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Intego responds to Mac AV furore

Intego responds to Mac AV furore

Intego's VirusBarrier X5 was one of the products recommended in Apple's now-vanished KB article on Mac anti-virus.

While Apple might have suddenly come over all coy regarding the need for anti-virus applications on its flagship operating system, Intego Security has no such qualms.

The company, which produces one of the products – Intego VirusBarrier X5 – recommended in the Apple Knowledgebase article asking users of MacOS to consider using anti-virus packages has sent in a comment offering its side of the story.

For a while, Apple's website was telling users of Mac OS X to invest in an anti-virus solution via a knowledgebase article, now removed. While there are plenty of rumours going around as to why the article is no more – ranging from its very existence being a mistake to the possibility that Apple is covering up an embarrassing gap in its oft-repeated 'virus-free' marketing claims – Intego believes that Apple might not be playing entirely fair with this one.

A memo distributed by the company claims that the article vanished “following an unexpected amount of attention in the press,” and says that a spokesman from Apple stated that the article was taken down “because it was old and inaccurate.” Which is fair enough, but the company does raise the interesting question of why the “old” article was showing a date claiming it had been updated as recently as November 21st of this year.

The company – which was not responsible for the knowledgebase article beyond having one of its products recommended therein – claims that the decision to remove the comments stems from “Apple's top management” who were “worried about Apple's reputation.” The company even goes so far as to say that the removal, rather than updating, of the article represents Apple “acting irresponsibly” and putting its customers at very real risk.

Intego's CEO, Laurent Marteau, explains that anti-virus is indeed a necessity on Apple's platform: pointing to the thirty-four security updates issued so far this year for Apple products, he claims that to eschew simple protection such as that offered by an anti-virus program could put users at risk of losing data.

As the CEO of a company that makes anti-virus software for Macs, Marteau is well aware that many will take his comments with a pinch – or ocean full – of salt, but claims that his comments are not driven by a desire to sell more copies of his products: Marteau says that his company “certainly [has] to tell the truth to our customers, who count on us to keep their Macs protected.” Although he is very clear about the need for anti-virus software on Macs, Marteau does point out that “Mac OS X is still much more secure than Windows, and Mac users face far fewer security threats than Windows users.

Apple, for its part, has issued no statement on the matter other than to say that “the Mac is designed with built-in technologies that provide protection against malicious software and security threats right out of the box. [However,] since no system can be 100 percent immune from every threat, running anti-virus software may offer additional protection.

While the KB article might be no more, the message from both Intego and Apple is clear: an anti-virus package will do you no harm, and might just save your backside.

Do you believe Apple removed the knowledgebase article to prevent embarrassing contradictions to its marketing messages, or is Intego merely trying to drum up business for itself based on mixed messages from Apple? Share your thoughts over in the forums.

26 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
[USRF]Obiwan 5th December 2008, 11:09 Quote
"We are not telling our customers our car is unsafe because of our reputation"
Bauul 5th December 2008, 11:28 Quote
Exactly, until a super-worm massacres a bunch of Macs, Apple will probably stick they're head in the sand and, at least publicly, that no-one needs to worry.
D3s3rt_F0x 5th December 2008, 12:11 Quote
lol the fact they've removed it, is like waving a red rag at a bull saying come get me boys
Gordy 5th December 2008, 20:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by D3s3rt_F0x
lol the fact they've removed it, is like waving a red rag at a bull saying come get me boys


Not really, they've been saying os x is virus free ever since it came out. There is plenty of "cool" out there for the first person to actually make a mac virus (One that actually infects multiple machines in the wild.).

Can't believe so much crap has been written about a simple support article. The other thread on this is plain nuts. People need to get a life its a tool at the end of the day however shiny it is.

(Disclosure: I'm a mac owner..)
Bluephoenix 5th December 2008, 20:48 Quote
is it just me or does this remind anyone of the makings of the Ford Pinto?
-EVRE- 5th December 2008, 20:51 Quote
how is vista holding up in these recent months?
Vittorio 5th December 2008, 22:21 Quote
So far the only threat to OS X is the ones installed by its users in the form of trojans. Getting a virus on OS X is very hard because of the way it works, its based on unix which is a very secure os.

Also Apple has the advantage over MS because its OS is built for specific hardware and not open to all the add ons you can get for a windows based PC.

