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Apple Users: victims of their brand’s success.

Apple Users: victims of their brand’s success.

In 2006 Apple was having a fun time tweaking Microsoft’s collective nose with their “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” line of ads.

These were a brilliant series of ads comparing the young, hip, funny Justin Long as Mac versus the stodgy, starchy, clumsy be-suited, bespectacled PC.

In the video below PC get’s a virus “atchoo”:

Fast forward to 2011 and recently we have seen malware on Android and on Apple products.

The most recent of these attacking iOS has been MAC Defender / MAC Guard. I don’t need to write about what the malware does. This has been covered excellently on ZDNet here and here.

I spoke to a bunch of MAC users who were remarkably unconcerned,

“Malware? Viruses.. those are PC issues.”

In an earlier piece on Smartphone security I maintained something I’m going to reiterate here: unsecured devices (mobile, desktop or otherwise) are easy points of access for malware to compromise data in the cloud and spread to other users.

In addition, for Apple to provide a solution based on a signature file that is bypassed by the malware writers immediately after each file is released reeks of arrogance and a lack of concern for their customers or their data safety. Microsoft didn’t have an in-house solution for anti-malware. As a result they went out, found a company who made a robust Windows solution and bought them, folding it into the services they offer.

Apple’s behavior in this shows they still perceive themselves and their user demographic as in the same place as in their 2006 “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC.” ad above.

It’s the equivalent of the sex education teacher at the end of class giving out condoms they know are out of date.

What it really comes down to is a “wake up and smell the coffee” moment for Apple. If Apple has become the leader in personal and mobile computing then it stands to reason they are going to become increasingly the focus of malware. De facto, they have become a victim of their own successes. The next step for Apple is to realize they need to address this situation by offering their own robust security solution or recommending those of 3rd parties for example Panda Security who do offer a MAC solution:

Panda_Mac

The other aspect of this is, if my earlier assertion about security for cloud stored content in correct then what security solutions should we be relying on for that?

It’s 2011, is your MAC / PC / Linux computer secure?

 
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