“Yesterday, I read what I consider to be a provoking piece at ZDNet. It pointed out that while there is no question that Macs are not the malware targets that Windows machines are, they’re most certainly not immune to an attack of the right variety. It went on to backup its point with a real world scenario in which a University of New South Wales Mac server had been hit by malware. Disturbingly, the server had apparently been running the latest updates from Apple and still managed to get hit. It mentioned that, in the author’s opinion, Apple was ‘misleading people’ into believing that their OS was more secure than it really is. Whether or not that is true is frankly immaterial to me. It should be noted that no OS is 100 percent bulletproof, and I believe this is what it was driving home at. Unfortunately, some people within the Mac community felt differently.”
Why Are Mac Users So Defensive?
About The Author
Follow me on Twitter @thomholwerda
2006-11-09 6:19 pmKroc
Cult? Good grief, how sad. I have a nice computer, that I use to get my work done. Nothing much more. It’s fast, good build quality, stress free.
Mac Users are defensive because we get so much crap said about something that actually works good. Everybody’s used a Windows machine in their life, I wish people would use a Mac before commenting on it, or telling us massive malware attacks are imminent, or even better – stop spewing out this junk and leave us to ourselves to enjoy our platform.
2006-11-09 6:51 pmmacisaac
while you’re quite free to keep enjoying your platform, I wish some of your fellow Macophiles wouldn’t insist on hoping on just about every tech forum declaring loudly why and how Macs are superior in every single way: hardware-wise (even though it’s generic) and software-wise (even though you can get much the same stuff (and more) on windows), and are in fact cheaper (even if your wallet says otherwise), deriding anyone who’d deign think differently (funny that…) I could go on, buy you should get the point.
and I say that as someone who’s got three macs currently (though admittedly I hardly use any of them now, other than the pbook for playing dvds on the tv)
2006-11-09 6:57 pmKroc
These people you speak of, don’t speak for the Mac platform. The people who speak for the platform, don’t waste their time on Digg, or in forums, or trolling, anywhere. They’re young film producers, computer scientists, artists and 3D animators. They really /use/ the platform and produce wonderful things with it.
If anybody is trolling about Macs, they’re no better a representative of the benefits of that platform than a ‘Linux zealot’ or ‘Microsoftie’. It’s the same on all platforms.
If you’re interested in Macs or Linux, go find out for yourself and ignore any crap churned up by Digg et al. You wouldn’t trust such a Troll’s opinion anywhere else, so why with computing platforms?
2006-11-10 8:38 ams_groening
I wish some of your fellow Macophiles wouldn’t insist on hoping on just about every tech forum declaring loudly why and how Macs are superior in every single way: hardware-wise (even though it’s generic) and software-wise (even though you can get much the same stuff (and more) on windows)
…but if I’d want it like Windows, I’d choose Windows.
The thing that upsets me the most is that in their argumentation, so many PC users don’t see how they might be wrongly mistaken for being one of the many many millions of Windows users who has made no other choice by buying a PC with Windows on it than actually wanting a computer, with ‘computer’ being synonymous with ‘Windows-based’…
Their logic is that Mac users are more or less stupid to own a Mac, just as some Mac users tend to think of Windows users for owning a PC, but the really wrong thing here is that Mac users make an obvious choice by purchasing a Mac…
It’s by no means a ‘default decision’ of the average computer buyer, and I think this needs to be acknowledged before implying that someone’s stupid for having actually chosen to choose…
-Exactly as I far from believe that every PC buyer is in love with Windows for its weaknesses, but rather I tend to see it as a general satisfaction with being able to use Windows for anything… After all, Windows is everywhere…
2006-11-10 12:41 pmtwenex
deriding anyone who’d deign think differently
Ah, but you see – you’re allowed to think different, (as long as Apple keep telling you to), but you’re not allowed to think differently[/i]!
2006-11-09 10:54 pmprotagonist
You have obviously not posted negative comments on a Windows or Linux forum if you can say that with a straight. Mac users are no more defensive than users of any other OS.
I used Windows for many years and now use a Mac for my serious work. I can tell you that I also use a Firewall and AV program on my Mac. Not because there is a real threat at the moment, but because I have been in computers far longer than MS has and I know from experience that there is no such thing as a totally secure OS.
Anyway, to sum it all up, you will find fanatics using every OS out there. And yes, I do get a bit defensive when someone posing as an expert on the subject spouts pure drivel. I am not saying that is the case in this article, just that so many times that it is.
2006-11-10 1:39 amWintermute
Windows users are definitely less religious about their OS of choice. Proportionally (on the net and in real life), windows users are less likely to rant on about how Mac are the second coming of Messiah and how Jobs must be worshiped.
I can tell you from my experience on this forum debunking myths about Macs that get posted here once in a while (Thom likes Apple?) that Mac fanatics are pretty rabid.
For instance, most of them will never agree their precious Mac is really just an overpriced PC which can’t be used for gaming. They constantly go on about how OS X is worth it and bla bla.
I mean, come on! You can build a PC with the exact same performance for a fraction of the price of similar Mac.
Look at the 2700 17″ Macbook Pro. That’s one f–ked up price. You can get a similar 17″ laptop for like $2000.
2006-11-10 8:49 amigeeo
“Look at the 2700 17″ Macbook Pro. That’s one f–ked up price. You can get a similar 17″ laptop for like $2000.”
Just show me where please, cause I haven’t find yet…
2006-11-10 9:06 amalcibiades
If what you are looking for is identical hardware at a lower price, probably you will not find it. Similar is the word.
If what you are looking for is a more cost effective piece of hardware for laptop computing, its easy. When people say Macs are too expensive, they don’t mean too expensive for what they are. They mean, too expensive in the sense of, more than or different from what they need, and that there are cost effective alternatives.
Like a fully loaded Maybach is too expensive. You cannot duplicate it for less from another supplier. But it is more, and different, car than most of us need or want.
It is a characteristic of the cult marketing that what people do nowadays when making Mac price comparisons is, take a product people find too expensive, and then say you cannot buy it anyplace else for less. No, you cannot, and it is still too expensive for what the complainers need.
You cannot prove Macs are cost effective by proving you cannot buy them for less elsewhere. It is irrelevant. What you have to prove is that for a cost effective PC, there is a lower price Mac equivalent. There almost never is.
2006-11-10 12:50 pmtwenex
Windows users are definitely less religious about their OS of choice.
Funny. Ever counted out how many of the Windows people just on OSnews diss every other platform and their users, and can’t give any other reason why people should use Windows other than joining the ranks of propaganda-spreading foulmouthed morons who wouldn’t know how to give evidence if you pushed The Complete Idiot’s Guide To Giving Evidence right up somewhere painful?
