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heh heh, Apple gets bitten

Why does it please me so to hear about this? Oh, I know: Apple has been touting itself as superior (and charging prices to go with that) to the PC for so long. I guess one shouldn't brag so much, eh? Heh. So the warning:

Apple has released updates covering multiple vulnerabilities of varying severity. Affected Systems:
. Apple Mac OS X version 10.3.x and 10.4.x
. Apple Mac OS X Server version 10.3.x and 10.4.x

"Both PowerPC and Intel-based Apple systems are affected... the most serious of these vulnerabilities allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary code. Attackers may take advantage of the less-serious vulnerabilities to bypass security restrictions or cause a denial of service."

Anyhow, if you're a Mac user, be sure to download the fixes. I'd expect more, too, as long as Mac keeps running those irritating "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" ads. I'm sure that hackers see that as a challenge.

EDIT: Turns out people really love their Macs. Just wanted to let everyone know that I don't hate Macs. I think they're just as viable as any other computer. I just hate those stoopid "I'm a Mac and I'm a PC" ads.



( 24 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 20th, 2007 09:13 pm (UTC)
Made me giggle, too.
Thank you, Chris.
Mar. 20th, 2007 09:48 pm (UTC)
Apple has been touting itself as superior (and charging prices to go with that) to the PC for so long.

And look how long it took for Apple to have to make an announcement like this. Years, I think. Me, I'll stick with my Apple.
Mar. 20th, 2007 09:58 pm (UTC)
Hee hee, I was hoping someone would take the bait! As it turns out, the most common OS viruses over the past few years have been written for the Mac. I think people just feel that Macs are safer because that's the commonly held belief. They're no safer, it's just that hackers haven't wanted to spend as much time hacking them: They want the biggest bang for the buck, and many more PCs live in the cybersphere than Macs.

That's why I suspect Macs new ad campaign is only going to give them headaches along these lines.
Mar. 21st, 2007 05:07 pm (UTC)
Care to back that up with some credible links?

My research indicates that there has never been a Mac OSX virus in the wild. Never. There have been a few "proof of concept" viruses that were widely publicized by the companies that make virus protection software, but really dumb users would have had to enter their name and password to install them.

By the end of 2005, there were 114,000 known viruses for PCs. You are coming to a sad realization, cancel or allow?

There were tons of OS9 viruses, and fewer people used OS9 than use OSX now. If OSX simply used "security by obscurity," then surely OS9 would have had fewer viruses.

That isn't to say that OSX is immune from viruses, and that doesn't mean that badware writers don't get more bang for their buck for targeting Windows. These days, phishing and identity theft are bigger concerns, and the OS won't prevent those.

However, I wouldn't go crowing about a few vulnerabilities that are patched and updated without ever having been exploited.
Mar. 21st, 2007 05:40 pm (UTC)
Sorry, I should get more specific. The "proof of concept" malwares were worms and trojans, not viruses.
Mar. 21st, 2007 10:11 pm (UTC)
Nah. They make announcements like this all the time. They're announcing a vulnerability they found and patched. They're not announcing anything that has been exploited. Regular software update. Mine's been patched for a week.
Mar. 20th, 2007 10:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the head's up, Chris.
Mar. 20th, 2007 11:40 pm (UTC)
Those commercials piss me the hell off. Damn pretentious apple users.

OS X, based on open source software, is subject to the same security updates that I have to very often apply as a sysadmin for unix systems.

Still, I love my OS X laptop far better than any Windows machine that I have used in the past. I love it only slightly less than my Unix desktops that I've used in the past. Sometimes their attempts to be simple pisses me off when I can't do what I want to do. As the quote says, "UNIX was not designed to stop its users from doing stupid things, as that would also stop them from doing clever things." – Doug Gwyn

Apple tries to break that philosophy for dumbasses like the guy in the Apple commercials. At least, I still have my trusty terminal. And Parallels.

That's my thoughts on it all.

And we don't have to be sure to download the fixes. The Software Update (much like Windows update) will push it out.

Mar. 20th, 2007 11:45 pm (UTC)
And we don't have to be sure to download the fixes. The Software Update (much like Windows update) will push it out.

- Ah, I bet that's why Mac users have been thinking they're safe for so long: They tend not to notice the background stuff.
Mar. 21st, 2007 02:35 am (UTC)
Oh no. You know that it does it. You even have to enter a password for it to run with the privileges needed to install the update.

Mar. 27th, 2007 06:47 am (UTC)
I hear you. Though I love my Mac, and as much as I wanted Apple to go for Microsoft's throat in advertising since Windows 95, the Mac vs. PC ads just make the Mac look smugly irritating, and the Windows guy ineptly charming.
Mar. 21st, 2007 02:49 am (UTC)
Um... yeah.

Was going to say something about 6.5 years, 2 viruses, shoddy beige windows boxes, blue-screens-of-death, thousands upon thousands of viruses, etc....

But, it doesn't matter. I mean, people with y'all's attitude had similar laughs at an automobile with a flat tire as they went past in their horse and buggy.
Mar. 21st, 2007 03:32 am (UTC)
Heh heh, I hear you. But let it be known that I have never - never - gotten a virus on one of my PCs. So that's 2 over 6.5 years for your Macs versus 0 over 20 years for my PCs (holy schmoly, I'm old).

