Macs no longer safe from virus attacks

4/23/2012 6:24:50 PM

You must install an anti-virus or your car will eventually break down when you drive on some streets. It’s just a matter of time

Description: Description: Macs no longer safe from virus attacks

In 2011, we were showered with articles, tweets and blog posts about security, what with the discovery of Mac viruses and the theft of information on Sony PlayStation’s network. Well, that’s a common issue in the PC world.

That ‘first Mac virus’ – actually disguised as an anti-virus – had this really astonishing Apple-like look and actually asked for your authorization in order to install! Very polite, indeed! And you, PC user, all too familiar with the kind of virus that is only detected when your HD is already terminally ill, when nobody answers your emails because they go straight to your friends’ spam, or when you realize that your friends have blocked you from all instant messaging services.

Description: Description: Mac OS

Your virus is weak and impolite. If you want to real thing, come deal with ours!

Throughout 2011, it was so ‘cool’ that many people installed it just to tell their friends about the thrilling news! A number of nerds (including your’s truly) have mentioned that they hadn’t had so much fun since CERN activated the Large Hadron Collider! As a matter of fact, there should be an episode of The Big Bang Theory dedicated to this.

We’re just being merciful, after all, our dear old PC user friends should be allowed a bit of fun and mockery.

At the time I kept thinking that Apple would give us some kind of warning:

‘Dear user, please do not install anything virus-related. Trust us.’

Another irony is that some Mac newbie would immediately allow the installation of something he didn’t really ask for. Something akin to a poetic last goodbye to the PC dimension.

Here’s a contribution of new and interesting warnings for a clueless:

‘Hey, are you kidding? An anti-virus? Are you new here?’


‘Anti-virus? To proceed, purchase a PC.’

Notice that Apple ended up ‘tap dancing’ on the competition (yet again), showing that the mere existence of a software category called ‘anti-virus’ is already a joke. How come you have a operating system that demands some kind of protection just to run? ‘Theoretically’, it would be like giving a brain to silicon crumbs

Ok, not impressed so far? Let’s talk cars then: you buy a car and before turning it on, the salesperson kindly warns you, ‘You must install an anti-virus or your car will eventually break down when you drive on some streets. It’s just a matter of time.’ There’s something else: installing the anti-virus will reduce your horse-power from 140 to 57 (just like fast skating), and increase fuel consumption from 3m/s to something around 0.5m/s (below the average alcohol intake of Charlie Sheen, for instance), and so on and so forth. And we’re not talking about car alarms or insurance; we’re talking about basic features that can mess up simple things like reading e-mails or visiting a website.

You see now why they called your ancient PC Core 2 Duo? That’s no redundancy – it’s two for you and your PC and two for the anti-virus.

We Mac users do not really recall the PC times and ‘utter virus terrorism’. We browse the web and click on any link we want, we do not distrust attachments sent by out own mothers, we try out a new app without running a quick anti-virus. Most of us have had the sad experience of losing documents, spreadsheets, emails childhood photos and credit card into before turning to dearest Mac. And then it’s for life.

Speaking of marketing: Do you want to show company incompetence? Use the motto: ‘Always blame someone else’. Call HP, Dell or any other computer company and complain about a virus. They’ll certainly respond that it’s the user’s fault or you have a weak anti-virus. Call the anti-virus company and they’ll tell you that the problem is Windows. Then you call Microsoft and they’ll tell you it’s the manufacture… All I can say is that whoever has gone through such limbo will think twice (three, four, five times…) before purchasing something from the same brand if there’s a similar choice within the same price range.

Not that Apple itself takes full responsibility for all defective products that eventually reach the shelves, but it’s undoubtedly above average. And let’s face it; it’s what each and every company should do.

We saw that Apple responded to the ‘threat’ by updating its OS X security only 8 hours after the virus variant showed. 12 hours later and Apple had already launched another security update, without even bothering its users. Daily updates by our friends in Cupertino and all the threats that plague the life of PC users vanish into thin air. That’s not magic, that’s competence.

Expelliarmus! Expecto Patronum!

Apple, hear me out: We nerds had a thoroughly amusing 2011 filled with social interaction while chatting about our threatened Macs, about the emotion, the risks, the sensation, the danger! And then you came along and with a simple 2Mb upgrade and ruined our roller-coasting thrill! And now we’re stuck with ‘Oh, my operating system is already virus-free and updating every 24 hours’.

The boredom of the safest operating system in the world is back, and we didn’t even have to restart our Macs!

And now it’s back to the Comics Store…

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