Malware reopens the debate on the security of Mac OS X

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What a narrative! For every week, the previous debate that has already led to so many battles between PC customers and Mac Customers violently taken over the net. The rationale: a dispute, for websites interposed between the blogger John Gruber (pro-Apple) and Ed Bott (pro-Microsoft) and the simultaneous appearance of a scareware for users of Mac OS X.

In early May, Ed Bott published an article under a trifle sensationalist evoking the appearance of a development kit for malware intended to produce customized malware for Mac OS X.  


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Malware Defender mimics a Mac Finder window in Safari to pretend to the user that their machine is infected.
It did not so much that John Gruber, a fan of Apple before the eternal, publishes a note full of irony about a threat that he believes exist in the fantasies of fans of Windows and companies that sell antivirus software. Gruber's article consists of an inventory of papers dating back to 2004, turning the shot into ridicule the emerging threat of viruses on the Mac so often made ​​the news sites with high-tech … the latest being that of Ed Bott.
Obviously a little annoyed by this post and comments from readers of Daring Fireball criticizing his article, Ed Bott then published several papers in response to John Gruber,  interview with  a mysterious AppleCare employee (Apple's service department) that will make some noise: the man confirms that he is receiving more and more phone calls regarding concerns related to malware, especially those that are baptized, among others Mac Defender.

A scareware fueling controversy

The interview is timely: since the beginning of this malware for Mac OS, which takes the form of a fake antivirus ( scareware ) circulates on the Web and seems to have infected many users. It works the same way that a parasite equivalent on PC: you believe that your computer is infected, first through a window in your browser then prompts you to install and purchase a license for by credit card counter this threat does not exist.

 

According to an AppleCare employee, since the advent of Mac Defender calls associated with security issues have increased tenfold. 

 Before he appeared, we had a call every 7 to 12 minutes. Today we are lucky if we can have a break between calls, " he says to Ed Bott. It further specifies that "in two days last week, I made ​​60 calls related to Mac Defender." More surprisingly, his instructions are very clear in his opinion: it does not help customers remove this Apple software malicious, "so that they do not expect that we may delete all their malware in the future. It is the role of a virus. "


Mac users, especially switchers - from the PC world and less accustomed to the workings of their machine – they have provided to panic? In any case, many of them defend Mac OS in this story, as evidenced by the flood of comments that followed the article by Ed Bott.

Mac Defender must first be installed in order to start annoying the user. And he took the opportunity to do any security flaw: it must, like any program for Mac OS X, indicate the administrator password before the installation starts. In this sense, therefore take a human flaw: by posing as a legitimate anti-virus, Trojan horse that lures the user who opens the door without asking any questions. On the other hand, it is particularly easy to remove.
While Mac OS X is any less safe than before? The debate remains open. Feel free to give us your opinion in the comments area.

 

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