It’s enough to make you appreciate the “Linux is not ready for the desktop” crowd.
Proportionally (on the net and in real life), windows users are less likely to rant on about how Mac are the second coming of Messiah and how Jobs must be worshiped.
Well, gee, could that be because they don’t use and/or don’t like Macs? Personally I’m sick to the high heavens of all the two-faced “MS has changed” crap on this forum.
Edited 2006-11-10 12:59
2006-11-10 3:43 amDoc Pain
“[…] but PC users have ways to protect themselves also. “
In principle you’re right, so: Yes, they have, but in most cases they (i) don’t know about, (ii) don’t know how to do it or (iii) simply don’t care. As I can say from my personal experience, Mac users do take care about security issues more than PC users do. The majority of “online crime” (if I may use this term), data saboutage and espionage, spamming etc. is done by or with PC users, at least because of their lack of interest in their own and others’ security. That’s the way reality is.
From the “article” (if you can call it that):
“While Apple users laud their systems as unbreakable pillars of security in a dangerous world, unsusceptible to the malware attacks that make life on Windows so hazardous, the headlines keep coming.
It turned out the miscreants gained entry through a vulnerability in the server’s TikiWiki code, a third party package that has nothing to do with Apple. Still, OS X didn’t somehow, magically, prevent the attack as some users seem to think it’s capable of doing.
He’s been talking to Artie MacStrawman again… It’s getting annoying already!
I think that many just get tired of people making statements about which they don’t understand. Reading ZDNet is something of an exercise in frustration for professionals who work with multiple operating systems daily and take the time to know their strengths and weaknesses. I must admit that I still browse their site, but it’s mostly to get a quick look at headlines and a good laugh.
As for the blogger, the Mac users mentality is similar to a Linux/BSD user’s when someone starts spouting about Windows being more stable and less vulnerable to exploits than a typical Linux distro or PCBSD. Face it, it’s human nature to defend what you believe in.
If someone in the “media” started on about how your primary OS was just damned insecure and you should consider buying Windows (hey, conveniently, we also have security companies adds along the sidebar so you can purchase extra peace of mind for your new glorious OS). If they backed up their statements by pointing to a 3rd party piece of software and a lack of internal process monitoring / securing your servers, well…
I think it’s a common phenomenon: When some people form a very small minority, they often become defensive.
Another example: I’m Roman Catholic and come from a country where 95% of the population are Roman Catholic. When the pope or the vatican were criticized, I often agreed with the critics. I never felt personally attacked and I never thought I would have to defend my religion. After all, everyone was Catholic and therefore I could be sure that noone would consider me crazy for being Catholic.
Then I moved to another country where 95% of the population are protestants. Suddenly I began to defend the pope and felt the need to tell people that it’s not crazy to be Roman Catholic.
While I’m no Mac user (interested in Macs, but I’ve never owned one) , I’m sure it’s the exact same thing with Mac users.
2006-11-09 11:02 pmsiraf72
WOW, so true, as a mac owner, an xbox owner, a volvo owner, and a european/asian Muslim, what a simple but accurate analysis.
Well done. Scary that OS’es (and indeed gaming platforms) touch people on such a basic level. Still, I suspect its better to have flame wars about KDE and Gnome (and the like) rather than real wars about *isms (insert race, nation, capital, religion, etc).
TikiWiki? That’s an open source PHP application. It has nothing, I repeat, NOTHING to do with OS X. Nothing to do with Apple. Or OS X. Or Apple. Frankly, I’m absolutely flabbergasted and balderdashed that someone would claim a vulnerability in a third-party script executed by a Web server proves any kind of security breach as far as the host platform is concerned. It’s ludicrous.
I am so sick of uninformed, uneducated computer pundits talking about issues they don’t understand. The kind of security problems that would prove that Apple’s platform isn’t secure just haven’t materialized. Minor problems that have occasionally come up over the past few years have been quickly dealt with — and they were design mistakes rather than actual “bugs” for the most part. Face it folks, Mac OS X is more secure than Windows XP/NT/2003. The jury’s still out on Vista.
2006-11-09 6:47 pmKroc
I’m a (fairly new) Mac user, but 2003 server is pretty bloody secure, especially for a platform that has tons of viruses and worms to actually test that security. Mac OS is definitely secure, but it’s not yet been bombarded by attacks to /really/ push that security.
2006-11-10 10:38 amsteve_s
OK – so this vulnerability was through TikiWiki…
At my last job we had a Mac OS X Server on which we installed PhpBB. That got hit and a spam-bot installed on the server.
There seems to be many exploits in PHP, and applications that use it. We continued to run PhpBB – I updated it to a slightly more secure version, and also installed mod_security on Apache, adding in a raft of security rules aimed at trapping exploits. I saw many more attempts to exploit PHP-based security flaws, however these all got trapped by mod_security.
On one level to say that this had nothing to do with Apple is true. However it *is* Apple that choose to ship PHP with Mac OS X Server.
designing their network infrastructures. The OS can do much to keep the network from being infiltrated, but it ultimately depends on the competency of one’s staff. The OS can help by making their jobs more efficient and OS X does a good job at that. Complacency is the biggest threat to OS vendors. Linux and OS X aren’t complacent. They are constantly being revised.
Macs are demonstrably safer, for many reasons. Architecture, manner of use, and, yes, simple market share.
While bad things may happen to good Macs, the novice user is more likely to be safer using a Mac than a user using a PC for the same activities.
There’s no lying here.
Compare Brick, New Jersey and St. Louis, Missouri.
Brick was recently rated the “safest city” in America, while St. Louis the most dangerous.
We all know that all sorts of horrors can happen to people whether you’re in the safest city or the worst city, but that doesn’t mean that one statistically isn’t safer than the other.
So, in that light, the Mac is more like Brick, NJ and the PC more like St. Louis, MO. While they are both computers, they are not the same, and the Mac is safer.
Anecdotes of occasional breaches and contrived attacks don’t make it any less safe in the real world.
2006-11-09 7:58 pmsbenitezb
“So, in that light, the Mac is more like Brick, NJ and the PC more like St. Louis, MO. While they are both computers, they are not the same, and the Mac is safer. ”
uhmm, you mean Windows, not PC. My PC is safe, because I don’t use Windows. I don’t need a Mac to be safe.
2006-11-09 8:10 pmchrishaney
I’d rather own a PC and download free avast anti-virus than deal with a silly Mac, that isn’t even targeted by virus writers.
We like to think that we make good decisions. Even though a computer is just an object made by some company, the computer and company we choose says something about us. If you attack the objects I surround myself with, you attack me in a way.
