Ok, I wasn’t going to post on the whole virus/security thing again for a while but I just had to this morning when I saw Apple’s new adverts.
The advert is at the bottom of the post, but just read the links below before you watch it.
Case for the Prosecution, M’lud
A sample of recent incident links from the last month, not something that existed in System 7 and certainly not theoretical:
- Multiple overflow exploits in OS X, with proof of concept
- iChat worm
- Mac OS “virus” (via Slashdot)
- Local privilege escalation
The most worrying of these from my perspective is the first link, not so much for the exploit itself because I think over the course of previous threads we have agreed that they can and will happen. No, the thing that worries me is the fact that security fixes are not being disclosed by Apple in their release notes.
This issue was silently fixed by Apple in update 10.4.6.
Feel free to check the release notes for Mac OS 10.4.6 yourself, and raise your hand if it seems immediately obvious why a vendor fixing a security issue known internally in a point release without informing their users that it even exists in the previous version is a really bad idea both in the short term for users and in the long term for Apple as a company. I mean, bajesus.
Quoted from DrunkenBlog
Case for the Defense, M’lud
(Direct link in case the embedded player messes up again)
Talk about your wrong message, man alive. Apple, pull this advert now.
Update 2: From ArsTechnica
The “Viruses” ad, which touts the Mac’s immunity to Windows viruses, is extremely ill-considered. The ad is technically accurate. Macs running Mac OS X can’t catch “Windows viruses,” by definition. It’s also true that there have been many harmful Windows viruses loose on the net over the past few years, but no significant Mac OS X viruses. Relief from viruses is a legitimate benefit of the Mac, but Apple shouldn’t make it an explicit selling point.
It’s like an airline advertising that it has fewer fatal crashes than its competitors. This just isn’t done—and for good reasons. Putting aside the moral and ethical aspects, which arguably don’t apply to Apple, there are important practical considerations as well. The new “Viruses” TV ad pulls back a slingshot and holds it to Apple’s face. The backlash is inevitable.