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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" Everything including a web browser and basic image rendering libraries wouldn't be deeply embedded into the kernel.

Lolwut? Where do you people come up with this stuff?

Privileged separation would be implemented in a strong manner instead of the wet cleanex separation between regular users and administrators.

You realise that when it comes to access control, Windows NT is miles ahead of vanilla UNIX and Linux, right? You need SELinux to come even somewhat close to the kind of fine-grained control NT allows, and then SELinux is a complicated mess.

Yep. But its so stupidly complex that people just stick with the tried and true regular and superuser. The issue with Windows is the culture. This is MS's fault for not designing their 9x system with security in mind. They basically trained users for more than two decades to run as administrator on their machine, and by extension developers were trained to write their software needing admin rights for no apparent reason.

Apple's OS is not inherently more secure than something like Windows 7 or even XP for that matter, but the culture is the main differentiator. Apple has trained their users and developers to at least heed an application that needs super user rights. Nothing installs on your system without your knowledge, nothing touches system wide files without you knowing, downloaded applications don't run without telling you that they are from the web.

As of late I have had to deal with the stupid Windows Defender trojan on Windows 7 machine's at the company I work for, it basically borks your whole system to try to get you to buy the application. By comparison the Mac Defender trojan is relatively harmless as it can't really do anything without your consent, a simple delete will get rid of it. A simple delete can't rid of Windows Defender, its a multi step process that may not get your machine to the way it was before the trojan did its damage.

I do think Apple should stop reinforcing naive users belief that nothing dangerous can happen to their machine "because its a Mac". I also think that they should take at least some minimal precautionary steps to mitigate this issue now before it gets worse. The first one being not having Safari open downloaded files by default. I always turn that off as I don't like not knowing whats on my system without my consent. I think the Downloads folder bounce in the Dock is enough to let users know that there is something there and let them make the choice of opening the file or not.

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