When is says" Requires windows xp or better, I bought a MAC"

(Disclosure: I got rid of my windows laptop and bought a mac, im now more productive"
HourBeforeDawn 5th December 2008, 22:24 Quote
Lol sorry I started laughing when I read OS X is virus free, that made my day, thank you for the laugh.... anyhow on a more serious note ya Mac precious OC is certainly not bullet proof hell it was hacked faster then Vista was lol but anyhow theres no surprise that they are working on a virus scanner, the market is slowly growing giving people a reason to make viruses now for mac.
johnmustrule 5th December 2008, 23:25 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vittorio
So far the only threat to OS X is the ones installed by its users in the form of trojans. Getting a virus on OS X is very hard because of the way it works, its based on unix which is a very secure os.

Also Apple has the advantage over MS because its OS is built for specific hardware and not open to all the add ons you can get for a windows based PC.

When is says" Requires windows xp or better, I bought a MAC"

(Disclosure: I got rid of my windows laptop and bought a mac, im now more productive"

http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/soa/Apple-Mac-less-secure-than-Windows-in-2007-/0,130061744,339284674,00.htm?feed=pt_security

I'm sorry but that's not true just search google for related articles. Hardware is also irrelevant, it's RARELY a scource of infection and you should note that there's not to much hard ware (GPU, RAM, External Devices) that's windows exclusive, it's mostly software. Finaly, Unix is Apples favorite buzz word, OSX is roughly based upon it, OSX is not more secure than either vista or xp. If you baught for security you made the wrong choice. But Kudos to you for productivity gains!
Volund 5th December 2008, 23:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
anyhow on a more serious note ya Mac precious OSX is certainly not bullet proof hell it was hacked faster then Vista was lol

yeah, they had an article about that in CPU a few months back. The ubuntu based lappy was the only one un-infected after the competition was over.

Hacked in order (if memory serves)

OSX
XP
Vista

not hacked
Ubuntu linux
Vittorio 6th December 2008, 11:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmustrule
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vittorio
So far the only threat to OS X is the ones installed by its users in the form of trojans. Getting a virus on OS X is very hard because of the way it works, its based on unix which is a very secure os.

Also Apple has the advantage over MS because its OS is built for specific hardware and not open to all the add ons you can get for a windows based PC.

When is says" Requires windows xp or better, I bought a MAC"

(Disclosure: I got rid of my windows laptop and bought a mac, im now more productive"

http://www.zdnet.com.au/news/security/soa/Apple-Mac-less-secure-than-Windows-in-2007-/0,130061744,339284674,00.htm?feed=pt_security

I'm sorry but that's not true just search google for related articles. Hardware is also irrelevant, it's RARELY a scource of infection and you should note that there's not to much hard ware (GPU, RAM, External Devices) that's windows exclusive, it's mostly software. Finaly, Unix is Apples favorite buzz word, OSX is roughly based upon it, OSX is not more secure than either vista or xp. If you baught for security you made the wrong choice. But Kudos to you for productivity gains!

If you read the article the last 2 paragraphs say it all:
"Some experts have said that counting vulnerabilities is not necessarily reliable as a measure of security.
Tristan Nitot, president of Mozilla Europe, told ZDNet.co.uk this month that it was more important to take into account the time it takes to patch vulnerabilities.

The amount of exploit code available in the wild also has an impact on security. While there are thousands of pieces of code that seek to exploit Windows XP vulnerabilities, exploit code for Mac OS X is relatively rare. "
airchie 6th December 2008, 13:00 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by johnmustrule
OSX is not more secure than either vista or xp.
I would love to see you try to back up that statement.

Much as I hate Apple for being so arrogant I suspect their OS is more secure than anything MS has made...
johnmustrule 7th December 2008, 08:51 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vittorio
If you read the article the last 2 paragraphs say it all:
"Some experts have said that counting vulnerabilities is not necessarily reliable as a measure of security.
Tristan Nitot, president of Mozilla Europe, told ZDNet.co.uk this month that it was more important to take into account the time it takes to patch vulnerabilities.

The amount of exploit code available in the wild also has an impact on security. While there are thousands of pieces of code that seek to exploit Windows XP vulnerabilities, exploit code for Mac OS X is relatively rare. "

I said more secure, if you browse the internet with an unprotected Windows machine your bound to be infected in very short order. However if you have even the slightest clue what your doing (ccleaner, glary utiliteis, advanced windows care v3, noton anti-virus) your windows PC is going to be just fine AND more secure than any OSX machine, there's also more to security than viruse eg: hacking at which OSX is still less secure. I did read the article I posted, I'm guessing that because your here at bit-tech you can handle a computer and subsequently you'd be able to keep a windows pc clean.
Quote:
Originally Posted by airchie
I would love to see you try to back up that statement.