This is even more so when a person makes an unusual choice. First, because unusual choices are usually well thought out, the choice reflects the person even more than usual. Second, the person’s logic in making that choice will be questioned and criticized more by other people. And questioning someone’s logic is often equated with questioning their intelligence. If a person gets their intelligence questioned often enough they will get defensive, to the point where they even defend their choice’s shortcomings.
We don’t always like to admit it, but we all care, to some extent, what others think of us.
A handful of Macs are simply not worth the time for hackers… and never will be… since Macs will never go anywhere.
Mr. Jobs, just close the Mac division and focus on what you do well… ipods.
2006-11-09 6:40 pmTownDrunk
A handful of Macs are simply not worth the time for hackers… and never will be… since Macs will never go anywhere.
Mr. Jobs, just close the Mac division and focus on what you do well… ipods.
Another post from the clueless… jealousness is an ugly emotion.
2006-11-09 6:44 pmchrishaney
“Another post from the clueless… jealousness is an ugly emotion.”
Yawn, yeah.. whatever.
2006-11-09 6:48 pmchrishaney
If Macs were so great, people would buy them.
2006-11-09 6:49 pmThom Holwerda
If Macs were so great, people would buy them.
I rarely give away modpoints, but that’s just a damn good joke. True or not, funny it is!
2006-11-09 7:38 pmtryphcycle
damn! i love religious battles! they are so funny to listen to…. both sides thing they have god on there side… yet both have NO clue!
2006-11-09 7:57 pmchrishaney
“both sides thin(k)g they have god on there side… yet both have NO clue!”
You’re right.. let’s consult with the experts. How many people actually buy these wonderful Macs: According to Macworld (The Mac Product Experts), Mac ejoys a whopping 5%… what a great product!!!
2006-11-09 9:59 pmsuryad
Agreed. But it takes time for people to give up something they have tried for so long and revert to something completely different no matter how hassle free it is. I know Macs are excellent and yet I keep on using Linux and Windows simply because Linux is free, Windows came bundled and I have a lot of apps I use that are Windows only; games for example.
I am intending on investing in a Mac workstation once Leopard is out but despite dumping a ton of money into that system, I dont think I will still have the flexibility or rather the software ecosystem that is present with Windows. I wont be able to buy and play games. I wont be able to ugprade the graphics card unless ATI or Nvidia release something special for Macs.
Then I think about it…do I really need a Mac to be more productive? Not really because I know how to protect my system now after years adn years of using Windows. Simply Windows is getting the job done and i am most comfortable with it. That may change soon but at least for me, not until a lot of software I take for granted in the Windows world is also running in the Mac world.
Also hardwarewise it seems Macs are tied down and there is no room to upgrade…it was true before the switch to Intel but true to a lesser extent now. All these reasons add up to why Macs are great but not a lot of people use it. Same thing with Linux. My theory is Windows allows 95% (some statistic of my own) to get by with what they want to do and thus they dont want to break that mould and go look elsewhere.
2006-11-09 10:15 pmh3rman
Also hardwarewise it seems Macs are tied down and there is no room to upgrade…it was true before the switch to Intel but true to a lesser extent now. All these reasons add up to why Macs are great but not a lot of people use it. Same thing with Linux.
As for supported hardware, the Linux situation is completely different from how it works with Macs. You can install Linux on virtually all machines that run MSW, and all I need (using Linux) to upgrade say a videocard is a screwdriver and some cash.
Reason “few” people use Linux: the OEMs. Matter of time.
Why is everybody obsessed with Apple’s market share? What on earth is wrong with a smaller, but healthy, share?
2006-11-09 10:24 pmrexbinary
People are buying them, they are outpacing the entire industry in growth.
2006-11-10 4:01 amHappyGod
Macs are kind of like the Mercedes of the PC world. They look great, run great, they cost a little more, and you don’t see that many of them.
You still want one though …
2006-11-10 11:13 amAndyJ
“If Macs were so great, people would buy them”
Now that’s a silly statement. People do buy them. Not as many as buy PCs running Windows, sure. Tou might just as well say “If Ferraris were so great, people would buy them” while pointing at how many people drive a Ford or GM car. Come on now, do some thinking. I think most of us know the reason people do or do not buy Macs, and it has NOTHING to do with whether they are good or bad. I don’t own a Mac either, but it is not as a result of not thinking they are good.
2006-11-10 1:07 pmdvhh
better take the best tool for the job.
Of course you can always move your furnitures with a Ferrari but that would be harder than doing it with a van.
2006-11-10 1:36 pmtwenex
If Christianity was so good, Jews and Muslims would convert.
Nothing wrong with Christianity. BIG flaw in the argument, though.
Edited 2006-11-10 13:37
2006-11-10 2:26 pmerak
It’s funny to read how the same people interpret the market share for different products completely different. When it comes to PC/Windows everyone buys them becuase it’s the greater product. But when it comes to the iPod everyone buys them becuse it’s fashion, but really a bad product.
Having the biggest market share doesn’t mean that it’s the best out there. Is that too hard to understand?
2006-11-10 3:20 pmr_a_trip
Another post from the clueless… jealousness is an ugly emotion.
I agree with the cluelessness, but I don’t think that jealousy plays a role here. I think it is more a matter of extreme conformism and the violent reaction to anything that weakens that conformism.
Mac, GNU/Linux, *BSD users are most of the time painted with the same brush by the Windows conformists. The gist of all the lamenting about the existence of different alternatives most of the time is that “we just need to give up, as we are irrelevant in the face of 90% desktop domination”.
A Mac is like a bad TV.. one that only has a few self-proclaimed wonderful channels.
Mac workship exists indeed!!!; I have few neighbors that get together on fridays, go out dressed weirdly and do not come home until saturday morning…all of them are Mac owners!!!
isn’t it scary? :O
In the other hand I would question the viability of a virus on a UNIX system…and no, I do not have a Mac (yet )
A majority of modern Windows malware has very little to do with OS security. Most of it comes bundled with some app that the user wanted and is part of the install process, so having strict file permissions does little. Take Kazaa for example, even if windows popped up a box asking for your password, ala OSX, when installing the app the OS has no way of knowing that the bundled files contain spyware short of a blacklist. As far as the OS is concerned crap like bonzi buddy is just another app that uses the internet.
From what I used of OSX ( I have an old G4 mini) it has nothing capable of telling the difference of a normal app and malware without 3rd party tools.
Even if you count security flaws as a meens of installing malware. If the apps included with the OS are secure all it takes is installing an app with a security flaw, such is what happend in the article.
There is a reason why they call it the “reality distortion field”. Jobs has a uncanny ability to get people to believe almost anything.
