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Apple Scales Back Marketing Language on OS X Security Following Flashback

Computerworld Australia reports on a blog post from Sophos security expert Graham Cluley published earlier this month detailing changes to Apple's "Why you'll love a Mac" OS X marketing pages on the topic of security. The changes, which come after a significant malware attack from Flashback earlier this year, focus more of the text of OS X's built-in security features rather than implying Macs are immune to viruses and suggesting that users do not need to take any action to protect themselves.
Apple removed the previous statement "It doesn't get PC viruses" and replaced it with "It's built to be safe," and "Safeguard your data. By doing nothing" with "Safety. Built in." [...]

In addition to changing its marketing messages, Apple has released a security guide for the iPhone operating system iOS and announced in February that OS X 10.8, or Mountain Lion, would include a new feature called Gatekeeper that would restrict which applications users can install on their devices.

Beyond the increased security features such as Gatekeeper making their way into OS X Mountain Lion, Apple is also working to reduce vulnerabilities in third-party platforms such as Java that are frequently exploited by malware authors. Apple has been working to shift responsibility for Java updates to the OpenJDK in order to make them more timely and has also been pushing out software updates to disable Java by default if it goes unused for a period of time.

Top Rated Comments

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30 months ago

I think we are at the point where every OS X user should use some sort of malware protection.


Common sense does me fine, thanks.
Rating: 14 Votes
30 months ago
Lay off the porn and you'll be alright!

Edit: Also lay off the face space, my book and such
Rating: 13 Votes
30 months ago
Why change? It never did get PC viruses, and still doesn't. Microsoft could easily add "It doesn't get Mac Malware" to their Windows page and still be correct.
Rating: 13 Votes
30 months ago
The inevitable price of increasing success.
Rating: 12 Votes
30 months ago



I mean, do you consider a trojan to be a virus? I certainly don't.


To technical people, no. But the world is made up of less-than-technical people, and their perception is that if the computer has been "taken over" or invaded, it matters not what you call it.

Before I retired, doing sysadmin work, my boss used to maintain that if the web server is inaccessible, then it is "down". It didn't matter the actual technical reason (router hung, name server not resolving, someone unplugged a switch, or even in fact the web server was not serving), if the end user could not access it, it was "down". That is how most people perceive it.
Rating: 12 Votes
30 months ago

No doubt. Also realizing that they can't spin this BS any longer the way they used to. OS X was safer ONLY because it hasn't been targeted... I think we are at the point where every OS X user should use some sort of malware protection.


Ah, the good old Marketshare Mythâ„¢. Too bad it doesn't hold up to the simplest of logic. After all, can you tell me why OS 8-9, with a fraction of the marketshare, had orders of magnitude more malware (including actual viruses and worms)? After all, it should have been even more protected because there were fewer of them and would have been even less targeted.

jW
Rating: 11 Votes
30 months ago
Someone pulled out their old Bedazzler for the BEFORE and AFTER font.:)

Rating: 10 Votes
30 months ago

Lay off the porn and you'll be alright!


I'll take my chances :)
Rating: 10 Votes
30 months ago
Times change. Big change in tune from
Apple, did not expect this .

Now we should see hundreds of posts defining what a virus is and what malware is.
Rating: 7 Votes
30 months ago

I understand that they're just trying to protect themselves but, a Mac really doesn't get PC viruses. I think there was nothing wrong or incorrect in the original text.

I mean, do you consider a trojan to be a virus? I certainly don't.


Correct, but does it really matter? If a user's Mac is infected with malware, does it matter much what the initial attack vector was; virus, trojan or worm?

It's probably no harm for Apple to tone down the language a bit, from 'Don't worry, you're safe' to 'You're safer on a Mac'. Users still need to exercise caution.

There are a hell of a lot of developers out there now with Cocoa programming skills - iOS has made it a lucrative business, not just the preserve of Mac fans. I think we're likely to see more and more attacks, with Apple's higher profile and market-share.
Rating: 7 Votes

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