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Securitysplainin'

The Macalope | April 9, 2014
Isn't it nice that so many people who are ostensibly not Mac users are still very concerned about Mac security? It's sweet the way they look out for us.

Isn't it nice that so many people who are ostensibly not Mac users are still very concerned about Mac security? It's sweet the way they look out for us.

(Stuck in) BetaNews's Derrick Wlodarz is one of them.

"The Apple myth: Why security through obscurity isn't security"

Turns out it's a floor wax. Who knew?

My girlfriend was on the prowl for a new vehicle not too long ago, and decided on a Subaru. Not only do the company's vehicles arguably receive some of the highest safety ratings in the States, but their policy of across-the-board all wheel drive is another nicety I love about them.

Across-the-board ... except for the BRZ.

Already we see that Wlodarz's relationship with facts is of the "eh, close enough" variety, and we haven't even gotten out of the first paragraph.

Even so, she wouldn't think of ditching her safety belt, no matter how safe the cars claim to be.

And computer security is exactly like a safety belt. It keeps you from flying through the monitor and splattering yourself across the Information Superhighway, forcing a loved one to identify a bucket full of your remains at the intermorgue. Or something. Rest assured, it's dire and somehow related to automobiles.

Compared to his relationship with facts, Wlodarz's relationship to similes is even more tortured.

Likewise, sizable portions of American society lives out in rural areas where crime and theft are almost unheard of. Yet they most likely still use locks on all of their doors, and keep them locked shut at night.

Translation: "Look, this piece is long. Really long. You might want to get a snack."

So this begs the question: how has Apple gotten a free pass on the falsehood that its OS X (and now iOS) users just don't need anti-malware software?

Uh, because of the relatively few number of exploits on its platforms and the almost utter uselessness of anti-malware software?

Note that Wlodarz quickly drops any further reference to iOS, probably because it's arguably the most secure platform currently in existence and it holds that status without having any anti-malware software.

As an IT professional who has personally cleaned off numerous Macs each year for the past 2-3 years ...

Since we're dealing in anecdotes here, allow the Macalope to point out that he has not had a Mac-based virus for more than 15 years (knock on wood). Meanwhile, he knows "numerous" Windows users who brag about how fast they can wipe and reinstall everything on their machines when they get infected. So, anecdouché.

Apple's done a great job coercing the last decade of Mac buyers that malware just doesn't exist on Macs. Yet the evidence continually points in the opposite direction.

 

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