In all fairness to the “Mac cult” the defensive attacks are hardly limited to Mac users. You’ll see the same results about Linux,BSD, PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Nvidia, ATI, Gnome, KDE, Coke, Pepsi, I could go on but, well you get the idea
2006-11-09 7:35 pmtryphcycle
“In all fairness to the “Mac cult” the defensive attacks are hardly limited to Mac users. You’ll see the same results about Linux,BSD, PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Nvidia, ATI, Gnome, KDE, Coke, Pepsi, I could go on but, well you get the idea”
you for gotthe MS Windows Cult… and that cult is only slightly larger than all of the above mention commbined!
2006-11-10 11:17 amAndyJ
“”In all fairness to the “Mac cult” the defensive attacks are hardly limited to Mac users. You’ll see the same results about Linux,BSD, PS3, XBOX360, Wii, Nvidia, ATI, Gnome, KDE, Coke, Pepsi, I could go on but, well you get the idea”
you for gotthe MS Windows Cult… and that cult is only slightly larger than all of the above mention commbined!”
Quite: didn’t I just some minutes ago read on another headline on OSNews:
“During a telephone conference with reporters yesterday, outgoing Microsoft co-president Jim Allchin, while touting the new security features of Windows Vista, which was released to manufacturing yesterday, told a reporter that the system’s new lockdown features are so capable and thorough that he was comfortable with his own seven-year-old son using Vista without antivirus software installed.”
None of the manufacturers is clean on this one!
MacOS and the iLife apps is digital life styl.
You turn your mac on, and it runs. After 5 minutes you are in the internet. After 15 minutes you know where your programmes are, and faster a week you have your own Podcast and an Home movie made with iMovie, or an Soundtrack made with GarageBand. Or just even an webpage made with iWeb.
That is lifestyl. Multimedia. Call it how you want. But please stop this OS-wars.
Here’s a response that I’m sure people will disagree with (but that’s good!):
People are defensive about what they love. It’s been said earlier in this thread, as well. But I do think Windows users are having difficulty with always being the butt of security jokes. Windows users know their OS is insecure; rather than demanding a secure OS from Microsoft, they try to prove that everyone else’s OS is insecure so they can feel better about their decision to stick with an insecure OS. While this may be childish, it’s not a stupid way to respond. Windows users are smart, and they know that switching to any Linux/BSD system will provide them with more security, but they don’t want to switch. And since Windows is so insecure, they can only make peace with themselves if they can tell themselves switching really *isn’t* a better decision. Man, I’d hate to be a Windows user.
The other thing this article left out was that it failed to distinguish between a security holes and viruses. This Mac server used 3rd party software that had a security hole that allowed malware on the host machine — yet it could not affect the host machine or propagate from the host machine. Do you think that people would be up in arms if a Windows server hosted a Linux virus? Heck no. They’d tout the fact that Windows couldn’t be infected by the virus! In the end, I think the author fails to understand that, no matter how many security holes are found on OS X, the ability to have viruses and worms propagate among millions of systems is virtually nill. Apple’s OS will have holes. There’s no doubt about that. But it will never be as insecure towards viruses as Windows is. Maybe Vista will be better. I don’t know how much longer the psyche of Windows users can take this.
I use something that is a good product, that I like, and is a big part of my everyday life.
I’m constantly reading an opinion from someone who doesn’t seem to know anything about it, yet wants to tell everyone what’s wrong with it and how much it sucks.
these “mac people are so defensive” statements sound a lot like “black people are so defensive when we say they’re stupid” to me.
people just get tired of hearing others spout hateful nonsense.
2006-11-10 11:59 amcollywolly
Now, now, no need to get so defensive…..
there is no substitution for proper implementation. But OS still has to provide:
– a platfrom that is based on sound security principles
– tools to implement security measures
– settings that by default are in the restrictive mode
OS should not:
– be designed to allow easy execution of code by another process
– allow resource usage by other processes to spiral out of control
– allow for admin password to be blank by default (most of XP have this prob.).
Unix based OS-es have proved themselves to offer a very secure option, while Windows has not. End of story PERIOD
What is possible in a lab, or what happens when some challenged person OPENS up his system, should be of no interest to IT “news” sites unless discussed in a proper context, i.e. “this is what could happen to a system which is opened up to ….”. I feel very strongly about labelling an OS based on ONE instance of questionable (to say the least) vulnerability.
Mac OS X is more secure than Windows XP/NT/2003. The jury’s still out on Vista.
No, Mac OS X almost has no viruses/trojans/adware for it. Windows has so much because it is what most people use. Hackers always aim for the bigger target, if Windows only had like 2% of the market & Apple 98% I am sure Apple would be attacked alot more.
2006-11-09 7:19 pmevangs
Given the amount of people coming up with proof of concept viruses, third party WiFi Hacks, hacking old Airport cards, I think there are enough people with an axe to grind who are busy trying to break Mac OS X.
2006-11-09 7:38 pmKroc
Except that the concept ‘virus’ is no better than an rm /~ -rf script, as it has no way to spread, the WiFi hack was a publicity stunt, and then one was found, it was for old hardware only. Let alone the Mac Mini that was attacked solidly for two days and still didn’t give in, despite being more open than default.
2006-11-09 7:34 pmnetpython
No, Mac OS X almost has no viruses/trojans/adware for it.
here a snippit from rkhunter checking for anomalies:
* Default files and directories
Rootkit ‘55808 Trojan – Variant A’… -e [ OK ]
ADM Worm… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘AjaKit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘aPa Kit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Apache Worm’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Ambient (ark) Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Balaur Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘BeastKit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘beX2’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘BOBKit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘CiNIK Worm (Slapper.B variant)’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Danny-Boy’s Abuse Kit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Devil RootKit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Dica’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Dreams Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Duarawkz’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Flea Linux Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘FreeBSD Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘f–k`it Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘GasKit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Heroin LKM’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘HjC Kit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘ignoKit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘ImperalsS-FBRK’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Irix Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Kitko’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Knark’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Li0n Worm’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Lockit / LJK2’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘MRK’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Ni0 Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘RootKit for SunOS / NSDAP’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Optic Kit (Tux)’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Oz Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Portacelo’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘R3dstorm Toolkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘RH-Sharpe’s rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘RSHA’s rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Sebek LKM-e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Scalper Worm’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Shutdown’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘SHV4’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘SHV5’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Sin Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Slapper’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Sneakin Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Suckit Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘SunOS Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Superkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘TBD (Telnet BackDoor)’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘TeLeKiT’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘T0rn Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Trojanit Kit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Tuxtendo’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘URK’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘VcKit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘Volc Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘X-Org SunOS Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Rootkit ‘zaRwT.KiT Rootkit’… -e [ OK ]
Now OSX is on Intel it’s not that hard to port any rootkit to OSX as well.
