My take on the whole Mac Defender brouhaha

What strikes me as most ironic about this whole story is that it disproves the very premise upon which all the hoopla is based. The whole premise is that smug Mac users–and we are all smug, after all–are in for a rude awakening for ignorantly believing their system of choice is impervious to attack. We’ve been hearing this for years (see, e.g., Wolf!, The Macalope Weekly: Of trolls and straw men).

But ask this simple question: how exactly is it that a smug Mac user, who blindly adheres to the “party line” that Macs are impervious, and does so despite all evidence to the contrary, is convinced to install anti-malware software over the web?

If Mac users were actually as hell-bent on believing that their Macs were impervious to security threats as suggested, then they never would have believed the web-based message that their computer was infected in the first place! It’s only because Mac users actually do understand that Macs aren’t impervious that some not-so-well-informed users allowed themselves to be affected!

Mac Defender is, after all, a Trojan–not a virus–meaning that the user has to jump through a few hoops (including giving password authentication) to install the Trojan.

Fortunately, if you are affected by Mac Defender there are any number of good resources for cleaning up the mess, including this Support Document from Apple, and it doesn’t take any special software, skills or tools.

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