Much as I hate Apple for being so arrogant I suspect their OS is more secure than anything MS has made...

Read the article I posted then google the subject if your interested in reading more.
Dreaming 7th December 2008, 18:15 Quote
You used to be able to steal passwords from Mac OS X because it would store them in memory. Just turn off the PC, run a live CD, use a memory reader program and do the clever stuff (I assume a computer hacker would know where the p/words were stored somehow i.e. checking on their own Mac) and voila.

I think it was patched, but it's just an example that there's definately holes in any system no matter how secure you try to make it. Apple is built around marketing - watch the '98 keynotes speech on youtube if you don't believe me "Apple's most important asset is it's brand" - so I am not at all surprised they are idealists rather than pragmatists when it comes to virii or other such things.
Mike Sampson 8th December 2008, 02:27 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by HourBeforeDawn
Lol sorry I started laughing when I read OS X is virus free

Well, he means there has never been a virus for OSX, which is true. And OSX has never been hacked so far, unless full physical access was given, so it remains the most secure OS sold today. Yeah, the clever way Apple separated users from the root account prevents viruses from ever spreading. Kinda slick.
Volund 8th December 2008, 02:30 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sampson
Yeah, the clever way Apple separated users from the root account prevents viruses from ever spreading. Kinda slick.

That isn't apple, it is the nature of all unix-like systems.
Mike Sampson 8th December 2008, 02:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming
You used to be able to steal passwords from Mac OS X because it would store them in memory.

That was in the Classic Mac OS, never in OSX. Remember OSX is based on NeXTStep / FreeBSD, so it's never had those types of security lapses, except perhaps way back in early 1970's.
Volund 8th December 2008, 02:35 Quote
Ok, is anyone thinking that Mike Sampson is the reincarnation of Ted Landry?
Bluephoenix 8th December 2008, 02:42 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sampson
That was in the Classic Mac OS, never in OSX. Remember OSX is based on NeXTStep / FreeBSD, so it's never had those types of security lapses, except perhaps way back in early 1970's.

then mind explaining how I just did that over the network on my friend's mac? (he laughed btw, and uses intego and a few other things I recommended)

No I will not post the code used as that is against Bit-tech's rules and regs, and wouldn't be right either.
Mike Sampson 8th December 2008, 02:55 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluephoenix
then mind explaining how I just did that over the network on my friend's mac? (he laughed btw, and uses intego and a few other things I recommended)

the OS didn't allow that, but of course a browser or other similar network app could send passwords in the clear like any app on any OS.
Bluephoenix 8th December 2008, 03:15 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Sampson
the OS didn't allow that, but of course a browser or other similar network app could send passwords in the clear like any app on any OS.

you, sir, are full of S***


Mike Sampson 8th December 2008, 04:31 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bluephoenix
you, sir, are full of S***

what? I just explained that wasn't possible, no need to call me names.

i'm simply saying, unless you have the Admin password there is no way you can obtain it, (much less install your script or whatever) this in UNIX, not Windows.

if you disagree, explain your methodology and i'll look it over.

thanks.
Bluephoenix 8th December 2008, 04:43 Quote
I will not explain because posting exploit code is a direct violation of the bit-tech rules.

I am a Licensed Penetration Tester and a CCISP for full disclosure.

I had full access to SSH, using the admin login.

I specifically used only base OSX items, nothing from other programs or clients, just to prove that it could be done


furthermore, you revealed yourself as a troll by blindly clinging to the notion that it cannot be done, and I must be wrong, without any information on what I did whatsoever.
cpemma 8th December 2008, 11:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volund
Ok, is anyone thinking that Mike Sampson is the reincarnation of Ted Landry?
Yes. :|
StooJ 9th December 2008, 03:01 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Volund
Ok, is anyone thinking that Mike Sampson is the reincarnation of Ted Landry?

Awesome! We can expect another diamond thread of hilarity.
Volund 9th December 2008, 03:10 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by StooJ
Awesome! We can expect another diamond thread of hilarity.

too bad he was banned already ;)
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