Any OS has flaws more or less.Do you honestly think the safari browser has no 0day vulnerabilities which give root access?Someone could have hidden a few lines here on the osnews.com website without anyone knowing it.That exploit some browsers.How would you know?
If you where a bit more secure you would disable X altogether,patch the kernel with PAX,grsecurity,use some command line web broser such as links in a chrooted environment.Grsecurity stresses the fact that’s it’s a no brainer to break out of a chroot so offers extra measures.
And maybe then you can be above a reasonable amount of doubt secure.
Surely this isn’t an viable option for the average desktop user.For any desktop there are lots of attack vectors.
MS has untill recently (SP2) made a complete mess and hasn’t really done anything beyond offering hotfixes.
The odd thing is on my mac just in the last few days had some wierd problems. My programs wouldn’t open when I would double-click my icons or on the desktop icon or on the dock.
Has anyone dealt with that on the Mac OS X?
I couldn’t solve the probelm. So I booted my mac mini G4 hitting C, because it wouldn’t load any other way. Loaded Tiger cd and re-loaded OS X again. So far it’s working fine, but now I have to re-load all my software.
2006-11-09 10:09 pmAnim8me2
It sounds like you had a problem with permissions. Using Disk Utility and fixing permissions would have cleared it up.
2006-11-10 12:58 amsp29
The human mind likes to identify with things, situations, people, etc. So when you insult something that the human mind is identified with, the mind takes it personally. It is as if you are attacking or insulting that person directly, says the mind of the one offended.
So what does the mind do? It tries to defend itself by either attacking back, defending, or justifying it’s position (one of many possible mental positions).
Eckhart Tolle has a really good book called ‘The Power of Now’ which goes into great depth into the mechanics of this egoic identification process. I suggest you read it. Very enlightening book.
Look at someone with a nice car or a big fancy house. They become identified with it. If you compliment the car or the house, they feel as if you complimented them too. They equate, in their mind, their sense of self with the object. This is called Object Consciousness, as opposed to Space Consciousness (the space in which things exist).
Just turn on the TV and look at all the object consciousness we have today. We are a materialistic society. It seems perfectly normal and okay on the surface. Look deeper into it and you’ll find much suffering.
Isn’t it a bit crazy to live in a world where you are often either attacking or defending mental positions? We just had elections here too. Doesn’t it get old? Well not for some people, they love it. They seem to feed off the feeling of opposition. Their sense of self is enhanced by creating a divide between ‘us’ and ‘them’. This again is the ego at work. Check out the book. There are some chapter excerpts on the Internet too. Not every chapter is about egoic identification. Here is a small excerpt (which is legal to do here under copyright law known as ‘limited rights usage’):
“The philosopher Descartes believed that he had found the most fundamental truth when he made his famous statement: “I think, therefore I am.” He had, in fact, given expression to the most basic error: to equate thinking with Being and identity with thinking. The compulsive thinker, which means almost everyone, lives in a state of apparent separateness, in an insanely complex world of continuous problems and conflict, a world that reflects the ever-increasing fragmentation of the mind.”
2006-11-09 7:50 pmnetpython
Nice one,though one question.
According to mr Eckhart Tolle only the present counts.
So where fits experience into the equation?
2006-11-09 7:55 pmPowerMacX
“Isn’t it a bit crazy to live in a world where you are often either attacking or defending mental positions?”
You mean “ideas”, “views”, etc?
Yeah, I’d rather live in a world of apathy. </sarcasm>
2006-11-09 8:05 pmchrishaney
in other words.. I bought a Mac to be cool.. now I have no choice except to defend it, cause I’m not cool without it.
Edited 2006-11-09 20:06
2006-11-09 9:48 pmjjmckay
“in other words.. I bought a Mac to be cool.. now I have no choice except to defend it, cause I’m not cool without it.”
Simplisticly put, yes. Or maybe they bought the Mac to do real work but still identify with it. It’s still possible to use one and not identify with it.
I remember years ago I identified with my Atari 8 bit computer. Then I bought an Amiga (my ego put up quite a struggle to switch to Commodore). I identified with the Amiga but not quite as much. Then I bought a PC in 1992 and pretty much to this day I’ve payed attention enough to not get lost in the identification process. But I can still enjoy the machine.
2006-11-13 6:54 amsyndetic
I like your way of thinking. It’s only once in a several-year period when I see someone approach the world with this kind of thinking.
You’re 100% correct, it has to do with identification. What we identify with can change from moment to moment, and our minds assume the form of that with which we identify, much like chameleons. The problem is that the identification is so strong that any attempt — whether from the inside (ourselves) or the outside (another) — to diminish either the identification bond itself or the thing with which one is identifying results in resistance. This is inertia at work. Yes, the “us versus them” game feeds on itself; it’s what the mind likes to do. To stop it one needs to retrain the program that causes this identification in the first place, otherwise the mind will just fixate on something else.
But that’s not so easy. It takes a lot of mental discipline and clarity and watchfulness.
To the person who wrote “Yeah, I’d rather live in a world of apathy”: It’s not about apathy, although it may seem like that. It’s more like standing inside the eye of a storm and thus not getting whisked away.
Anyway, I thank you very much for your addition. No one else seemed to fully understand what you were getting at, but that’s okay. I wish you lots of luck in your journey, as I’m on the same path, myself. Take care.
Edited 2006-11-13 07:02
I’m a Mac user, have been for 19 yrs, and at times maybe a little to serious about that, but come on, zealots and extremist exist in every OS market. Win 2k and 2k3 are very good server OS’s and so is Linux. OS X and Linux are very good desktop OS’s…they all have their strong points. Everybody just needs to stop being to fanatical.
Are we? Of course every community has its zealots. But I know countless Mac users who talk happily about Linux and Windows in a very constructive way, and I am one of them. Having used Linux much before OS X, you’ll never hear me saying: “I have discovered how good OS X is, thus Linux is inferior” Both have their pros and cons.
When it comes to Windows, that is another matter. With the best protection available, it is impossible to use it for a few days without collecting a large amount of malware. Besides OS X is fast, responsive… Windows is just the opposite.
2006-11-09 8:19 pmchrishaney
“With the best protection available, it is impossible to use it for a few days without collecting a large amount of malware.”
Yeah, right… I’ve never had a virus. I’ve been a PC user since 95. What’s impossible is your attitude.
2006-11-09 8:34 pmShkaba
Your: “Yeah, right… I’ve never had a virus” in response to:”… collecting a large amount of malware.”
does not apply, because malware != virus
What really is impossible is your posting a bunch of one liners with no substance what so ever.
