Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 20th May 2011 20:37 UTC
Apple I have personally tried to pretty much let the whole MAC Defender trojan thing pass by, since we're not a security website. However, we have an interesting turn of events this week. An article over at Ars Technica quotes several anonymous Apple Store employees as saying that the infection rate of Macs brought into the Apple store has gone up considerably. More interestingly though, Apple's official policy states that Apple Store employees are not allowed to talk about infections to anyone - they're not even allowed to inform Mac owners if they find the infection without the customer's knowledge. Another interesting tidbit: Apple mandates the use of Norton Antivirus on company Macs, according to one Apple Store genius.
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Questionable policy, but understandable
by theosib on Sun 22nd May 2011 17:52 UTC
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To look at this from Apple's perspective, we must consider the various costs associated with any direct assistance given to users regarding this new trojan. Every infection is going to result in a support call or a visit to the Apple store. Each support incident costs money, and since support is in high demand for other things, customers who have other more pressing problems (e.g. faulty hardware or whatever) will have to complete with those who did something stupid.

It would be one thing if AppleCare techs and Geniuses spent a lot of time sitting on their hands. But they're not. They're BUSY, helping people with a variety of other problems and questions. Some of that goes to selling more Macs, and some goes to helping people who have already bought Macs and are not going to by another one for 3 years.

In fact, malware removal is something that can be automated, for the most part. If you want a _clean_ example of this, consider Microsoft Security Essentials. It's the least intrusive anti-malware tool ever for Windows, and it does the job nicely. Now, Windows is a big target, so even power users need AV software.

Apple does not want their support staff helping users poke around under the hood, manually removing malware. If they have to do anything, they'd much rather assist customers with the use of an automated tool.

Is Apple abandoning users who have this infection? This is a trojan, remember. Infected users took conscious action that resulted in this malware being installed. This is not Apple's fault. Only if this were a worm would we be able to blame Apple. We also don't blame Apple for physical damage resulting from computers being dropped. We don't fault Apple if someone drags the System folder to the trash. And, more apropos, we don't blame Apple for bugs in 3rd party apps. This trojan is definitely a 3rd party app.

This is why the non-technical users should stick to boxed software from an Apple Store and downloads the App Store. Apple makes it damn easy to keep your computer clean, and they really push hard the App Store and their boxed software. So anyone stupid enough to install this trojan probably did so directly contrary to advice they were given by someone at an Apple Store when they bought the machine!

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