut on November 1, 2007 at 2:14 PM

Yeah Intel Macs now use parts other Intel systems use. But Apple knows Mac users are suckas because they charge Macbook Pro users 3xs what it costs for RAM and other stuff[and that was an AMAZON price you can probably get it cheaper still in Chinatown]. And then says Mac users are too stoopid to upgrade their own systems. So you have to pay a Mac “Genius” to do it for you.
Remember Steve Jobs thought you were too stoopid to figure out how to use a 2nd button on your mouse.

Iblis on November 1, 2007 at 2:41 PM

The days of Mac’s imperviousness to every last hacker with an attitude may be over.

It’s malware. There is no hacking involved. It’s simply social engineering.

Mark Jaquith on November 1, 2007 at 3:45 PM

Boy, there are some serious Mac haters here. Methinks they need to get a life. Use what you like and get over yourself. I can give a rat’s behind if you think Microshaft makes a better OS. Or that you’re one of the elite minority that can replace your freakin’ video card. Who cares?

Get back to your WoW and cheetos and downloading your endless stream of Windoze updates.

robblefarian on November 1, 2007 at 6:12 PM

Ryan Gandy on October 31, 2007 at 11:43 PM

OS X is BSD, not Linux. Thankfully so.

spmat on November 1, 2007 at 8:46 PM