Actually, my first computer was an Atari 400. It had an external tape drive and something like 16k of memory. That one never got a virus, either. *g*
Mar. 21st, 2007 09:43 am (UTC)
Well, if we're going to use personal experience...

I've been an Apple user since the 80's and my Apple IIe. No viruses ever. Wish I could say that about the Windows machines I've owned. :(
Mar. 21st, 2007 04:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, I thought by "6.5 years, 2 viruses" you were listing your own viruses. Dude, hackers have written way more than that for Mac; over the past few years, more have gone out for them than for PCs!

It's funny to see people all religious about their computers. *g*
Mar. 21st, 2007 05:39 pm (UTC)
Again - where's the links to back up this statement? I don't see evidence for this anywhere.
Mar. 21st, 2007 06:08 pm (UTC)
Religious? Hey, whatever makes you feel better about your PC.

As for all these Mac viruses and malware? Don't know where you're getting your info, but it doesn't make it to Google News. In fact, there's an article you find there today about the lack of malware for Mac. And I've never seen anything about an actual Mac OS X virus in the "wild."
Mar. 21st, 2007 10:24 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I didn't find any news of this doom and gloom of giant proportions, either. I did find statements like this:

Today we know of over 236,000 malicious malware items. These are mostly meant for the MS-Windows environment. Only about 700 are meant for the various Unix/Linux distributions. Current known Mac OSX malware count is even less with 7, so pretty much non-existent at the moment.

...Nevertheless it is clear that OSX malware is not taking off yet. With an estimated OSX marketshare of about 5 % on the desktop systems one would expect to see more malware for OSX.

And that's straight from McAfee.
Mar. 22nd, 2007 12:42 am (UTC)
Yeah, as long as Mac stays sort of irrelevant *g* it's safe... those "I'm a Mac / I'm a PC" ads are certainly going to get hacker attention though....
Mar. 22nd, 2007 03:16 am (UTC)
Mac users have been hearing this for seven years now, you know. If anything, the constant wolf-crying is what causes the complacency.

I'm interested in seeing if Vista evens out the equation any, since it theoretically won't be as easy to hack.

That's the real secret as to why people aren't targeting macs - it's not as big of a payoff in terms of damage, and it's much harder to do. Scriptkiddies can put together badware for XP in their sleep.
Mar. 22nd, 2007 06:07 am (UTC)
Hey, I see your fnords! Hee hee.

Seriously, though, I don't really care about this whole thing. When I worked for The Great Satan, I felt like I couldn't say anything bad about Macs because people would just say, "Well of course he thinks that; he's on the MS payroll." I was never against buying a Mac: I looked into it, and Kij had one for many years; we only didn't replace it due to cost and my being able to fix a PC but not a Mac. For a long time, a PC just made more sense financially, because I could get software cheap and the boxes are way cheaper and simpler to upgrade; and keeping PCs after that made more sense because I didn't care about how they looked, didn't buy into the whole consumer culture of Macs, and can easily fix 'em and upgrade 'em.

Didn't mean to insult your machine-love! This whole post was just sort of a reaction against those idotic "I'm a Mac / I'm a PC" ads.
Mar. 22nd, 2007 02:33 pm (UTC)
Yeah, the whole Boston bomb scare over and obvious silly lite-brite cartoon had me seeing the fnords, heh.

I love John Hodgman, so the mac-pc ads puzzle me a bit. Are we supposed to love PC guy and hate mac guy? But some of the ads crack me up, anyway.

I own and use both macs and PCs, and there are annoyances and conveniences with both. I've known plenty of people who tried macs and just couldn't understand how to use them, in spite of their "easy to use" rep.

Most of the reason I love my macs is that they're just designed better. My macbook is the most usable laptop I've ever seen. I really did pull it out of the box and start using it right away. And I love that I can run Windows on it in Parallels, so I can write reviews of software and test things on both platforms without having to lug around two machines.

This wasn't always true. In the bad old days of OS9 and the 90's, macs were way overpriced, and they weren't actually designed that well. The laptops totally sucked. These days, they're not overpriced. They're just not low-end. Feature for feature, they're pretty comparable to PC counterparts. Upgrading one of the towers is pretty simple these days, too, since they use standard parts now. I've added RAM and an extra hard drive to the one I have at work, and it was just as easy as doing it on a PC.

That said, I've been tempted to build my own box for a while, so I can focus on the features I want and skimp on what I don't need. I think I'd go for Umbuntu as the OS, though. Gotta avoid that evil empire ;-)
Mar. 22nd, 2007 05:59 am (UTC)
Well, see, I don't feel anything about my PCs; that's the point I'm trying to make. Mac has successfully marketed their machines (mechano-electrical devices) as critters for so long that people get sucked into it. I even almost bought one of those cute little all-in-one boxes back in the late '90's, but realized it was just not going to do what I needed it to do. They're all just machines, and a long time ago I decided that I preferred the cheaper ones to the more expensive ones. That's all. If PC users are smart, there's no reason they should ever have a problem (not since Win 2000, anyway).
Mar. 22nd, 2007 07:36 am (UTC)
True. But, y'know. I know several people who feel similarly about their cars. ;)
( 24 comments — Leave a comment )