2006-11-09 8:43 pmchrishaney
“posting a bunch of one liners with no substance what so ever. does not apply, because malware != virus ”
Let’s fight all day…
Wikipedia: “Many normal computer users are however still unfamiliar with the term, and most never use it. Instead, “(computer) virus” is used in common parlance and often in the general media to describe all kinds of malware.” – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malware
Edited 2006-11-09 20:44
2006-11-09 8:54 pmShkaba
hey “oneliner” … from the page you are refering to :
“Software is considered malware based on the perceived intent of the creator rather than any particular features. It includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, adware, and other malicious and unwanted software”
Why don’t you take a break and learn to post more then one line.
2006-11-09 9:09 pmchrishaney
“Why don’t you take a break and learn to post more then one line.”
Nah.. how about this one…
Changing from PC to Mac is ‘change’. People don’t like change.
2006-11-09 9:31 pmShkaba
This time you actually have a point. People don’t like change! Couldn’t agree with you more.
2006-11-09 8:37 pmbrewmastre
I’m not really a fan of Windows but on the other hand I have only had one virus on my own personal computer, and that was my own fault (downloaded something stupid from Limewire), but other than that I have never had a virus, trojan, or worm just miracle itself onto my PC. It’s at least nice to know that I don’t have to be as cautious on my Mac.
2006-11-09 11:18 pmprotagonist
Actually, he never specifically mentioned a virus. I use Windows XP pro and have never had a virus on other Windows versions either. I have removed malware form all versions of Windows, however.
I remove malware form the XP Pro system on a regular basis, but then I guess it is all in how you define Malware. I regularly clean systems for people who only browse the internet and do mail. They do not visit bad sites nor are they doing anything that should be harmful to their systems. Spyware checkers will turn up literally hundreds of entries on their system after a few months of use.
It would probably have been more correct if he had stated that it is impossible for the typical Windows user to avoid collecting huge amounts of malware. My system stays clean because I know how to keep it that way. The average user has no idea how to go about that task.
OK – let’s be honest – the Mac OS is a fairly robust platform and is very stable and secure. The only variable that would make the system more vulernable would be the unstable variable of human interaction.
By default, a Windows Server placed on the Internet with no Firewall/Anti-Virus is no comparison to a Mac OS X Server with the same non-protection. The Windows server will be owned in about 20-40 seconds, whereas the Mac OS server will take a bit more cracking to break into.
I have the luxury of being a contractor who manages clients with both types of systems (and I prefer Apple – anyday). The only APPLE issue I have ever had with a server be compromised is because the contractor/admin before me left a generic account on the system with a generic password and someone gained access to the FTP daemon and uploaded some crap to the website.
Human error caused this OWNAGE as did the installation of PHP Twiki in the above mentioned article.
I am sure there are tens of thousands more Windows servers out there than Macs – so it is difficult to make a true correlation between the ownage statistics between the two camps. But – pound for pound – the XServe is a better platform with it’s UNIX roots and power (now especially with the Core Xeons).
I am not bashing MS – I like MS also – I just prefer the Apple platform right now… maybe tomorrow it will be LINUX or Solaris…
2006-11-09 10:43 pmPlatformAgnostic
I don’t know since I’m not a server admin, but how does Win2k3 fare when put out on the web in a default web-server config? I got the impression that it has also been pretty robust thusfar.
2006-11-10 12:01 amMacGod
I would tend to believe that in most cases the W2K3 (especially the W2K3r2 Server OS) is much more secure out of the box.
I would also go so far as to say that the newer security enhancements that are built into VISTA will definately go a longer way into making the OS more secure for the average user.
Any OS that garners favor and market share is a target for maliciousness – if it wasn’t Windows, it would be the Mac OS… if it wasn’t Mac OS or Windows, it would be LINUX… I need to stress that NO OS IS BULLETPROOF (there are quite a few that come close – and no – I don’t consider Mac OS X to be one of them).
Any Cult prevents progress.
As soon as you start thinking i am greatest person/system/technique/society in the world, your usefulness to the world is limited. Yes I live in iron fort home with topmost security that even mosquito can’t enter without my permission. Fine, but can you interact with the real world and enjoy, free breez, bird songs etc.?
If Mac/linux/BSD are so secure, why can’t people adopt more secured system and raise their marketshare from 10% to 50%. Again ordinary people don’t like to join cult and limit their circle. They are happy with highly interactive MS windows.
Has anyone heard of MS windows cult??
Edited 2006-11-09 20:43
2006-11-09 8:55 pmbrewmastre
“If Mac/linux/BSD are so secure, why can’t people adopt more secured system and raise their marketshare from 10% to 50%. Again ordinary people don’t like to join cult and limit their circle. They are happy with highly interactive MS windows.”
Thats the problem with non-Mac/Linux/*BSD users thinking, all of these companies and Open source groups are constantly improving on their OS’s, trying to make them more reliable, user friendly, and even play nice with Windows boxes, but nobody notices that. Instead they hear people like rakamaka trash talking those systems and they get scared, so they go out and buy that $299 Dell with XP Home on it and then just suffer along
Since being bought by C|Net, ZDNet have fallen into name calling to increase readership.
It’s obvious that no operating system is without flaws and there are possibilities for attack with Mac OS X itself but they need to be researched. Windows flaws are numerous and well-researched already. It’s sad that an attack on a third party application that happens to run on an operating system is displayed as proof that the operating system is broken, though.
Mac fanatics are just as bad as Windows fanatics–they don’t see the truth for what it is. They’re even angry at Apple when they don’t design the machine with just the right features or a software update doesn’t do exactly what they want.
Most of us realise that these are tools, not religious icons and we should leave it at that.
Well, wouldn’t you be techy if there was a constant FUD storm attempting to rain all over what is demonstrably (by several objective standards) a superior OS?
Wouldn’t you be if, when you’re trying convince your husband that his best choice for a new business computer is an iMac but his best friend says not to get one because there’s “No Office for Mac OS” (and doesn’t belive you until you stick the frikkin Office for OS X box under his nose), or that once he buys XP all he has to to is buy [name of 3rd party AV program] and [name of 3rd party firewall]. (Thank God my DH saw sweet reason and went with the iMac.)
Wouldn’t you be if you saw article after article headline about how “insecure” Macs are, but can find very few incidents of any substance.
Wouldn’t you be if you were constantly told/had it strongly implied that you used a “dumbed down” computer because your OS has a UI designed to be quickly learned. (Allowing you to quickly become producive, as opposed to having to spend quite a bit of time learning how to use the computer before you can get anything but really basic tasks accomplished.)
Wouldn’t you be if you were told that your computer is stupid because it doesn’t have the latest/greatest in games?
Wouldn’t you be if the fact that OS X is crap for certain kinds of database tasks is held up as some sort of proof that the WHOLE OS is useless. (Because, databases, the ONLY possible use for a server, right?)
