Apple and Security: When will this bubble blow up?

Apple is thinking that security through obscurity is the right way to handle security on their products. The latest example is with their KB article on the support site related to anti-virus. A KB which was posted last year, and only now being discovered by the media.

So, what is wrong saying you may need an anti-virus for your operating system?

Does Apple think that malware and other security hazards would not hit Mac OS X for ever? This is a very bad assumption. What happens is that as the popularity of Apple based products are on the rise so does the number of people with direct access and interest.

What would the future would look like? Well, not as it is with Windows, but in my opinion it would certainly drive sleep away from Apple users as well. Treating security as another something that needs to be taken care of can cost Apple dearly especially if it would hurt those that use its products because of their related simplicity.


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8 Responses to “Apple and Security: When will this bubble blow up?”

  1. Fredrik Olsson Says:

    Apple is not trying the security by obscurity tactics, they do what should be done; treat security as an integral part of building the system, not as something you tack on at the end.

    Third party anti-virus software is a security measure you tack on at the end as an afterthought. The anti-virus industry around Windows is a symptom of Microsofts failure to build a secure system to begin with, not a signature of Microsoft care for security.

  2. Jan Says:

    the Current versions of Antivirus does not make much sense on a mac unless you want to protect your windows friends from getting hit by a virus forwarded by you because your mac did not react on the windows virus in the file you got. But talking about virus as the only security treat to us Mac users is a grave mistake. It is a problem we do not have at the moment do to the fact that you will have to install the virus by using your admin password. It does not mean however that we are out of danger. Weak passwords, phising common user stupidity is a big a treat to us mac users as to windows users. To talk about when the Mac platform will be hit by a widespread virus atack again is removing the focus from the treats we can be hit from.

  3. Mike Landry Says:

    Apple does an excellent job at keeping up to date with any serious security issues.

    Certainly not in our lifetime will see any serious issues with OSX. The unique way it was designed prevents viruses of course, and there haven’t been but a few trojans / worms in 20 years of the OS’s existence, so it’s safe to say we’ve seen the worst of OSX security during the 2003 / 2004 era, but now everyone is quite safe.

    And no, Apple does ALL security IN the OS… so the need of 3rd party AV software died in 2001. (at least for Apple based products)

    So relax, get a Mac and you are home free even if Apple gains 60, 70% of the market in the coming decades.

  4. Bill Says:

    The only known malware out there that’s currently risky for a patched system are trojan horses. Yes, you could waste CPU cycles for those, or, gain some brains and not try to install ActiveX anything on a Mac (OS) because that is MS tech. Once there is a credible threat, anti-virus software might be needed. Until then, keep everything patched and stay on top of the news. Oh, Little Snitch would be far, far better as an additional line of defense than Anti-Virus software.

    When talking Anti-Virus software, it’s critical to keep in mind that it ONLY works against KNOWN malware. (I’ve yet to hear of any of their preventative measures actually doing any good.)

    • ofirarkin Says:

      I agree that Little Snitch is currently a better tool then A/V on Mac OS X.
      What I wrote discussed the concept, not saying that there are known to the public threats (there are rumors about Mac OS X bots) that Apple is ignoring.
      Removing a legitimate KB discussing A/V is what I have termed as security through obscurity.

  5. Sean Says:

    When I see the need, I will jump on the anti-virus bandwagon. Until that day arrives I will be content in knowing my Mac is safe and sound. I’ve used Macs for 20 years and never once come across a virus or malware. And to this day I have yet to know anyone on a Mac that has.

    Ah, the benefits of using a superior product. I do feel sorry for the PC people, I really do. They got suckered.

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