Thursday, August 27, 2009

CNET hits an all time low: Anti-Mac Security FUD

I just read:

Snow Leopard could level security playing field

My response was:
This is the most shameful article I've ever read at CNET. I've been studying and writing about Mac security since 2005. All I can say is:

Elinor: YOU'RE FIRED ! ! !

For those interested in reality:

The anti-Mac security FUD-fest was started in August 2005 by Symantec. They were attempting to sell their worst-in-class anti-malware program Norton Anti-virus to Mac users who were smart enough not to buy it. MacAfee then joined in the FUD, but reversed course when their CEO pronounced that the best way to secure your computer was to Get A Mac.

After that point most FUD has come from hackers who have done their best to whip up a frenzy surrounding flaws they found in Mac related software, such as QuickTime, WebKit and Safari. But it is fair to say that they helped track down and patch several flaws in Mac OS X as well.

Meanwhile, the only malware that has shown up for Mac are Trojan horses, currently 4 types of 17 varieties. Trojans require user failure, not computer failure, in order to be installed and do damage.

In spite of the FUD-fest, the hype-mongers have been effective in forcing Apple to get serious about security, which previously they were not. So folks like myself actually thank Dr. Charlie Miller and friends for their help making Mac OS X even more secure than it already was. I have Charlie's book and I look forward to his continued useful work, and even his FUD foisting.

It's worth noting that only highly ignorant people still tell the tale known as 'security by obscurity'. It is easily disproven by anyone who can perform math, i.e. any 4th grader.

If you'd like to read Mac security facts and suitably laugh at the FUD, you might find my personal commentary and coverage of interest:

:-Derek Currie

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