Wouldn’t you be if you suggested that somebody try a Mac only to be told that, no, they want a “real” computer, not a “girly one for faggots”. (And then there were the fundamentalist Christians I once met, who were convinced that the rainbow stripe apple logo was proof that Apple was in league with the homosexual agenda and they did not want the devil’s computer in their house, turning their children gay. Sad to say, I am not kidding.)
It’s a 24/7 FUD and bald faced lies storm and sometimes it makes even the non Maclots really, really frikkin cranky.
PS — Some of these “proofs” that OS X is bad also apply to Linux, and helps explain a certain amount of crankyness from non Linuxlots.
2006-11-09 9:17 pmnetpython
(Because, databases, the ONLY possible use for a server, right?)
Yes it’s not the only role but an important one don’t you agree? Still i think OSX is a very good basis for an artist station ( broader context) and a fine overall OS.
Just the server role isn’t that obvious (yet).
2006-11-10 12:05 amkadymae
Yes it’s not the only role but an important one don’t you agree?
I agree that it’s an important role.
But it’s not the only one.
It’s the same thing when somebody says why would you buy a Mac, you can’t play [name of video game] on it? As if that’s the ONLY use for a computer. Y’know?
Edited 2006-11-10 00:08
2006-11-10 7:49 amcerbie
Is there an OS that doesn’t get similar criticisms?
Beyond that, you have important matters of perspective. Your UI designed to be quickly learned is my dumbed down GUI. Finder doesn’t even have an address bar, Samba is a pain (in that any decent Linux distro offers GUI options not found in OS X that actually make sharing easy), the Dock sucks (I can’t not mention that w/ OS X ), it feels inferior to Linux once you eat through the RAM, and so on and so forth.
Does all of that man it’s crap? Only if you accept it as true without using it, or mentioning counters, like Expose (no copy works as sweetly as the real thing). OS X is a fine OS, but many would take a differently written version of the above paragraph to mean it is not.
It’s a 24/7 FUD and bald faced lies storm and sometimes it makes even the non Maclots really, really frikkin cranky.
That’ll happen with anything. Just walk (or close tab) on by, knowing they will have a much poorer actual experience than you, there’s no reason you should care about their reactionary opinions, and you’ll probably feed their hate/attention craving by striking back anyway.
What bugs me as a Mac user:
The quality of Windows and OSX is opposite proportional to their marketshare.
Indeed we are living in a sad world.
2006-11-10 1:25 amronaldst
What bugs me as a human being:<
People, like mac zealots, take their junk too seriously.
And yes I agree, we are living in a sad world.
But I find it rather ironic that a commentary about flaming, defensiveness, and attacks from Mac users quickly degenerates into more of the same (sprinkled with a few anti comments from what appears to be a single person).
As a person who owns and uses both a Windows PC and a Mac Mini, I’ve got to say that the Operating systems seem pretty similar to me, especially as it is indeed pretty easy to protect Windows XP against malware. I get the impression that some of the commentators here have not used Windows XP very much.
The ZDNET article is highly exaggerating things, but they are not saying that Windows XP is a safer platform. Also, given that the author uses a Mac himself, I think it rather bad to accuse him of FUD or being a Windows cultist.
2006-11-09 10:07 pmShkaba
I am sorry to “flame” you but I have to take issue with:
“specially as it is indeed pretty easy to protect Windows XP against malware”
While it is easy for me to secure all XP boxes at work, it does require more effort and money to do so as opposed to secure any nix based box. The issue I have (as do most of IT profesionals) MS products are not secure out of the box, meaning you HAVE to put an aditional effort and money to secure it. While this is not a big deal at the office (where it is somebody elses responsibility), most home users don’t bother with that. And that my dear friend has led to thousands of “zombies” on the net. For years now, IT workers have pointed this fundamental flaw (along with few other issues) to MS just to have it dealt with in this upcoming release of Vista (if it was addressed remains to be seen yet).
I really hope that you don’t percieve this as “flaming” as it really isn’t my intention to do so.
2006-11-10 2:25 amJohnQMetro
I guess my comment was mainly in reference to the ‘With the best protection available, it is impossible to use it for a few days without collecting a large amount of malware.’
My experience, as a home user, is that with a few pieces of free software, malware becomes much less of a problem (for me, non-existant). Your mileage may vary, but once installed, such programs as Spy-Bot S&D and AVG antivirus provide good, constant protection against malware. Once installed properly, they update automatically. A router is also good, no-hassles protection. I supposed setting Windows Updates to automatic is also a good precaution.
When I first installed SpyBot S&D, it found 53 malware entries. Since they introduced Immunization, I’ve only seen malware on computers belonging to others. I do run checks and sweeps, and even bought some additional software, but nothing has been seen.
Perhaps this protection is not total, and not instant, but I find it pretty easy. The malware problem comes from people not wanting to bother or learn.
…. ZDNet Australia are always the only one to have problems like that with Mac OS X.
just search for Apple on their site:
Attack code out for new Apple Wi-Fi flaw
Some Mac users in denial on security?
Torvalds takes bite of Mac mini
Exploit released for Mac OS X flaw
Apple: Macs vulnerable to Wi-Fi hijacks
BTW, it is very funny to see how Thom likes to publish each time their troll-articles about Apple to make more money with publicity …
I started reading on OSNEWS about 3 years ago on a daily basis, running from lame articles like this from ZDNet.
I do have a Mac now, but I have used CPM, DOS, Windows (all flavors since 3.1 until XP), OS/2, Linux and Unix for different reasons, either work or fun, so I always considered myself a Power User. No OS is perfect, there are safer than others out of the box, but for any system you will always need (and find) advice on security and tunning.
All OS had goods and bads, but for me now my OSX just works, and this nonsense bashing seems to me the result of today’s Apple popularity.
You can’t answer the question “Why are you so defensive?” without sounding more defensive.
2006-11-10 7:52 amcerbie
Don’t forget the problem of wife-beating in there, too.
Rush Limbaugh used a Mac. (flamebait)
2006-11-10 7:53 amcerbie
So it’s just faking being secure and easy to use to raise its market share?
2006-11-10 1:46 pmtwenex
I would normally join in the Mac user bashing but instead will keep my attacks brief and random. Enjoy and let the flame wars begin!
Mac users get attacked on the price paid for their computers.
Windows users get attacked on the issue of security.
*nix users get attacked on the issue of ease of use.
Alternative OS users get attacked for using a niche OS.
All users are defensive of their OS choice.
Defensive? WHO THE HELL ARE YOU CALLING DEFENSIVE? Are you some Microsoft shill?
The question isn’t so much why are they so defensive, the question is, how to account for a very curious psychological profile on the discussion sites. I don’t think its the bulk of Mac users who just get on with life without thinking about it too much. But on the boards, you find a very curious and emotional set of attitudes: its a sense of aggrieved and victimized superiority as far as the computer platform goes, and a sense of fanatical devotion to the company whatever it does.
The easiest place to see it is that conduct by Apple is fiercely defended which, by other companies, would be roundly condemned. For instance: the iPod/iTunes locking. The locking of the OS to the branded hardware. Not debating here the merits of these things, just pointing out that the same people who applaud and defend them from Apple will cheerfully condemn analogous conduct from Dell or MS. The other place you can see the company devotion is whenever a news item appears suggesting the iPod is about to encounter serious competition. It provokes a chorus of abuse and ridicule. Not, notice, a couple of replies analysing the reasons why not.
So why do we find this? I think a good part of the explanation is Apple marketing. Apple has deliberately positioned itself in a way that encourages this minority of fanaticism. Its a tradition that goes back to the 1984 commercial, and continued with the recent series. There is a deliberate effort to portray Apple buyers as different from some supposedly inferior other kinds of people. You see it partly in this thread, where they are said to be ‘creative people’ of various sorts. There’s an implicit class snobbery in it too. And finally, there has been a history of untrue claims which the faithful are or feel required to defend – for example, the PPC performance claims, the hardware quality claims, the OSX-as-open claims.
Bottom line: the Apple people do feel attacked, because they are. But they are attacked in large part by people irritated by the constant parroting of a marketing message they find offensive. This is why people are right to detect elements of the cult about Apple. The usual way of marketing a cult, and keeping followers in it, is to portray it as a persecuted minority with a monopoly on truth, to preach in a way that provokes persecution, and then to cite this persecution as evidence of the truth of your claims. The insistance that any criticism however slight is a mortal insult is an effective element in this strategy.
The question for ex-Mac users like me was: whether this marketing strategy had become so much a part of the company that it had invaded product development to the detriment of the platform. Your mileage may vary.
For me, the answer was yes.
2006-11-10 1:53 pmtwenex
Whilst a lot of your criticisms about Macs and Mac fans and the company ring true, you are forgetting that the FUDspreading indulged in by the company is actually a lot less extreme than it used to be.
When the Mac was introduced, Jobs posed the question (alluding to IBM) “Was George Orwell right about 1984?!” But you don’t see iPod adds claiming that if you don’t use an iPod you could be liable to a lawsuit (unlike a certain other company I could mention).
And despite the fact that Microsoft arguably have more control over the personal computing market now than either they or IBM ever did in those days, Jobs also (to the oppprobrium of many Mac fans) declared the war with MS over quite some time ago. The war with Intel is *undeniably* over!
…well, he goes on to blow his entire thesis by admitting that it was a 3rd party application that was vulnerable, and then trying to tie it to inherent vulnerability of OSX which is assinine. i.e. any OS running that app would likely be vulnerable to an identical attack.
Still, OSX is likely no less vulnerable than any other UNIX based machines, which are not very often subject to attack, and usually when they are, it is, again, a 3rd party app that is at fault. Very rarely is a system level bug at fault, entirely unlike Windows…
I have noticed also that a lot of Mac users turn quite fanatically about their hard and software. Myself I must say I lean towards that line as well. I got my first mac a few years back and since then sold all the PC’s except 1, the linux server. I bought macs instead. The price thing is really not as bad as people claim it to be especially for what you get. A lot of people say : ” well you don’t NEED all this stuff. That is actually true, but once you have it, you actually use it. Why? because OS X allows you easily to use it. My best example here is Bluetooth. My father bought an iBook a year ago, never even heard of Bluetooth before, even though his phone has it. Last month he bought a Macbook and a new phone, he called me up and said: “I just transfered all my contacts etc. This Macbook is much faster”. I was a bit dumbfounded since he not technically savvy and he explained, “I just used bluetooth”… So my best guess is that when Mac fanatics get protective about their Macs and the software, it is because they cherish the way the whole user experience works for them (for some people it doesn’t but the great majority it does). And what happens when you attack someone’s favorite toy? they get defensive. This could be a reason. Personally I love the overall experience I get from using my Mac and that’s all that matters to me, I don’t want to update drivers and constantly fix and update anti-everything and definitely not give tech support to my family who lives half the world away. So, Macs it is…
… is people generally have their head in the sand over the shortcomings of their OS of choice – or worse never having USED anything else they don’t even know what they are missing and/or talking about.
You also have that people generally make statements about ALL the platforms that are years out of date – I catch myself in that one all the time. ALL the operating systems are moving targets, you hear statements about Windows that haven’t been true since the days of Win 9x, People making statements about linux that haven’t been true since the 2.2 kernel was mainstream, and comments about the Mac that haven’t been true since System 9.
Though for me, while I can relate to the linux cultishness a bit – I just “don’t get” the whole apple thing. YES, I use OSX (for browser compatability testing) it is NOT an operating system in which I could comfortably get real work done… and the hardware – I used to work repairing apple’s and the hardware has the same technical merits as the mid 90’s Packard Bells. They’re rinky proprietary junk that are little more than overpriced toasters. WHENEVER I hear praise heaped on apple hardware I cannot understand WHAT THE **** PEOPLE ARE TALKING ABOUT as I’ve NEVER been impressed with their hardware. The only way it could POSSIBLY be considered ‘quality’ is to compare their stuff to one of the $359 bargain basement Dell’s. (which at least those come with a DISPLAY, unlike that alleged ‘bargain’ mac mini)
There is an… Ikea-like nature to Apple products. Take some birch veneer, slap it atop particle board, slap the Ikea logo on and you can charge double what Wal*mart does for the same product.
For those not in the know …. “IKEA is a fully immersive, 3D environmental adventure that allows you to role-play the character of someone who gives a s**t about home furnishings. In traversing IKEA, you will experience a meticulously detailed alternate reality filled with garish colors, clear-lacquered birch veneer, and a host of NON-PLAYER CHARACTERS (NPCs) with the glazed looks of the recently anesthetized.” (thanks to Richard Hunter over on the Parallels forums for that tidbit)
In other words, the same people who think Saab and Renault make quality automobiles.
Of course, their current commercials with the ‘more fun’ bull is outright annoying – and I would think would antagonize more people than it would attract… The number of people who’ve never used a computer has dwindled, yet that seems to be the market they are aiming for… I still keep waiting for the “PC Guy’s” kid to walk in the room “Hey pops, I got this”, kick the Mac guy in the nuts, and say “Games, BITCH!”
More fun/more hip my ass.
It is like Mac users are in a cult, trust me I have heard some are freaky about Macs. It is great they have a OS without another virus or threat discovery evry day, but PC users have ways to protect themselves also.
Edited 2006-11-09 18:03